Yann Barberot has endured a tricky first half of the year, but his team do appear to be in better form of late and Aqua Augusta can give him a winner in the 1m2f fillies’ maiden at Compiegne this afternoon (1.05pm).

 

Her debut third on the AW at Deauville last November was a decent effort, one place behind this month’s Group 2 Prix Saint-Alary winner Birthe, and there was plenty to like about her reappearance effort when runner-up in a 1m3f maiden on very soft ground at ParisLongchamp four weeks ago.

 

The winner of that goes for the Royaumont at Chantilly this weekend and it’s worth noting the first, third and fourth all had the benefit of a previous run this year.  Barberot’s only Prix de Diane entry, all three of Aqua Augusta’s siblings have won at Listed/Group level, notably Group 1 Tancred Stakes winner Arapaho.  This scopey filly, a €310,000 yearling purchase at Arqana, can be expected to take a step forward and go one better today.

 

1.05pm Compiegne – 1pt win Aqua Augusta @ 100/30 (Coral, Ladbrokes, Bet365, Skybet, Quinnbet, BetGoodwin, 3-1 elsewhere)

 

Two last-time-out winners head the market in the 1m2f claimer (1.37pm), but at a big price I am keen to take a chance on Akagera.

 

She has been out of sorts so far this year, but won twice in this grade last autumn, including on soft ground here for Satoshi Kobayashi, and then bolted up under Thomas Trullier on her debut for Julien Phelippon over this trip in a better claimer than this.

 

Disappointing on most of her recent runs, she has been apprentice-ridden on her last three starts (twice when yard’s second string), but did show more when sixth at Saint-Cloud last time over 2500m in a stronger claimer race last time, suggesting she could be working her way back into form.

 

Thomas Trullier is back on board today, she has every chance on official ratings and the 25-1 looks too big.

 

1.37pm Compiegne – 0.5pt ew Akagera @ 25-1 (most firms, 28-1 Bet365)

 

The concluding handicap at Compiegne (4.48pm) is the UK equivalent of a 0-64 and it’s a weak affair, despite the numbers.

 

There are a few with chances, but at a massive price Galilee Dream has to be backed.

 

A daughter of the excellent Galiway,  she is out of a winner at around this trip, herself a half-sister to six winners.  Galilee Dream ran better than the form figures suggest both on her debut at Angers last September and then noticeably on her sole start this year, at Fontainebleau four weeks ago.  She never had much racing room in the straight that day, but kept on really nicely in the closing stages under hand and heels.

 

The extra furlong will undoubtedly suit, I’m not worried about the ground for her and the market is underestimating her chances.  Axel Baron is a very capable trainer, his team are in great form and while there is a concern as to whether she will be ready to win on handicap debut, rather than one or two starts down the line, I am confident that she can win races from this opening mark.  At 50-1, she looks a great each-way bet.

 

4.48pm Compiegne – 1pt each-way Galilee Dream @ 50-1 (most firms)