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The Defi du Galop series stops off at Craon this afternoon and there is no better advertisement for keeping these middle distance horses in training than Monty, who lowered the colours of Sealiway and co at Longchamp yesterday in a stakes race, having been prolific on the Defi du Galop circuit.
Christophe Lotoux saddles the admirable In Front, a seven-year-old gelding, who is unbeaten in three years and generally priced at 6/5. Connections would have been pleased to see soft ground when Craon last raced on Saturday but the warm forecast today means there is a chance he is scratched if they aren’t happy with the turf.
Having won at Saint-Malo and Chateaubriant this term, he is obviously in good order and won this contest in 2020. Therein lies the problem with him – he is priced on his 2019-2020 form and every good series has to come to an end at some point.
Jean-Claude Rouget’s four-year-old mare Bellaciaociao is well-known to punters having won a Quinte last October and the daughter of Camelot was clearly kept in training in 2022 with the objective of winning at least a Listed.
Her 2nd to Botanik in June at Longchamp reads extremely well now that Andre Fabre’s gelding has lowered the colours of Japanese Arc contender Stay Foolish in the Grand Prix de Deauville. She was then surprisingly well-backed on her last start at Clairefontaine but ran better than expected when splitting Race Sharp tip Any Time Soon and former Group winner Control Tower.
Today presents a different type of test against colts and geldings but she looks well up to it and Rouget expects her to be thereabouts. She rates as a solid each-way bet and I wouldn’t mind at all if the favourite is scratched and our bet drops to two places with the seven runners, as the Rule Four mechanism is in our favour.
2.35pm Craon – 1pt each-way Bellaciaociao 3-1 (Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair Sportsbook or 7/2 with bet365)
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