The Prix Jacques Le Marois is the highlight of the summer in France but it looks a very tough punting contest! Both Coroebus and Inspiral have a few questions to answer but deservedly head the market. If I could run around William Hill shops and get the four places, I’d have a medium-sized bet on Erevann for France, but I’ll sit this one out.


The 3.30pm is a 10-furlong race for older horses and I’m a bit surprised that the French press is going for Wally. Sure, he won the race last year, is in good form and is trained locally by Jean-Claude Rouget, but I’d have Dilawar a fair bit shorter. Dilawar is unbeaten over today’s trip, which includes a win over C&D this time last year when trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre. His season this year has been a bit disappointing but he’s had excuses. He was scratched from his intended comeback in April due to advertised soft ground, which then dried considerably by race time.


Dilawar has since run with enormous credit in the Prix d’Isapahan and it’s worth remembering he started a fair bit shorter than Wally for that. In June he looked to hold outstanding claims in this grade at Chantilly, over a mile, but he wasn’t suited by the sedate pace. The clockwatchers confirmed that he rattled home in 2nd and the fact that the last horse, Duhail, clocked a rattling final 400m, is further evidence that Dilawar was the moral winner of that.


Majestic Dawn is not without a chance himself, but I’m hoping he’ll provide the pace today for our selection to aim at – he has made the running on his last five starts.


Christophe Soumillon has been riding well recently and despite picking up a ban at Vichy this week, I think he’ll ride Dilawar full of confidence today and it’s a bonus he receives 1kg from Wally, Monty and Riocorvo. He rates as a maximum bet for me. Soumillon was clearly gutted not to win last time and Graffard seems to quietly fancy him for this, before going on to better things. The key to Dilawar is the fast ground and the rain should stay away at least until this evening.


3.30pm Deauville – 3pt win Dilawar 5/2 (all firms)


Flyingbeauty has already attracted money for the second division of the Quinte but I still want to side with her at 3-1. The case for her is obvious. She was quietly fancied for a Quinte last time despite failing to complete the time before (she parted company with her rider when the stalls opened) and ran a blinder in 3rd. Today she is fortunate to slip into the second division of the Quinte and looks a ‘point and shoot’ job for local trainer Stephane Wattel. 


4.40pm Deauville – 1pt win Flyingbeauty 3-1 (all firms, or 100/30 with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook)

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