Happy Christmas to all readers, old and new! Here’s hoping that this next tip can fare better than my last, Tag, who halved in price and got no run!


Back to Deauville this afternoon and luck in running shouldn’t be as critical in the 9-runner Prix Vodkato at 5.15pm UK time.


Portalis is a worthy favourite, having recently won the ‘same’ event over C&D a matter of days ago. The flashy grey gelding is suited by these conditions, rated 35.0, the top of the ratings band, loves polytrack and represents the red-hot Jean-Pierre Gauvin yard.


At 6/5 he is well-found in the market and given the high profile nature of the gamble on him last time, he might struggle to back up that performance with a 2kg penalty today.


Bumble Bee and Handhy re-oppose today and both hold good e/w chances. I’m drawn to the former, who finished slightly quicker than Handhy according to the sectional times, is rated 3lb superior, is drawn better (2 vs 9) and benefits from a jockey upgrade with Alexis Pouchin taking over.


Moreover, Bumble Bee has a bit more back class, having won a Parisian maiden and been considered a black type prospect at the time by her jockey. She wasn’t disgraced when tried in a Group Three race last summer and although she’s regressed on paper since, she’s improving with each run for new trainer Flavie Bresson (a pattern followed by recent handicap winner Winterland).


5.15pm Deauville 1pt each-way Bumble Bee @ 6-1 (generally available, or 13/2 with bet365)