Just over an hour until the action gets underway at Châteaubriant and there are a few running that take the eye.
9.50am Prix de Chantilly
We flagged the Pedro The Great colt Once Upon A Time two weeks ago when he made his debut and started at 10/11 in the local markets. The Yann Barberot juvenile ran a brilliant race in second, just failing to concede 2.5kg to a February foal out of a Frankel mare. Gregory Benoist felt he was going well but was perhaps taken by surprise by the winner who made his challenge at the top of the straight down his outside. He is taken to step forward from his debut, like stablemate Axdaliva did when scoring by over two lengths on Thursday.
Once Upon A Time is into odds-on now on debut at Le Lion d'Angers!
Big word for this Barberot-trained colt. pic.twitter.com/nxCYdOTH2z
— Race Sharp (@RaceSharp) April 3, 2022
Florian Guyader has a couple in here for Con Marnane, but after winning the first juvenile race of the year in France with Bottle Of Bubbles, he has saddled eight consecutive losers. La Gokenindia catches the eye on paper as a filly by Goken out of a Dubawi mare, but the family has been moderate on track.
This should be all about the favourite and forms the first leg of our morning double….
10.20am Prix Claude Rouget
Keeping it in the family – that’s what Jean-Claude Rouget did when he landed this contest last year with Night Fever. Rouget has made no secret of how he likes to target this race in his Paris Turf column today and provincial star Mon Ouragan will be hard to reel in from the front today. He is a short-priced favourite but he has Simon Planque taking off 2.5kg and there have to be serious concerns about his main two rivals today – Mixed Mind has been off 18 months and its been even longer since Fabrice Chappet’s Roc Angel managed to even place on turf (he has been campaigned on polytrack recently).
I expect this to be simple for the favourite this morning.
9.50am & 10.20am Châteaubriant Once Upon A Time x Mon Ourgan 1pt win double @ 5/2 (William Hill, QuinnBet, Fitzdares, Pari Match)
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10.50am Prix Riverman
This 10-furlong maiden looks a good opportunity for the Rouget and Planque team to score again, this time with Zarak gelding Grand Balcon. Rated 37.0 and considering Planque’s 2.5kg claim, this looks a ‘point and shoot’ job but things could be more complicated this time in a field of 14. Shayran has been knocking on the door but is now starting to regress, so the each-way alternatives look to be both by Shalaa – Soliloque at 9/2 and Almanarah at 17/2.
Soliloque makes his turf debut and at a bigger price I fancy the chances of Jean de Mieulle’s Classic-entered filly Almanarah. She ran midfield on debut at Bordeaux but despite that, she was quietly-backed at Le Lion d’Angers last month and apparently looked a picture in the paddock according to the reporter on Equidia. She made what looked to be a race-winning move and finished beaten just a length in third. She looks to have at least average ability and her gate speed should negate her draw in 12.
She looks a nice each-way play and I also like her at 4/1 or greater in the ‘without the favourite’ markets.
10.50am Châteaubriant Almanarah 1pt each-way @ 17/2 (William Hill, QuinnBet, Fitzdares, Pari Match)
Tristan Wootton provides regular insight on Race Sharp and specialises in French flat racing. Since the column started 10 months ago, bets to recorded stakes and prices are showing a 40%+ return on investment. To read more, please click here.