I’ll make this brief, as the race is off in half an hour!
Favourite Bardolino is the one to beat on form in the 1m2f maiden at Strasbourg (10.20am), but Henk Grewe still isn’t firing on all cylinders and at a bigger price, Grand Cru is worth chancing.
The form of her second at Mulheim in August couldn’t have worked out much better, and her defeat on her final start at two came at Listed level. Her yard is in fine form and the booking of Arc-winning jockey Rene Piechulek is a positive one.
10.20am Strasbourg – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Grand Cru @ 17/2 (William Hill, 9-1 in places, 8-1 elsewhere)
Later on the card, Canford Wine is worth chancing at a big price.
He has to put a couple of poor runs behind him this season, but he may well have found conditions too testing at Compiegne last time and the ground should be more in his favour today.
A ready winner of a claiming hurdle at Clairefontaine in August, when last ridden by James Reveley (back on board today), he went on to finish fourth in a Listed handicap at Auteuil in September off a mark of 54, 4lbs higher than today’s rating.
Previous efforts in handicap company at Auteuil and Compiegne under Reveley read well in this context of this weak race, so the 16-1 is worth taking.
11.55am Strasbourg – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Canford Wine @ 16-1 (all firms)
Our final bet on the card at Strasbourg goes in the 1m2f handicap (12.25pm), in which Sa Sal looks overpriced at 16-1.
He travelled really nicely on his first start for Conny Whitfield (same owners) at Lyon a fortnight ago, before looking to get tired in the home straight on what was his first outing since the beginning of December.
His last two runs on turf were at ParisLongchamp, where he finished second in two handicaps in September/October, off a 2lbs higher mark. Those pieces of form would certainly give him a big chance here.
He is well drawn in stall 3 and his prominent style of racing is well suited to this track. Rene Piechulek has already done us a favour this morning with Grand Cru, so hopefully he can double up with his only other ride on the card.
12.25pm Strasbourg – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Sa Sal @ 16-1 4 places (5 places with Skybet)