Le Croise-Laroche isn’t my favourite punting track, but it does suit course specialists and I think there are a couple worth backing in the second division of the 1m4f handicap (4.30pm).
Perle De Vati has course form of 311, the latest of them last May off this mark on the last occasion she was ridden by Ludovic Boisseau, who is back on board today.
Stall 13 isn’t ideal here, while the absence since early January is also a slight concern. However, she was given a poor ride when third over CD on her return from nearly two months off in October 2021 (so could be defending a perfect 3-3 course record!) and her proven ability to handle these conditions is a big asset.
Minnehaha has the best win record in this very modest field and scored twice in a very busy 2022 campaign (ran 26 times!), at Le Touquet in August and Amiens in September off marks of 19.5 and 21 respectively.
She has plenty of form on heavy ground, so I’m not concerned by the conditions today, and it’s well worth noting that she is now 5.5kg lower than when last seen on turf in November, having had her mark run down on the All-Weather over the winter.
That also happened in 2022, and though she was down the field here on this day last year, that came in a much more competitive first division of the handicap, and she went on to finish second at Chantilly next time.
A previous course winner, she also got her mark down in 2021 on the All-Weather before just getting touched off on her turf reappearance, and the same thing happened in 2019 (second at Longchamp on her return to turf)!
It is clearly a well-trodden path and though this could be a springboard to something in Paris next month, she’s worth chancing.
4.30pm Le Croise-Laroche
0.5pt win Perle De Vati @ 11-1 (William Hill, Skybet, 12-1 Bet365, 10-1 elsewhere)
0.5pt win Minnehaha @ 12-1 (William Hill, Skybet, 14-1 Bet365, 11-1 elsewhere)