Bonnie Hopps is down in grade for her third run for new connections and simply has to be backed at double-figure odds to return to winning ways.
She ran a blinder at Saint-Cloud last time, coming from a mile back having been dropped in from the widest stall in a big-field handicap. Rated as high as 33 in the past for the late Larissa Kneip, she is a previous winner off 30.5 and bumped into subsequent Listed winner (and one-time 50-1 Race Sharp third!) Homo Deus in a Cholet handicap in October 2021 off 32.
Down to a mark of 25 here, she’ll need luck in running but has more than enough ability to have a big say.
2.17pm Le Mans – 2pts win, 1pt place Bonnie Hopps @ 12-1 (various, 14-1 with Bet365)
I’m really keen to take on the top two in the market in the concluding contest at Le Mans today (2.52pm) and Be Sure is the standout bet against them.
Go Lucky and Mister Dream head the betting, but they met in a desperately weak race at Machecoul last time, highlighted by the fact the winner that day was rated just 24 going into it. The former had twice been well beaten previously, while Mister Dream’s second at Pornichet in February came in another modest contest, with the fourth rated 23.
We’re taking a chance on fitness with our selection, but he was withdrawn with a vet’s cert from an intended engagement at Saint-Cloud on the 9th, and has since held entries back there and elsewhere in the past week, so he has presumably been ready to run for a while.
Fifth and fourth in better contests than this in Paris on his first two starts last year, he ran better than the form suggests in both AW handicaps in November/December.
I’m confident he wants this step up in trip. By Camelot out of a Muhtathir mare that was placed over hurdles, his granddam Valdance was a top-class National Hunt performer and hopefully a fraction of that ability has filtered through! He might not be the most straightforward, but this represents an excellent opportunity and his capable trainer has been among the winners.
In the same race, I think it is also worth backing Cap Farewell. His third at Vichy last August is as good as anything on offer here, and he is better than he was able to show when drawn widest of all and having a poor trip around Deauville when last seen in mid-December. He has since left Jean-Michel Lefebvre, but the trainer retains a share in him and the switch to Bruno Audouin, who does well with a smallish string, could see him go very close on his first run for the yard this afternoon.
2.52 Le Mans
2pts win, 1pt place Be Sure @ 8-1
1pt win Cap Farewell @ 4-1