The opening claimer at Le Mans (11.05am) is a big-field contest, but it looks a weak event, as one would expect for the 10K and 14K tags in the provinces, and I’m chancing a return to form for Le Gardolot.

A maiden winner at Lyon in January, he was subsequently outclassed in a couple of class 2 contests, but ran creditably on his next three outings in the spring, including when fourth in a much better claimer than this at Fontainebleau in April.   He rounded off the first half of the campaign with a second in a claimer at Compiegne, the form of which would give him a good shout here.

Off for four months, he returned with a sixth in claiming company back at Compiegne last time, but I wouldn’t read much into that, as he was ridden by a very inexperience apprentice and it looked like more of a pipe-opener than anything else.  That should have brought him on from a fitness perspective and the switch of jockey is a plus.

There’s a slight question mark about the ground, but I thought he handled it when made too much use of over 1m4f at Nantes and wasn’t disgraced in handicap company off a mark of 35 in April.  He stays this trip well and I think he’ll handle the ground better than most.

11.05am Le Mans – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Le Gardolot @ 11-1 (various, though 14-1 with Bet365 and 12-1 with Mansionbet)