In the opening two furlongs of Longchamp’s 1300m sprint course there is a descent of approximately six meters. Whilst barely noticeable on your live stream, positioning is everything and this will almost guarantee a fair amount of scrimmaging at the start of the 13-runner conditions race at 6pm, as they soon go into the large right-handed bend.
Tonight I think Fabrice Chappet’s Alba Power is a fair bit too big to land the race at 17/2 or 9/1 – continuing a recent sequence of either finishing 1st or 10th! This is the same Alba Power sent off at a short price to beat Sands Of Mali, having previously thrashed Arecibo – who last month was raised to 104 from 99. There is a load of talent there.
Drawn in 1, Alba Power does blow hot and cold but on his day is better than all of these, including 9/4 favourite Manjeer who is rated on a suspect piece of form where he ran on late to place behind Earthlight and Tropbeau.
Oxalis is interesting for Freddy Head, but off a large break, impossible to back.
Chappet’s other one, Kilfrush Memories, as well as Crew Dragon (draw 12/13) are plausible winners but are priced accordingly and their ceiling of ability wouldn’t be enough to get near Alba Power on a going day from a plum draw. Aside from those horses already named, I suppose you could chance Tibasti but he’s been off since the Dubai Carnival and all his French wins have been on polytrack. No thanks at 11/2!
Finally, I have been struck by how well Guyon and Barzalona, for the most part, have ridden Longchamp in recent months and either jockey must be worth a few lengths here, as we saw Barzalona school the peloton last month when bringing Marianafoot to the head of affairs over this course when drawn 7/7.
Entered for a sprint in Saudi Arabia early this year, yes I do think Chappet can over-enter, and yes I do admit that Alba Power could be a spent force now, but at 9/1 I think we will get a good run for our money tonight. You couldn’t say he has an each-way running style though!
6.00pm Longchamp – 1pt win Alba Power @ 9-1 (Unibet, 17/2 elsewhere)