It happened again this week. On Friday after a dodgy canter to post at Lyon-Parilly, I was dead keen to oppose Jerome Reynier’s Ursuly, despite her taking a step down in class. The form pick was clearly Valdarann, a recent winner at Bordeaux, so I made him my bet – only for Andre Fabre’s Leopards Park to swoop home and spoil the fun!
Fabre is operating at 28% from his last 25 runners and one of his top older horses Algiers is worth supporting again this afternoon in the Group Three La Coupe.
When completing an interview with Lisa-Jane Graffard earlier this year, it was telling that she put up Algiers to me when asked if there was much else in the older division outside of Magny Cours and Victor Ludorum. He ran away with a Listed prize at the back end of last year and in doing so seemed to find a stone of improvement overnight. He grew over the winter and despite this impressive schooling race win over Fabrice Chappet’s morning glory Stonetail in mid-March, he either seriously lacked fitness in the Prix Harcourt against Skalleti and co, or wasn’t a fan of the soft ground.
Stonetail now has an equivalent UK rating of 83, so although I’m not mad enough to rate the above schooling race on strict weights and measures, I do think that with Algiers we are dealing with a serious Group horse in the making.
Graffard told the Godolphin website this week:
Algiers is on a recovery mission. We expected him to have a good year but his seasonal return in the Prix d’Harcourt was very underwhelming. There was no particular explanation for that display although we feel that he is a horse who may need a couple of runs to reach full fitness.
This is a warm race for a ‘recovery mission’ and I’m sure that at 14/1 we are going to see a different animal on a fast surface this afternoon. Jockey Augustin Madamet is more than capable and although Iresine and Magny Cours have flashy bits of form to their names, neither has won at this course before. We could see a proper race this afternoon if Algiers can put his best foot forward.
2.50pm Longchamp – 1pt win Algiers @ 14-1 (William Hill, or 12-1 general)