Nantes Tips and Racecourse Guide
Founded in 1834, Nantes stages over 230 races each year over flat, jumps and trotting courses.
The flat course is left-handed where it often pays to be drawn low and race handy. Runners are almost always turning and then there isn’t a lot of time to get organised once they hit the top of the two-furlong (400m) home straight.
The shortest flat trip at Nantes is 5.5 furlongs (1100m) and the longest trip is 3700m.
Towards the end of the year, Nantes stages is best race over a middle distance. The Grand Prix de Nantes is held in late October or early November and is open to older horses over 12 furlongs (2400m). In 2021, the race was won in impressive style by Dato for Germany, who then won a Group Two at Cologne in 2022. He beat Palus Argenteus, who has upheld the form since, in winning a warm Listed race at Chantilly in sensational front-running style.
Henri-Alex Pantall is the trainer to follow at Nantes, who often runs his Godolphin-owned blue bloods at the track.
Jean De Mieulle has campaigned his horses sparingly this term and has been rewarded with some good results. An 11% win rate may not be much to write home about but 24 of his 45 runners have either won or hit the frame and some of his ‘crossbar’ horses are coming good, as Ghost Spirit won at Longchamp yesterday.
He runs two in the opener this morning at Nantes and in a very open race with some bad pedigrees on show, I think it’s worth siding with his newcomer Whatever It Costs.
The Shalaa filly is presumably the choice of stable jockey Olivier D’Andigne, which bodes well as stable mate Drag Lift ran fine in the ‘reference’ race for this and is priced at 8-1.
Whatever It Costs runs off just 53kg and although she may lack the experience to be competitive on debut, the favourite Eghiste doesn’t set a great standard to aim at and the second favourite Great Art is unraced.
She only made €15,000 as an Osarus yearling but her dam La Corniche ran four times as a juvenile in the silks of current PMU Chairman Philippe Augier and managed to get minor black type.
Elsewhere Silogique is from a yard I rarely bet but he made giant strides between his first and second start. He looks a fairly scopey son of Seahenge and if he carries on in the same manner, he could win this. He is worth a saver at 10-1.
10.40am Nantes 1pt win Whatever It Costs @ 16-1 (bet365, Unibet, Sport Nation or 20-1 with Ladbrokes, Coral, Boylesports and Betway) AND 0.5pt win Silogique 10-1 (generally available or 11-1 with Sky Bet and William Hill)
Later on at Nantes I am excited to see last-time-out Race Sharp winner Sasakia turned out again over a slightly longer trip in the 1.42pm. The Dubawi half-sister to Thunder Snow looked a potential black type prospect when opening her account in the provinces in March and the form of that race at Machecoul looks great now as Wheelie has since won twice, including at Longchamp, and Theoreme has placed in a Quinté.
The bare form of her win at Le Lion d’Angers last time isn’t amazing but she ran as if a return to a trip around 12 furlongs would really suit. She is well-drawn in four and receives weight all round with penalties based on earnings.
Her family is littered with black type and I would hate to be on the laying side at 5-1! She looks a good bet.
In the same race, Cuba La Bella comes out best on weight-adjusted ratings and is also lightly-raced. She made her debut in August last year as a three-year-old and finished the year running midfield in two Listed races, sent off at 12-1 on both occasions.
Cuba La Bella’s dam won a Listed on her eighth start, so took a while to get the hang of things. Her trainer could be in better form but he saddled three winners in April and the price on this one is worth taking.
The favourite Gentiana Bella runs well at this course but she may have been flatted in beating Graffard’s Martial Eagle last time off a featherweight. She made all in a race started by tape.
1.40pm Nantes 2pt win Sasakia 5-1 (generally available) AND 1pt win Cuba La Bella 10-1 (generally available or 11-1 with Sky Bet and William Hill)
Nantes Top Trainers (2021)
1. Henri-Alex Pantall 8 wins (28%)
2. Ludovic Gadbin 4 wins (14%)
3. Philippe Sogorb 3 wins (28%)
4. Nicolas Paysan 3 wins (38%)
5. Joel Boisnard 3 wins (14%)
Nantes Top Jockeys (2021)
1. Alexandre Roussel 5 wins (14%)
2. Damien Boche 4 wins (22%)
3. Mickael Berto 3 wins (27%)
4. Julien Guillochon 3 wins (11%)
5. Hugo Lebouc 3 wins (11%)
How to get there
The 26 Bus can be taken from the St-Nicolas stop in the town centre. It’s 14 stops to the racecourse stop, Champ de Courses.
The drive to the racecourse from the city centre takes 20 minutes in a taxi, factoring in light traffic.
Nantes Top Races
Grand Prix de Nantes
Nantes Tips Archives
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