Three-year-old maidens outside of Paris at this time of year don’t take a lot of winning and Race 2 at Pornichet looks no different, with the 3-1 second-favourite Mercurio rated the UK equivalent of OR 73.


He’s dipped into claiming company this year, similar to Fleur de Sel, a 14-race maiden rated on par and priced at 7-1.


Francis Graffard’s La Bombasse looks a worthy favourite, with an exquisite pedigree, a couple of runs under her belt and Marie Velon claiming 3lb. At 2-1 though I can look elsewhere at her dam was a middle distance star and this drop to 1,700m today doesn’t promise to suit and may just be down to a lack of opportunities in the provinces for this valuable filly to try to lose her maiden tag.


My best bet of the weekend is Hiver Lover, who caught the eye in 6th over this course and distance last time, a run which came after a long break and a gelding operation. He has a good draw in 6 and I’m sure he’d have been half the price today had he not been caught last time on the home turn behind the stalling 5/2 favourite. He finished with a flourish and if he can take a step forward today, he will give us a great run for our money at 10-1.


3.42pm Pornichet 1pt each-way Hiver Lover @ 10-1 (generally available, 11-1 with William Hill or 12-1 bet365)