The Prix Tantieme at Saint-Cloud is a listed contest but features two legitimate Group One horses at the head of the market.
Midtown unsurprisingly has already been backed into a shade of odds-on with some firms this morning. He has been highly regarded all season and has excellent form to his name, having finished fourth to Palace Pier this summer in the Jacques Le Marois. He was given a penalty kick in September by connections in a conditions race and that form is even looking promising, after the second Fort Payne scored next time out.
In receipt of 2.5kg from his main rival Speak Of The Devil today, he will be tough to beat. We know he can handle conditions, having won here as a juvenile in heavy, but despite all that in his favour, I’d just be slightly concerned that connections will have an eye on 2022 with their colt, given he has some way to go still to build his stallion credentials. Stablemates Parchemin and Pimento may not be as classy as Midtown, but it is interesting that they run in a schooling race today, which suggests to me that Godolphin have plenty of sorting to do before Dubai and the next turf season.
Speak Of The Devil is a 4-1 shot today but is taken to continue the formidable run of stallion Wootton Bassett. A credible sixth in the Prix de la Foret, she was nominated for the Breeders Cup Mile afterwards but perhaps was in danger of missing the cut, so didn’t get on the plane. She hosed up in a similar contest just over two weeks ago over C&D, albeit it was restricted to fillies and mares.
I think she has been underestimated in the markets because she has suffered a few defeats over seven furlongs. She operates better over a mile, trainer Frederic Rossi has his string in good order and she is raiding chilly Paris from her gloriously sunny Marseille base. Rossi is not concerned by the penalty and I think Pasquier will give this 100% before she goes under the Arqana hammer next month. A wider draw than the favourite is a bonus in heavy ground and could tip this in favour of Rossi’s mare.
Elsewhere I think Lupo Nero is interesting at 12-1 having won his last three starts, which includes a weaker renewal of this race last year. He handles heavy conditions and has even been described as a jumps prospect. However, the top two set a tremendous standard here and I’m concerned he has had just one quiet run this year in the provinces.
Finally, if your bookmaker has the option, do look at the three place market instead of each-way. You should be able to do slightly better than 4/5 on the place part of Speak Of The Devil.
1.25pm Saint-Cloud – 1pt each-way Speak Of The Devil @ 4-1 (all bookmakers)