Out of luck at Fontainebleau yesterday, despite my selection Stirling getting to the front from a moderate draw. I have four today at Saint-Cloud which plays host to a fabulous card.
In the opener, the Prix François Mathet, I think we can expect a big run from Andre Fabre’s Jasperoid.
Sure, Jerome Reynier’s Marianachic has won twice already this calendar year and his trainer expects him to be even better on turf, but he faces a formidable opponent today in Jasperoid. Jasperoid stayed well to win a mile maiden over this course last year, beating David Menuisier’s Prix du Jockey Club entered Sir Bob Parker. Jasperoid is bred in the purple, being a Galileo colt out of Duchess of Cambridge Stakes winner Illuminate and is Andre Fabre’s only entry in the Cazoo Derby at this stage.
Ocovango was a similar type from this yard that took in this race before the Group Two Prix Greffulhe – also at this course. They are the only recognised middle distance classic trials over a left handed track, which is a pointer to Epsom. In fact, I couldn’t put readers off from having a small antepost go on Jasperoid for the Derby at 40-1 with bet365 and Unibet this morning.
It is also fascinating to see that Olivier Peslier will seemingly ride Fabre’s top Coolmore horses, ahead of Barzalona and Guyon, in addition to the Juddmontes.
12.58pm Saint-Cloud – 2pt win Jasperoid @ 11/4 (generally available)
The fillies listed feels a bit more trappy but this presents another chance to get on the side of Christophe Ferland’s highly rated filly Bahasa at a decent price after we backed her into a place at a big price last year at Longchamp.
Ferland has saddled four winners from his last six runners and continues to have his string in outstanding form. Bahasa is out of Group One winner Indonésienne and had been rated higher at home than Singforthemoment when they last met – in fact Bahasa had been under consideration for the Prix Marcel Boussac.
Bahasa needs to show more to take this contest but she was given another glowing mention in the Paris Turf yesterday by her trainer and I think she is a very backable price for a filly that is expected to run in the French Classics.
1.33pm Saint-Cloud – 1pt win Bahasa @ 7-1 (generally available)
Race five is a handicap and I like one at a monster price! Soltan Way represents a small yard and he’s been overfaced in four Parisian maidens to date. Those maidens have featured promising black type horses such as Westminster Night and Machete, but today the son of Galiway is making his handicap debut off a mark of 31.0.
Galiways have a better strike rate on turf and although he could be drawn better than 12/14, I thought he finished off his Deauville race well last time at 100-1 and the form of his 7th is already looking reasonable.
Margesson finished a head in front of Soltan Way and placed in a provincial handicap off a 3lb higher mark than Soltan Way’s. The fifth hasn’t been seen since but is a half brother to multiple Group One winner Watch Me. The third and the fourth both placed next time in warmish company. The second placed off 37.5 in a handicap behind handicap blot Pervade. Finally, the winner, Machete, won a listed on his next start.
Soltan Way does need to keep improving but he’s been overlooked in the market and is worth a minor investment.
3.25pm Saint-Cloud – 1pt win Soltan Way @ 25-1 (generally available)
Skalleti is the headline act today and I’m hoping we’ll be able to make even more comparisons between him and Cirrus Des Aigles later, as Cirrus would often be half-cooked for his return to action! Skalleti won this last year but comes here on the possible downgrade having been beaten in the Prix Foy before winning a Group race in Italy. Conditions were softer last year and he will need to be reasonably fit to fight off the challenge of Pretty Tiger today.
Pretty Tiger receives 2kg from Skalleti today and although he was carrying a bit of condition at Cagnes-sur-Mer last time, he was a superb winner, has race fitness on his side and has also won on both his visits to Saint-Cloud.
Dawn Intello is interesting but was beaten on both his 3yo and 4yo returns to action. Meanwhile, Road To Arc is expected to be better over further and will use this as a prep race for a German Group Two.
4.00pm Saint-Cloud – 1.5pt each-way Pretty Tiger @ 9/2 (generally available)