There could be a Classic contender to come out of the Group One races at Saint-Cloud this afternoon, but they are both tricky betting affairs.
I’m heading to the Group Three Prix Perth for my nap of the day where I strongly fancy Belbek to gain his first win as a three-year-old. The 2022 Lagadere winner had been touted for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in spring but has clearly taken a few runs to regain something like the form he showed last year. I wouldn’t normally be in a rush to back a type that, on paper, could be considered as having regressed from two to three, but his last two runs put him in with a big chance this afternoon.
Two starts back he finished fastest of all (32″87 for the final 600m) in a bunch for the places in the Prix du Moulin, a race which now looks stronger than many would have thought at the time, with both Big Rock and Kelina both winning Group One races this month. We then saw Belbek on Arc Weekend in the Group Two Prix Daniel Wildenstein, where he caught the eye again. He travelled strongly and although he wouldn’t have beaten Poker Face, he was denied a run by Isaac Shelby at a crucial moment.
Connections spoke of retirement after that race but the fact they are rolling the dice again with Belbek today indicates that they still have unfinished business.
Stablemate Tribalist loves this C&D but has been off for four months and carries a 1kg penalty. He is the right favourite but some of his best performances here have come on faster ground where he’s been able to boss matters from a low draw.
The Revenant will be primed to run his best today is what is said to be his retirement race. The booking of Ryan Moore catches the eye but he has a fair bit to find with the selection on weight adjusted ratings, so I can easily pass him over at under half Belbek’s odds.
There is a potential concern with Belbek that his best form has come at Longchamp, but I think that is probably circumstantial. He began as a speedster last year, Chantilly, and then followed the Newmarket route via Deauville. He is 1-1 at Saint-Cloud having won his maiden here and he acts well with cut in the ground. It’s hard to see him out of the three this afternoon.
2.50pm Saint-Cloud – 2pts each-way Belbek @ 13/2 (bet365, Betfair Sportsbook, Paddy Power, Bet UK or 11/2 4 places with Sky Bet, or 6-1 available elsewhere)