12.40pm Chantilly

Evereste stands out here in a 1300m maiden which lacks any sort of real depth. I believe there to be four in this field of 12 who are capable of winning: Evereste, We Get By, Mana Maha, and Leo Vega. Thus, I will form the basis of the pre-race analysis around each of these runners.

Beginning with We Get By, this Mario Baratti representative made his debut over this course and distance back in June; finishing 2nd to Gold Family who was an excellent 4th in Class 1 company at Cagnes recently, and behind Summiter, who looks set for a bold showing at the same track in listed grade tomorrow. Allez Burrows, 3rd behind We Get By on debut, franked the form further when winning a maiden at Deauville in convincing style in December. There he managed to lower the colours of Shallgoda Diamond, a horse who beat Mana Maha and Glory of Rome last time out over this course and distance. The latter pair line up in opposition to We Get By, and Evereste this afternoon.

Returning to We Get By, he was much better than his finishing position suggested on his second outing, after being denied a clear run until late on where he made up significant ground to take 4th. However, as much as his latest run was also luckless, I have the unerring feeling that he will be undone in the finish again on this occasion.

Mana Maha made her debut earlier last month after failing to engage in her previous three entries dating back to July 2020. She made quite the impression over this C&D where persistent snow meant one might have mistaken sunny Chantilly for Saint Moritz!  She made up a tremendous amount of late ground to finish a running-on 2nd from the rear of the field behind Shallgoda Diamond. The latter I had mentioned previously, as on bare collateral form we can mark We Get By ahead of Mana Maha. However, my personal opinion is that Mana Maha is the better horse of this pair, and I believe she’ll be ready to prove that in this event and finish ahead of him.

A small case can be made for the Fabrice Chappet-trained Leo Vega. I get the impression that this horse will want further in time, but cannot get away from her fascinating pedigree. She is the first foal out of talented sprinting mare Vega Sicilia, who herself is out of Prix Vermeille winner, Volvoreta. She certainly looks of each-way interest at her current double figure price. But I feel there will be other days for her to top the podium.

This brings me onto the selection Evereste, who is Andre Fabre’s first runner of the calendar year. He has only sent out two horses in February of the last three seasons, with a 50% strike rate in each year. In fact, his first runner of 2019, and 2020 both returned victorious, and I believe he has laid out a very strong candidate to continue that trend for the third year running.

Evereste is a 3 year old filly, and the second foal out of Shamardal mare, Lady Of Light. The first of which was Luneray who was winless from 5 starts in France before breaking his maiden tag over 1800m at Doha. The second dam, Her Ladyship, was trained by Andre Fabre himself and was an agonising 2nd in the Prix de Diane of 1994. In short, much of Evereste’s pedigree suggests this 1300m trip will be a minimum. However, I would elect to trust the judgement of Andre Fabre on this occasion, and he had entered her in two 1300m events prior to her last run over 1500m, so it is certainly not a rash decision. She has shown an electric turn of foot on both of her previous outings, and her short, choppy action could well see her possess the sufficient ammo to thrive in this particular event.

My personal view is that had Evereste been given a more prominent ride on both of her career runs thus far, she would have won both with relative ease. Pierre-Charles Boudot takes the reins today, and I suspect Mr Fabre to give him the “sit handy” tactics, and hopefully allow for the horse to show a superior turn of foot to her rivals down the outside in the finish. If she is ridden for luck up the rail, and towards the rear of the field again as she has been previously, then she will be in a spot of bother. Having said that, I will not question the judgement of Boudot. He is one of the best judges of pace I have seen in my time, and I am confident he can break the maiden tag of this smart prospect, despite her long term future likely lying over further than this 1300m sprint trip.

Lastly, a mention of her form which has been franked several times and might well end up looking a cut above this field on paper, if indeed it does not already. On debut, she had Donna Anna, and stablemate Drawn To Race in behind. The latter won very convincingly next time out when stepped up to a mile, whereas Donna Anna bolted up at Cagnes the last day under the trusty hands of PC Boudot.

On her second outing, the most notable form reference I believe to be Henry Spiller’s Amy C, who is highly regarded and could be very smart. The 3rd in that race Cythere, also looks particularly useful for Jean-Claude Rouget.

Mana Maha stands out as the main threat, and if she gets first run on Evereste it may well be lights out. But I shall side with the Fabre filly, who I suspect is the best horse in this race by a distance.

2pts win Evereste @ 7/4 (bet365)