Welcome back to Week Two of the French Racing Diary after a wonderfully-profitable week for our columns.

Our weekly diary will take a look at some of the major stories in French Racing and include some light-hearted takes on what we’ve either seen or heard recently.


Holiday sun

With Mickael Barzalona and Maxime Guyon both currently locked on 172 wins for the year, the race for the Cravache d’Or in a year without Pierre-Charles Boudot could have been a classic. What’s not to love about top jockeys trying to outwit each other in a basement grade handicap on the Pau polytrack?

Alas, Guyon has thrown in the towel and will soon be taking holidays until early January.

Olivier Peslier is another name we won’t see for a while. Having bagged a rare treble at Fontainebleau last week, his last ride on French soil this year was a winning one on Rock Blanc in the Deauville listed. He is expected to go to Saudi Arabia.


Missing races

A fair flat card at Le Lion d’Angers was cut in half last Saturday morning. The second half of the card was only opened to internet bets in France, which meant the UK bookmakers stopped carrying it too. It’s all in favour of giving bettors in France greater spacing of races through the course of the wagering day.

Purists were upset that it meant losing one of the best juvenile contests in the West, the Prix Kerautem. Henri-Alex Pantall likes his winner Anthorus and ran future Group One scorer French King in the same race in 2017.


New German Derby favourite

Germany must be delighted with their Arc win last month and there was more reason for optimism as Torquator Tasso’s half-brother Tunnes won the final Group race of the European calendar just over a week ago.

Racebets go 14/1 Tunnes and 24/1 Ariolo for the German Derby next summer. Surely on this evidence the runner-up makes more appeal!


Concern for Steelhammer

Readers of Henk Grewe’s website who translate the news pieces into English will have been worried to see ‘STEELHAMMER EXECUTED’ last Friday. Fear not, the maiden colt was just ‘ELIMINATED’ from his race at Angers on Saturday!


Hot return for Pimento

A pound separated them on ratings, but Pimento was an easy winner of a schooling race against stablemate Parchemin at Saint-Cloud last week. It didn’t help (the presumed favourite) Parchemin that his rider lost an iron!

Impossible to take much from this, but Pimento should be up to winning if he takes up an entry at the end of this week. In both Classe 2 contests he is on the default weight, as the penalties are based on winnings since the summer.


RIP So French

Desperately sad to learn that dual Grand Steeple winner So French died at Bordeaux yesterday. Many French bettors on Twitter have labelled it as disgraceful that he was even racing at the age of 10. I must say I don’t agree – he’s been winning, and therefore competitive, albeit well below Grade One level. It’s clear from this Macaire clip last year that he had enormous respect for his champion. Nobody will be hurting more this week.