In the past month, Mickael Barzalona has only ridden at three meetings in the French provinces and when he makes the trip, he usually means business.
On 13 September Barzalona was down in Lyon-Parilly for the ride on Francis-Henri Graffard’s Exigency, a Shalaa filly who flopped second time out in a provincial Listed (she was posted three wide on a tight course).
Exigency returned to winning ways in the Parilly Classe 2, travelling all over a useful field and then beating Sayyal by a couple of lengths. The style of the success was reassuring and the third Anterselva added a small amount of weight to the form in finishing fifth in the Arc weekend sales race.
Exigency is rated just 1lb off the top-rated Lovamour in this Listed today and comes on an upward curve. Exigency is the only juvenile to come here on the back of a win and makes plenty of appeal at 4-1 over an ideal trip of seven furlongs.
Lovamour is well-regarded at home but it concerns me that the last time she was tried over this distance, she had a dream passage on the heels of Oscula in the Prix Six Perfections in August, but emptied out in the last half furlong.
Zelda has attracted plenty of attention this summer as a promising juvenile owned by basketball star Tony Parker. At 5/4, you’d think she would already have black type against this field! In The Prix de la Rochette last time she ran with the choke out and it has to be a serious concern that she is not putting all her energy into racing.
Craig Bennett's Merry Fox Stud homebred ACER ALLEY (GB) springs a surprise in the Gr.3 Prix de la Rochette at @paris_longchamp. The filly was offered at last year's @Tattersalls1766 Book 1 but was retained by the vendor for 180,000gns.pic.twitter.com/nmG56TPsRD
— GBRI (@GBRI_UK) September 5, 2021
The more she races, the keener she becomes. Zelda might sulk at the back of the field again, drawn seven of seven.
Exigency is the bet.
1.33pm Chantilly – 1pt win Exigency @ 4-1 (general)