The opening claiming hurdle at Fontainebleau looks very winnable and though Brainstorm is certainly the right favourite, I am taking a chance on Kentaway on his second start over hurdles.
He was a little deliberate over some of his hurdles at Compiegne on his hurdling debut, when fifth behind Brainstorm, but kept on well from the last and he looked like a potential improver with that run under his belt.
Galiway hasn’t had many go hurdling, but Kentaway’s trainer Sylvain Dehez did have another of his progeny win second time up in a claiming hurdle at Compiegne last summer and it is a trend with the yard’s runners to improve markedly on their debut efforts (four-year-old Santo Domingo won second time out at Compiegne earlier this month and there are plenty more examples in the past couple of seasons).
With the exception of the favourite, he has an experience edge on his other four rivals, all of whom are making their hurdling debuts.
10.50am Fontainebleau – 1pt win Kentaway @ 7-1 (Bet365, William Hill, Unibet, 13/2 elsewhere)
Given how the trainer likes to bring his horses along slowly, I am little nervous to put up Robert Collet’s Joaillerie in the last, but she looks too big a price and is worth a small bet today.
She was a bit of an eye-catcher when falling late on here on debut in March, but that was nothing compared to her staying-on fifth here earlier this month, when she came from a long way back and was staying on strongly at the line.
She already looks one to be following in handicap company in due course, but it is far from the strongest of races today and her performance last time out suggests she is more than capable of running to the sort of level required to win this.
2.05pm Fontainebleau – 0.5pt win Joaillerie @ 14-1 (all firms)