Two bets in France today, starting with one at a big price in the claimer at Saint-Cloud (1.20pm).

Yann Barberot has made a sluggish start to the season, but his horses have been running well for the past couple of weeks (12-23 in the frame), scoring a notable success with Fast Raaj in Group company last week.

He runs Best Step, who showed a fair level of form on turf last term, winning at Craon in November but previously finishing in the placings in competitive handicaps off a mark of 33 (and unlucky not to win off that mark), the form of which would give her outstanding claims here.  Her AW form over the winter looks pretty dreadful, but she got no run at all in handicap company at Chantilly two starts back, where she would surely have finished much closer if getting the gaps.

A return to turf is a definite plus and this looks weak.  She has nothing to find at the weights and at 25-1, looks overpriced.

1.20pm Saint-Cloud – 1pt each-way Best Step @ 25-1 (Skybet, Paddy Power, Bet365, Betfair, Betfred, Boylesports)


One bet on the card at Lion d’Angers, where Thierry Mercier’s Red Duma is worth supporting in the 7f handicap (4.35pm).

In contrast to plenty of these, she knows how to win (8-41 career to date on turf) and is a consistent performer when at around this trip on turf.  She has a win and a second to her name from three starts at this course, is on a good mark on last year’s turf form and has a good draw in stall 2.

She needs to leave a couple of disappointing AW efforts behind her, but this return to grass is a big positive and it is a weak contest, for which she is joint top-weight.

4.35pm Le Lion d’Angers – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Red Duma @ 14-1 (Bet365, Betfred, Boylesports)