There isn’t a great deal of strength in depth to the opening two maidens at Toulouse this afternoon and while I feel the first race is priced up accurately, I am keen on Pont Mirabeau in the second (3.00pm).
The Didier Guillemin-trained son of Nathaniel was the better fancied of his trainer’s two runners when fourth on debut at Mont-de-Marsan last September, with his stablemate coming home in front. However, he took a nice step forwards when runner-up over 1m2f here in November on his only subsequent run, travelling strongly in rear, but just taking a little too long to hit top stride in the home straight.
His sire’s progeny almost invariably improve with time and it is worth noting he is a full brother to Amorella, who was a Group 2 winner over 1m4f, as well as being a half-brother to Accon, who was third in the German Derby in 2019. It is a strong pedigree, and one that suggests he will be seen to much better effect this year.
Favourite Merveillo hasn’t looked straightforward in two starts to date, but finished strongly last time and has blinkers added for the first time, which looks a sensible move. However, he is very short in the market, whereas Pont Mirabeau looks overpriced.
3.00pm Toulouse – 1pt each-way Pont Mirabeau @ 17/2 (Skybet, 8-1 elsewhere)