The French turf season gets underway at Saint-Cloud today, with the nine-race card featuring two Listed contests; the Prix Rose de Mai (1.50pm) and the Prix Altipan (3.50pm).
The first of them, a €55,000 contest over 1m2f for three-year-old fillies, is the 2021 starting point for Jerome Reynier’s Stormy Pouss, who won the Listed Prix Delahante at Marseille Borely on her final outing in 2020, though that looked a weak race for the grade.
Simone Brogi’s Al Hawra won on debut at Pau in October and followed up with a 10-length demolition job in class 2 company on heavy ground at Bordeaux. The manner of that performance surprised her trainer, but the daughter of Wootton Bassett is out of a Galileo half-sister to Listed winner City Image and holds the Prix de Diane entry.
The best French form in the race belongs to last year’s Group 3 Prix de Conde runner-up Anasia, who found only subsequent Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud third Makaloun too good at Chantilly in September. The Andre Fabre-trained daughter of Intello is out of a half-sister to Group winning-fillies Sortilege and Soudania. The Fabre team continue in excellent form, with a record of 9-23 so far this year.
However, perhaps the most interesting contender is the Nick Bradley Racing-owned Mystery Angel, representing third-season trainer George Boughey. The Newmarket-based former assistant to Hugo Palmer has made a big impression in the training ranks in a short space of time and continues to fire in the winners, with 14 already on the board this year.
A daughter of Rathbarry Stud’s second-season sire Kodi Bear, she was a dual winner at two and reached the frame on three occasions, including a neck defeat in the Listed Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract in October.
She will be a first runner for Boughey in France, and heads to Saint-Cloud with the benefit of a recent run, when runner-up at Wolverhampton late last month.