I was in Paris this time last year to witness over-priced pastries, poor betting facilities, nowhere to purchase a Racing Post – oh, and a filly called Enable winning her consecutive Prix de L’Arc de Triomphes.
This year a similar tale of dissatisfaction (I also backed Sea of Class) will be replaced by a visit to Anfield to see Brendan Rodgers visit his former ‘home’ as a birthday present for my Reds-mad son. I shall enter the ground with a necklace of garlic and a small bottle of holy water – being a devout Blue. And before you ask, no I don’t know how such a discernible family split occurred.
So, this Sunday I shall be wrapped up snugly in my lounge with my choice of food and beverage in front of the TV cheering on my each-way play in Europe’s richest race at 15.05.
Way back in 2010 the mighty Treve, who had a very different running style to Enable, was unable to get to grips with Golden Horn and company as she chased hat-trick history.
Her warm-up race, when she ran away with the Prix Vermeille, suggested that the daughter of Motivator was as good as ever, but time had caught up with her and ultimately the hat-trick was even beyond this monster of a mare.
Enable is the most likely winner of this year’s renewal, but when we have an odds-on favourite in any race, be it a seller or a Group One, I am duty bound under the laws of ‘value’ to look elsewhere.
Japan’s win in the International at York was a real grind and I am not so sure this year’s renewal was up to scratch, while the French Derby form with Sottsass at the head of affairs looks decidedly moderate.
There is no reason why Magical should reverse form with John Gosden’s star, which left me with two in the each-way betting bag, namely Ghaiyyath and the Japanese player FIEREMENT.
The former waltzed home with a Group One in Germany last month and you could view the form in two very different ways. Either he was hugely flattered by having his own way out on front – or he is an absolute monster.
One of two Japanese raiders, Fierement will be looking to banish the amazing defeat of Orfevre in 2012 when he looked in full control a furlong and a half out only to be nabbed by 33/1 shot Solemia in the dying strides.
Funnily enough the selection’s last success in the Grade One Tenno Sho was very much on a par with the form of his predecessor. His one warm up run since that April win was a highly satisfactory third in a Group Two in Sapporo, when he was given a very conservative ride by Christophe Patrice.
What has been evident about this colt is that he stays exceptionally well.
I would expect his partner to have him positioned a deal more handy from his perfect slot in box two.
We tend to be racing snobs when it comes to ‘foreign’ players in such great races. But make no bones about it, this Deep Impact colt is a class act and he can go two places better than his sire did in this race back in 2006. Available at 28/1, I would also be hugely interested in the 14/1 e/w in the ‘without Enable’ market.
There is no place to hide on the rest of the card with five other Group One events and the other odds-on favourite to shoot at has to be Battaash in the 5f Prix de l’Abbaye at 16.30.
On official figures this speed-ball has about 8lbs in hand of is rivals but I cannot understand why Kevin Ryan’s GLASS SLIPPERS is a 16/1 shot. She comes into this race as arguably the most progressive sprinter in the line-up and to add further weight to her claims – she won over course and distance three weeks ago.
*Prices correct at time of publishing