Deauville has come to the rescue of the 10-race card that had been scheduled to take place at Paris-Longchamp on Thursday, with a new government decree announced earlier in the week preventing any French racing taking place in the areas worst-affected by the coronavirus – or so-called ‘red zones’ such as the one Paris finds itself in.
Andre Fabre had the most winners (19 from 98 runners) of any trainer at Deauville in 2019, with Jean-Claude Rouget (14/93) and the locally-based pair of Stephane Wattel (13/100) and Yann Barberot (13/109) being the only others to make it into double figures.
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The early leader in the French trainers’ championship, Frederic Rossi, is also worth following having saddled seven winners since racing resumed last Monday, whilst Andrea Marcialis is most definitely a trainer to watch with her two-year-olds. Indeed, she has two wins and several placings on the board in that division already. She saddles three runners in the opening race at 10.10.
As for the jockeys, Cristian Demuro (29) recorded more winners than any other jockey at Deauville in 2019, though the likes of Mickael Barzalona (27), Maxime Guyon (26) and Theo Bacholet (26) weren’t far behind.
Pierre-Charles Boudot is another star name who arrives in top form, with his 17 winners since racing resumed sending him into a clear lead in the race to take the Cravache d’Or (the award given to the French champion jockey). Maxime Guyon, who is 13 winners behind Boudot in the overall standings, has himself added nine more to his tally over the last 10 days or so.
Third in the current standings is Christophe Soumillon, who looks to hold sound claims of clawing one back when riding Edisa in Thursday’s listed race at Deauville (10:40).
She is entitled to strip fitter for her return in March, when fourth in a Group 3 at Saint-Cloud, and a repeat of the form she showed to finish fifth (beaten two and a quarter lengths) in the Hong Kong Cup on her final three-year-old start, would make her very much the one to beat here according to Timeform ratings.
That Hong Kong effort wasn’t a flash in the pan, either, as she had already shown herself capable of smart form on a couple of other occasions, notably winning the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational Stakes at Belmont and finding only one too good in a Group 2 at Longchamp on her two starts before heading to the Far East.
Another runner to look out for on the card is Ceinture Noire in the fillies’ maiden at 11:10. She was highly tried in four starts as a two-year-old, showing fairly useful form in defeat on a couple of occasions (including in Group 3 company), and this looks a good opportunity for her to belatedly get off the mark now dropping back into a maiden.
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