We are lucky in France that although racing is no longer permitted in and around Paris due to the capital being a zone rouge that Vichy racecourse was able to take on the card and we have 10 interesting races to look forward to.
Starting with one I really like in the first race. There’s also jump racing up north in Dieppe and as we all know by now, I love a jumps card.
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In-form trainer Andrea Marcialis saddled the first two home in Thursdays two-year-old race at Deauville and I think Up and Go has an excellent chance of continuing the trainers winning streak in what looks a very weak race.
Obviously a two-year-old claimer can be a very fragile betting proposition, but I simply cannot see another rival threatening Up and Go who travelled like the winner for a long way before finishing fourth in a much stronger race than this last week.
Marcialis’ new apprentice, Aude Duporte, was on the score-sheet during the week and takes the ride and her 4kg claim should make certain of victory.
I would be shocked if Up and Go was beaten.
A solid performer on the Flat Born To Hold has made a fantastic transition to jumping and looks the most likely winner of this listed novices hurdle. One of four runners in the field trained by the champion trainer François Nicolle, Born To Hold is also the choice of stable jockey Angelo Zuliani.
The four-year-old demolished his rivals when last seen winning at Toulouse in March and he jumped very well that day and travelled very strongly before going on to win easily. Although that was at a much lower grade, Born To Hold should step up and be able to fend off his five rivals. Later on in the card the same trainer/jockey combination should take the Group 3 chase with Hell Boy @ 13.07.
Jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot has been in incredible form since the return of racing and has been riding regular doubles and even trebles. He partners up with trainer Herni-Alex Pantall in the three-year-old’s claimer to take the ride on the interesting Etoile Polaire who was probably thought to have been better than this grade when finishing down the field on her debut at Deauville before finishing a much-better third on her seasonal return.
Having only run twice makes Etoile Polaire one of the least exposed in the field and it is interesting that Pantall has chosen Boudot over a claiming jockey in a race where every kilo counts.
Etoile Polaire is drawn perfectly in stall one and Boudot should have no problem dictating matters from the head of the field as he so often does.
This could be a dark horse.
It was only a low grade race that Sicaire won just before lockdown and the handicapper looks to have reacted lightly, raising his mark by only two kilos. There was a lot of positives to take out of that performance, young jockey Sophie Chuette (back on-board today) rode a confident race and her partner kept on giving all the way to the line.
That was over 3,200m so today’s marathon distance should be no problem, although the quicker ground may be a slight disadvantage. I could easily see Sicaire getting out from stall four and making all in this low-grade event.
*Prices correct at publishing but are subject to change