We get underway at Clairefontaine with a three-year-old maiden over one-mile three furlongs with a field of seven runners. Francis Graffard provides us with one of the two newcomers Moon Palace, and the daughter of Sea the Stars warrants close attention in the betting from a trainer in good recent form.
OMMEEL gets the vote after an encouraging third-place finish on debut at Deauville in February and will appreciate the step-up in trip under jockey Theo Bachelot. Zealandia is another on the shortlist having finished fourth when running on the wrong side of the track at Saint-Cloud. Whaze is another who cannot be ruled out either following his third-place finish earlier this month at Saint-Cloud.
Francois Rohaut has decided to use the headgear for the first time with Shariq, the most experienced runner in the field for this nine-furlong contest. Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s runner was fourth earlier this month at Toulouse and it’s interesting that jockey Christophe Soumillon is booked to ride.
The market will prove the best guide for the chances of newcomer Kavira, while Ultramarine for Jean-Claude Rouget is another to watch following her third-place finish at Deauville last October. LADY PORTIA can be forgiven for a poor run as a beaten favourite at Fontainebleau in early March. Pierre-Charles Boudot remains in the saddle for Francis Graffard and they have an exceptional strike-rate together this year.
A small field of five-runners for this one-mile conditions race with two unbeaten runners, Ziegeld for Godolphin, and Natural Path from the Henri Devin stable. Ziegfeld came from off the pace to win on debut at this venue last July and five-horses have managed to gain success from that race since to boost the form.
Natural Path puts his unbeaten record on the line following a debut success at Moulins last August before following up at Maisons-Laffitte in October. NAT KING has some solid form this year, having finished third behind Frohsim in March and fifth in the Group 3 Prix La Force behind Pao Alto this month – those runs look good enough to see the Carlos Laffon-Parias trained runner win this race.
A much larger field and a drop-down to seven-furlongs in trip for our latest maiden on the Clairefontaine card this Thursday. Bengal Bay is having a first run for new trainer Fabrice Chappet having finished fifth for Willie Hagges at Ascot last September. Andrew Hollinshead decided to race Kloster in listed company on debut when finishing sixth at Longchamp and any market support should be noted.
Merci Pour Tout, Caline and Cap Skirring could all improve further to challenge, but the Andre Fabre trained VINTERN gets the tentative verdict. Alexis Pouchin takes the ride today having already managed to secure a victory for Fabre recently with Queen Of Love. The Juddmonte owned filly by Frankel caught the eye when finishing fifth on debut at Deauville and can challenge in an open race.
The feature Group 3, Prix du Palais-Royal takes centre stage having been transferred from Longchamp with seven declared runners over seven furlongs. Four of the last seven renewals of this race has been won by three-year-olds and Devil for Freddy Head is the only three-year-old runner this year.
The Wertheimer owned horse could improve from his seasonal return in the Prix de Fontainebleau earlier this month and Freddy Head is joint-leading trainer in this race with five previous winners. Christophe Soumillon last won this race in 2005 and takes the ride on leading contender, SPINNING MEMORIES.
The Pascal Bary trained filly was an impressive hands and heels winner of the Prix Maurice Zilber earlier this month and will take the world of beating today. She finished fourth in this race twelve months ago behind Hey Gaman, before landing the Prix de Meautry at Deauville last August – she has the best form and can make amends for last year’s defeat.
Clairefontaine tipping summary:
- All odds correct at time of first publishing.
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