With the temperature in the high 20s in France over the last week or so we have begun to see a huge change in ground conditions and Vichy’s Wednesday card was officially run on ‘good’ ground.
By the end of the day it looked very fast. The top quality nine-race card at Clairefontaine looks like being run on similar ground conditions and as such we should be extra vigilant with our selections.
I’ve picked out three for Clairefontaine and may have spied one over the sticks at Lyon-Parilly too.
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The feature race of the day, it’s the Group Three Prix du Palais-Royal and it looks all about Spinning Memories. Last seen on the first day of racing after lockdown, Spinning Memories was hugely impressive when scooting clear in a Listed race over today’s 1,400m distance.
Christophe Soumillon rode the filly with stacks of confidence that day, holding her up towards the rear before coming with a storming run down the outside to win snuggly. This is a filly with incredible speed and she has even ran over 1,000 in a Group One so it would be no surprise to see her ridden even closer to the pace for this race for a number of reasons.
There is only seven runners so they may have to force the pace a bit more, the ground is a lot faster than the last day and also with only 57.5kgs it should be easier to steal an easy few lengths.
This filly is improving rapidly and we will definitely see her go from strength to strength throughout the season.
Tonnencourt is having his first run of the season but is an incredibly consistent sort, who is having his second start for his talented young trainer Edouard Monfort.
Having already proved that he can run well fresh, he may have the measure off his rivals in what looks a very competitive race. He is one of the highest rated of the 13 declared runners and the booking of Pierre-Charles Boudot is obviously an advantage.
Thursday’s trip of 1,400m is an unknown to-date, but having been placed at Listed level over 1,600m – I am hoping his class should help him out.
As everybody should have noticed by now I am a fan of a female jockey in a handicap/claimer, especially with their extra claim.
The star female rider of 2018 Mickaelle Michel has returned from her winter stint in Japan riding better than ever and finds herself on board Belle Impression in the lucky last. The filly finished third when last seen and although in a slightly better grade her, she should not be dismissed for a place.
Michel’s claim means that Belle Impression will carry only 50kgs (5.5kgs less than any other runner) and can get involved if getting a good position from her wide draw.
Furimix hasnt shown too much abitlity on the Flat but that is not too important in today’s race as they are all of a similar level. The three-year-old goes over jumps for the first time, which should be no problem owing to him being a son of stallion Gemix and Kevin Nabet rides.
Over the last few weeks we have seen plenty of offspring of Gemix passing the post in front for trainer David Cottin. Although Furimix is trained by Richard Chotard, it is interesting to see Cottin’s stable jockey making the journey to Lyon for this ride only.
He should be good enough to make a successful hurdling debut.
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