Not only is there some fantastic action from the Curragh this weekend but across the water in France the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud takes centre stage on a huge day’s racing in Paris.
I have picked out a few horses that I think should hit the target (including one that has featured multiple times in here) and I will be disappointed in at least two of them don’t go in. A nice each-way selection too to round off an extremely exciting card.
The Andre Fabre colt drops back down in class after running a fine race in the French Guineas last time out where he was the choice of Pierre-Charles Boudot. That race was Arapaho’s first attempt at the mile – he travelled beautifully when tucked in behind the field and was only caught for a bit of class when asked to quicken inside the final furlong.
With the step up in distance posing no issue that day it is probably fair to say that Arapaho fell slightly short of top-flight but should feel right back at home here at listed level.
A two kilo weight penalty(for his previous listed success) and drawn widest in stall nine are only very slight negatives and I expect Arapaho to be showing these a clean pair of hooves inside the final furlong at a racecourse where he has already been successful.
We all know how brave he is at this stage but the seven-year-old Way To Paris turned out a career best effort when going down fighting to the mighty Sottsass last time out. The Grand Prix de Saint Cloud looks the perfect opportunity for the stable star of Andrea Marcialis to take a long overdue Group One success. The twelve furlong distance is optimal for the grey and a field of five means that jockey PC Boudot can employ his usual hold up tactics without having to worry too much about in terms of traffic problems.
Ziyad should force a good pace but I think we will see a good duel between Old Persian and Way To Paris inside the final few hundred yards. Although Old Persian probably has the match of Way To Paris strictly on form the former hasn’t run for almost eight months and could lack match fitness, thus leaving victory and a first Group One to Way To Paris.
There was plenty of support for Lord Wellington before he finished fourth on his handicap debut a month ago at Deauville and as there are four places offered in this handicap I think punters would be crazy not to get stuck in again. Trainer Yann Barberot has a good record in these big handicaps and the booking of Stephane Pasquier is a huge positive.
I am hoping the drop back to a mile will make the difference for Lord Wellington who looked like the winner for a long way before getting caught close home on that handicap debut.
She is possibly a little less ‘high profile’ than some of her rivals in this fillies Listed race but Silver Schnok has done little wrong in her four career starts to date. Trained by the incredibly in-form yard of Carlos and Yann Lerner Silver Schnok landed a conditions race at Nantes in impressive style last time out.
Although this race is a marked step up in class there is plenty to like about the daughter of Olympic Glory. Drawn in stall one it would be no surprise to see her make all the running and could go close in a race featuring many unproven rivals. She is a horse I have had in the notebook since her maiden win at the backend of last season and could run better than her price here.
A Boudot double is strongly advised – I expect both Arapaho and Way To Paris to score and the double could pay quite nicely.