It’s almost a calm before the Deauville storm this weekend in France and like many tourists at this time of year, I am taking a look at the coastal town of La Teste de Buch.
That’s because there is a fantastic eight race card, including a Listed race for the two-year-old’s at the local racecourse.
A strong NAP and a few decent horses have caught my eye at the racecourse situated almost on the beach at La Teste, and I would advise a small treble (or Trixie) on them.
It is potentially a bit risky selecting a NAP up in an unraced two-year-old maiden, but the vibes at the racecourse have been good surrounding LA JONCTION’s home work and she is certainly coming from a stable that knows how to strike first-time-out.
Didier Guillemin is one of the most underrated trainers in my opinion and it is certain that he has had this race on the radar for La Jonction – a daughter of Kingman – for quite some time.
Her pedigree suggests that anything up to a mile and two furlongs will be the optimum trip in time (her dam Harem Lady was a Group 1 performer at this distance), but with the long home straight at La Teste and the tendency to have truly-run races at this track, the 1,400m should suffice here.
It is also very interesting to note that La Jonction runs in the famous red and yellow silks of powerful owner Pierre Pilarski, who has been established as one of the principal owners both over jumps and in trotting racing over recent years, and is now developing a powerful flat string.
The only negative would have to be her draw in stall nine as the first turn comes up relatively quickly, but if managing to slot in to a good position early on, then I expect La Jonction to go very close.
The big race of the day, the Listed Criterium Du Bequet, looks wide open with six of the nine two-year-old’s declared here having won last-time-out. That being said STARDEVOTE looks very talented and could prove a level above these.
Actually based at La Teste and in the form of his life this season, trainer Christophe Ferland has taken a punt and supplemented Stardevote for this race at a cost of €1,500.
A winner over course and distance only 12 days ago, Stardevote obviously shocked connections with the style of that victory (considering she wasn’t entered originally) and looks like she could re-pay their faith here.
On her debut Stardevote broke quickly from the stalls and took a position towards the head of the field, controlling the race for the first half mile. Once left stride-on in the home straight, she quickly put the race to bed and looked like there was still plenty remaining in reserve.
Although she doesn’t have a sexy pedigree or much experience, Stardevote showed enough class to merit a good run here, especially with jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot taking over at the reins.
TWO HEARTS looks to have gone from strength-to-strength since dropping back in trip and was hugely impressive when slicing through the field at Chantilly last weekend and won with plenty in hand.
Penialised for that success Two Hearts will have to step up once more to take the spoils here, but with an ideal draw in stall one the three-year-old should be able to get a lead into the race before using his impressive turn of speed towards home.
The good ground and 1,200m trip look perfect for the Monfort-trained gelding and connections will be hoping that the 1,000km round trip is worthwhile here in the ‘lucky last’.
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