So with the Arc now been and gone, it’s almost time to turn our attention to the jumps season in France.
The Hippodrome d’Auteuil is the French equivalent to Cheltenham in the UK and the Parisian racecourse serves us a little hors d’oeuvre this Sunday before next weekend’s Grand Steeple Chase de Paris (French Gold Cup).
Jumping in France is without doubt my specialty subject and I would advise anyone who wants to have a nibble on Sunday’s card to combine my first three selections. My ‘each-way’ could be a nice horse for the future and may cause a small surprise.
Without doubt my NAP of the card and a horse that I imagine is going to appear regularly in this slot throughout the season. Four-year-old LE BERRY has produced some fantastic rounds of jumping since turning his attention to chasing and the David Cottin-trained grey can make it a perfect five-from-five over the larger obstacles in the Prix Orcada on Sunday.
This race is essentially a prep run for the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gillois in a couple of weeks and Le Berry should take a lot of beating here, even if this the toughest field he has faced.
I am in the lucky position where I get to see this horse every morning (and very occasionally get to ride him) and he is in superb form. He loves jumping and can take lengths out of his rivals over the fences. I will be having a few quid on this lad.
More commonly known as a trainer of flat horses (particularly pure-bred Arabians) trainer Thomas Fourcy has a rare runner at Auteuil in the shape of OBSESSION. The trainer landed four Group 1’s (Arabs) last weekend and the yard has been in scintillating form in recent weeks.
Obsession was a cosy winner on hurdle debut back in early September and looked like he could shape up into a decent animal over the jumps. Connections look to have found a weak event here for his Parisian debut and a reproduction of his effort at Toulouse should suffice to take this race.
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She may lack in some chasing experience around Auteuil, but LINA REZ looked quite impressive on her debut over the big ones at Compiegne a month ago. The three-year-old comes from the all-conquering yard of Francois Nicolle and although she has the likes of Losange Vert and Baladin De Mesc to beat here, Lina Rez could just keep improving, to take a first success at Auteuil.
She is in the only filly in the field and is in receipt of 2kgs from her six rivals and it would be no shock to see her jockey Angelo Zuliani (champion jockey elect) ride from the front her on this promising daughter of Martaline.
Not the most obvious of selections here and will be freely available at an each-way price all day, but there is a lot to like about the profile of HIRONDEL BOULOISE. Although these are all first-timers over jumps the Hugo Merienne-trained Hirondel Bouloise is the most experienced of the 10-strong field on the flat and has produced some two good placed efforts from three starts in the provinces.
Owing to that, she may just be a bit more streetwise than some of her rivals here. Trainer Merienne has been in tremendous form with his small Chantilly-based string of late and only last week saddled a debutant to finish third at a huge 50/1 in a Group 2 bumper. Could be interesting at a price.
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