Auteuil warmed us up nicely with a great card of racing last week and the Parisian track plays host to the re-scheduled (from the springtime) €570,000 Grand Steeple Chase de Paris this Sunday. It’s a wide open race this year with the first six in the betting holding a fighting chance. I like a couple across the card and am hugely excited to see my NAP back on the track this weekend. No each-way play this week but a treble could be the ticket to a big pay-day.
Trainer Gabriel Leenders has been in fine form this year with his three-year olds, none more so than with rising star Heros D’Ainey. The juvenile put in a superb performance when landing a Listed event here in May (on his debut!) and has been the talking horse of the summer in France. Judging on that run it is incredibly hard to oppose him and he has already received ante-post quotes for next year’s Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
He should be ridden close to the pace like the last time and if he jumps with the same fluidity and effectiveness as he did in the spring he shouldn’t have any issues in taking this race. The fact that he’s already shown such aptitude around Auteuil will be a huge advantage and the forever drying ground shouldn’t trouble him. I, like the connections, am incredibly excited to see this animal and will be terribly disappointed were he to be beaten here.
One of the most experienced of the field and certainly one that we know everything about it this stage of his career. Bipolare is looking for his first Grand Steeple Chase de Paris success here and although he has run with huge credit in this event in the past, this year’s race looks particularly open and may be the golden year for the glorious grey.
Bipolaire’s trainer Francois Nicolle has announced publicly that judging by his morning work, this could be Bipolaire’s race and with the yard in unstoppable form he is very difficult to oppose. Bipolaire is a three-time Grade 1 winner here at Auteuil and both the distance and the ground shouldn’t be a problem. Bipolaire will be reunited with his loyal partner Gaetan Masure who returns after injury and knows the horse better than anyone.
The main threat could be stablemate Figuero, but five-year-old’s have not got a great record in this race and he may need to mature again to take the huge first place pot. In any case this is the showpiece of the weekend and Bipolaire is sure to give his punters a big run for their money.
Sophie Leech has had a fantastic time in France this season and has landed some big prizes in their three-month stint across the channel. The ultra-consistent Vaniteux has been knocking on the door all summer without getting his head in front but may have the perfect opportunity here The seven-year-old is excellently placed here to take advantage of what looks a really weak field and a reproduction of his second place over this course on his penultimate start should be sufficient to take this.
His partner, James Reveley, who knows him well will no doubt give him another patient ride and try to come with a strong run at the finish, just like he has done in his last few runs.
Tips for Auteuil on Sunday
- Mick Fitzgerald’s 10 to follow for the new jumps season
- Brendan Duke’s 4 to fly at Cork and Naas on Sunday
- Ruby Walsh’s 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season
- Paul Jacobs’ 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season