October is coming to an end and as such we sign off with the final Group One of the year in France, the Prix Royal Oak at ParisLongchamp on Sunday afternoon. Ground conditions will once again be incredibly gruelling as the rain keeps pouring in Paris.
My NAP is a filly with a huge future and I really love my each-way selection, I put her up in here on Arc weekend and I can’t wait to see her again.
She will need to perform better than her only previous effort in a Group One (8th in Prix Vermeille, good ground) but VALIA looked something special when winning easily on her first attempt at 3,000m three weeks ago. The daughter of Sea The Stars is the first foal out of the top-class Veda, who was also trained by Valia’s trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre and the Chantilly trainer has taken this race twice in the last five years.
Valia can boost the strong record of three-years-olds to win this marathon and she gets weight off the entire field. She would be suited by a strong pace and she showed a lightening turn of foot to win last-time-out under a hands and heels ride from Christophe Soumillon. Princess Zoe is a major player, along with 2018 winner Holdasigreen, but Valia has been highly touted by her connections and considering her love for heavy ground, she could be very difficult to beat here.
A horse that absolutely loves this course and especially the 1,400m trip he runs over today. DUHAIL ran a blinder on Arc weekend under a huge weight and was probably unlucky to bump into a handicap ‘good thing’ in True Romance.
Andre Fabre was obviously happy enough with that result as he pitches Duhail back in under a heavy weight again here. The ground will not be an issue and if he can get closer to the pace from a good draw in stall four, then he should be heavily involved at the finish.
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This looks a weaker race than the one he contested three-weeks-ago and I would be surprised if anyone other than Sestilo Jet or Duhail, who are both solid Group performers, won this.
I put her up on Arc weekend and she looked a lot better than the handicap company she was running in and I think EUDAIMONIA can prove this as she steps up both in class and distance in the Group Two Prix du Conseil de Paris. Undefeated since her switch to very-talented young trainer Edouard Monfort, Eudaimonia can benefit from a probable strong pace here.
She was ridden ‘off’ out the back last-time-out and produced a very impressive run to win by five lengths. The ground is no issue and although she comes into this as the lowest rated in the field, Eudaimonia is very unexposed and could be one of those tough, improving mares who merits huge respect.
Tips for French racing on Sunday
- Ruby Walsh’s Sunday selections from the UK, Ireland and France
- Brendan Duke’s 4 To Fly At Galway And Wexford On Sunday
- Paul Jacobs’ Super Sunday Best Bets At Aintree & Wincanton