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On the eve of the exciting Deauville August festival, neighbouring racecourse Clairefontaine hosts one of their biggest days of the year this Sunday and with over €300,000 prize-money on offer across the nine-race card, it’s sure to be a cracker.
There should be no excuses due to the ground, where the official going is soft and with some nice-sized fields, there is plenty of value to be found. My NAP of the day comes in the feature Prix du Pays d’Auge, one of three Listed races across a fantastic afternoon’s racing and my eye has been drawn to some other unexposed types along the way too.
Two-year-old SILVER LINING could kick off a successful afternoon for local trainer Jean-Claude Rouget if he can build on his debut second place at ParisLongchamp last month. Although he is a son of the blisteringly fast Caravaggio, Silver Lining looked in need of every inch of the 1,300m on his debut and should appreciate the step up to a mile here.
It is difficult to say how good that race was, but on visuals Silver Lining was certainly the eye-catcher. The third placed that day, Soumera, has boosted the form and won in fine style recently at Chantilly. If he can get out on terms from stall nine then Silver Lining should take all the beating.
Chantilly-based trainer Henri Devin is having a much better season this year and looks to have a potentially smart recruit in the shape of INTEGRANT. The son of Frankel looks quirky and already sports blinkers, but he remains unbeaten from two starts and is now pitched into Listed company for the first time.
He holds an entry in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and looked quite talented in his recent success at Saint-Cloud. He’ll certainly to relish this step up in trip and a very interesting runner in what looks quite an open contest.
A model of consistency throughout her career, the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained RAABIHAH can take the feature race of the day, the Listed Prix du Pays d’Auge. The four-year-old was last seen finishing second to the classy Ebaiyra, who was subsequently beaten only a length by Broome at Group One level.
Dropping sharply back in trip to 1,900m, Raabihah, who can be keen in her races will almost certainly make the running and should appreciate this shorter test. The daughter of Sea The Stars faces globetrotter Magny Cours here. Although he is the highest-rated horse in the field, the latter mentioned has been underwhelming this season and looks vulnerable to a progressive sort such as Raabihah.
Coming right in on the ceiling mark of 32kgs for her handicap debut, the Mickael Delzangles-trained FULL OF GRACE is a very tempting proposition in this handicap. A general rule of thumb I like to stick by in handicaps is, ‘what does Stephane Pasquier ride?’. He is the go-to man in these type of races and he has indeed chosen Full Of Grace here.
She is well drawn in stall five and looks sure to appreciate the step up in trip, following some decent efforts when apprentice ridden recently. Providing she has some luck in running, Full Of Grace will run a big race and I would advise punters to get on earlier rather than later, as she looks the type to attract big support.
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