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We’ve had a fantastic week of racing at York and now it is time to head across the water to the Hippodrome De Deauville in northern France. Two fine Group One races crown an incredible €1m nine-race card, with the Darley Prix Morny for the two-year-olds and the Prix Jean Romanet for the mares boasting some big names.
Competitive, open fields offer us some great punting opportunities and just like with last week’s 9-1 winner Gregolimo, I will try and highlight some of the value bets, along with my NAP on this huge nine-race card.
Andre Fabre-trained runners have been kind to us recently and although the master trainer is without a serious contender in either Group One this weekend, he could offer us a winner through progressive handicapper SALESMAN.
Benefiting from a drop back in trip and a switch to the polytrack, Salesman was quite impressive in landing a similar race to this two weeks ago and looks ahead of his mark on the artificial surface.
The four-year-old son of Dubawi produced a career best that day, but does look more mature this season. He is really finding his feet in handicaps and despite a hefty hike in the weights for his most recent success, Salesman could still be ahead of the handicapper here and crucially, is drawn on the inside – a fascinating runner.
Taking into account that three-year-old fillies have a strong recent record in the Group One Darley Prix Morny, Joseph O’Brien’s VELOCIDAD needs to be considered, in what looks a seriously open contest. Although it is tough to knock the likes of Armor and Asymmetric in the race, Velocidad comes here unbeaten (albeit weaker form) and could be the dark horse of the field.
Relatively inexperienced, the daughter of Gleneagles still looked a shade green in her two starts to date but she does looks like a real force over today’s six furlong trip. From the family of classy sprinter Strategic Prince, Velocidad has a high cruising speed and took a Group Two at The Curragh in fine style back in June.
She has been given some time to recover since that success and Ryan Moore now takes over from Declan McDonagh on the filly. Velocidad ticks a lot of boxes and if progressing from that Curragh win, then she could be the value selection of the race.
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A fascinating race in store, with Goodwood winner Lady Bowthorpe amongst the eight mares heading to post, but I think that Alain de Royer-Dupre’s EBAIRYA could take all the beating here. The daughter of Distorted Humor has a fine free-going running style and should not fall foul to a slow run race, especially with master tactician Christophe Soumillion on board.
The four-year-old has looked highly progressive this season and her second in place against the colts in the Group One Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud puts her close to the top on figures. A reproduction of that form could see her land a first Group One success here and she is taken to upset Lady Bowthorpe, who has had less time to recover since Goodwood three weeks ago.
Young trainer Charley Rossi’s stable star Tiger Tanaka may not be hitting the heights we seen her hit last season but the upcoming trainer can count on staying star SKAZINO to fly the flag this weekend.
Already a Group Two winner, the five-year-old son of Kendargent has turned a real corner this season and has benefitted from a step up to these staying trips. Some way clear on official ratings (although he has to concede a kg to most of his rivals), this should be a formality for Skazino, in what looks a below-par renewal of the race.
In-form jockey Mickael Barzalona takes the ride and with so few runners in the field, it would not be a surprise to see Skazino cut out the running. The versatile gelding has made the running before and with no questions to answer in terms of stamina, that may be the safest option in a race where he is much the superior animal.