Horse Racing Tips: 4 to score at Auteuil on Saturday

Our tipster Jason Kiely delivers his verdict from across the Channel.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

An afternoon full of quality, Saturdays seven-race-card at Auteuil boasts the Group 1 Grand Course de Haies or ‘French Champion Hurdle’, the feature race of the meeting. International runners have been frequent at the meeting, with Willie Mullins taking the French Champion Hurdle on five separate occasions, along with the Paul Nicholls trained P’tit Zig in 2016 and Nicky Henderson’s L’Ami Serge in 2017.

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Mullins runs three in the feature this year and there is also the Rachael Blackmore factor, as she takes up two rides on the card. It looks an interesting afternoon of punting, and aside from my NAP, I have chosen some value selections for the afternoon.

16:00 Hermes Baie (NAP)

I think it will take an exceptional horse to beat Willie Mullins’ Klassical Dream in Saturday’s French Champion Hurdle, however, the five-year-old HERMES BAIE looks just that! A protégé of French champion trainer François Nicolle, Hermes Baie is already a dual Group 1 winner and looked to relish the step up to 4,300m last time out.

Ridden by Bertrand Lestrade, Hermes Baie got the better of Group 1 winners l’Autonomie and Theleme (reoppose here) and if producing the same sort of performance, the gelding could slay his biggest challenger to date, Klassical Dream. I think he is the best hurdler in France and with the contest likely to be run at a ferocious pace, Hermes Baie’s hold up tactics may make the difference here, in a race which also includes Tornado Flyer and Kemboy for the Mullins team.

12:58 Invincible Nao (NB)

The first of Rachael Blackmore’s two mounts, Ispano Star looks to have his work cut out, with the Emmanuel Clayeux trained INVINCIBLE NAO a confident selection to take the first race on the card. The grey daughter of Gris De Gris was an impressive nine length on her second start over hurdles and in a race that looks open to an improver.

With her straightforward running style and swift jumping Invincible Nao looks capable of notching up her second course success, especially as her jockey Natalie Desoutter’s claim mean that the filly will carry 2kg’s less than her rivals, despite already being a winner. I would be shocked to see this filly finish off the podium and fully expect her to go close. She looks a class above this grade.

14:50 Instit (each way)

Willie Mullins is commonly regarded as one of the best in the business, and he looks to have spotted an ideal opportunity for four-year-old filly INSTIT. She may not win, but the daughter of Saint Des Saints made a winning debut over the French-style hurdles and sneaks into this Listed contest without any penalty.

The favourite, Hotesse Du Chenet, looks untouchable but some of the other higher rated fillies have questions to answer after a lackluster winter. With only nine runners going to post. Instit may be capable of sneaking a place at nice odds and in doing so, would boost her potential value as a broodmare for her owners, the Brutten Street Partnership.

14:15 Zertakt

Plying his trade around the provincial tracks this spring, the Guillaume Macaire and Hector de Lageneste-trained ZERTAKT has always looked like a switch to a more conventional layout, such as Auteuil would suit. The four-year-old has won two of his last three starts and seemed to be too big to handle the track at Toulouse last time out.

Capable of making the running, I think we will see the huge gelding in a better light now that he is switched to Auteuil and even though this is a Listed contest, Zertakt looks capable of at least a place, at what should be quite a reasonable SP.

Saturday Auteuil tips

16:00 Hermes Baie (NAP)
12:58 Invincible Nao (NB)
14:50 Instit (each way)
14:15 Zertakt

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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