Horse racing tips: Jason Kiely’s fine Sunday selections for Auteuil

Al Boum Photo is Jason's prize pick for the French Gold Cup (15:00)

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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

Sunday’s feature at Auteuil is the €820,000 Gr.1 Grand Steeple Chase de Paris, a race that has illuded trainer Willie Mullins, who has supported the race for several seasons now. With arguably his strongest team to date, Mullins is in prime position to take the French Gold Cup and is responsible for my NAP on Sunday’s card. Two other Gr.1 races decorate the afternoon, and with plenty of British and Irish runners in the first, there really is something for everyone on the card. 

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12:58 – GESSKILLE (NB)

Its not often we see a winning UK hunter chaser heading over on a raid to France, but the Oliver Greenhall/Josh Guerriero trained GESSKILLE has plenty of experience at the track and looks perfectly placed to land the first race on the card. Formerly trained in France by François Nicolle, the six-year-old has been well suited by the track in the past and comes into the ‘French Foxhunters’ as the highest rated horse in the field. Ridden by Toby Wynne, who was onboard on his recent success at Ludlow, Gesskille looks like a very savvy purchase by connections and should prove himself a class apart in this contest. 

15:00 – AL BOUM PHOTO (NAP)

French Gold Cup

There is no need to rattle off the achievements of dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner AL BOUM PHOTO, who is teetering on favouritism for Sunday’s feature. Now a ten-year-old, the time is right to experiment with the Mullins trained gelding and he is by-far the classiest horse that the trainer has saddled in the race, to date.

Ridden by Paul Townend, Al Boum Photo should have no issue with the 3m 6f trip and the rain softened ground should only play to his strengths. Reported to have schooled well over the French jumps, Al Boum Photo may prove too strong for his fifteen rivals and could mark his place in history as the first overseas trained winner since Mandarin back in 1962. 

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16:15 – Impressive (EW)

Outside of the first two in the market, Latino Des Isles and La Manigance, the Gr.1 Prix Ferdinand Dufaure looks wide open on paper and could be the perfect race to have an each-way punt. A four-year-old chase is never an easy task, but IMPRESSIVE looked just that in his early career.

Beaten, but running well in defeat recently, I think that the Guillaume Macaire trained gelding will specifically have been targeted for this race by the legendary trainer. The Ferdinand Dufaure is a race that Macaire has harvested over the years, and the recent rain in Paris should only aid the four-year-old’s chances. A stout stayer, Impressive will certainly get the near three-mile trip and should either of the favourites falter, then he could be very interesting. 

16:50 – HAWAI DU BERLAIS (Dark Horse)

The Arnaud Chaille-Chaille trained HAWAI DU BERLAIS looked exceptionally talented when landing a course and distance contest last month. She defeated Gr1. winner Kyrov that day, who re-opposes again on Sunday. Aside from Kyrov, she is clear on ratings and if putting up a similar performance then she should take all the beating here. The only question mark would be the ground and if it were to turn up softer after some forecast rain, then her chances could be hindered. Hawai Du Berlais has looked a Gr.1 winner in the making all season and could be a likely French-trained candidate for the Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Auteuil betting tips:

12:58 – GESSKILLE
15:00 – AL BOUM PHOTO
16:15 – IMPRESSIVE
16:50 – HAWAI DU BERLAIS

*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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