STAR PREVIEW: Vichy Friday

Racing from Vichy & Dieppe
Live on Sky Sports Racing HD from 10:00am
First Race: Prix des Erables (Claimer) (2yo) (Turf) (2yo) (UK Off Time: 10:15am)

Another disappointing result as Edisa, who initially shaped as if she was going to launch a big challenge down the outside, faded in the Deauville listed contest yesterday. The winner Think Of Me showed a tremendous attitude to get the better of Endorphine and Amarena, and staying prizes down the line should see all three involved in the finish.

The opening Prix des Nouveautes went the way of Andre Marcalis, who had the first two home with Feelie Win running out a comfortable winner over Six Pennies. That was yet another winner for the yard with their two year olds and it won’t be long before they have a fair following if they continue in the same vein. Cherie Amour, a valuable purchase at the Arqana August Yearling sales last year, didn’t land much of a blow but could be reasonably expected to improve from that run for Andre Fabre, perhaps going up in distance.

The Prix de Vernuil saw a close finish with plenty involved at the line. Desobeissance deserves credit for showing a fine attitude to grab victory but the form may not be especially strong given that the main contenders all finished in a heap – mind, the top four will all have their chances at winning races in the future.

Over in America, the Maiden Special Weight last evening threw up a deeply impressive winner in the shape of Flying Aletha, who smashed Lima – a previous second and the 2/5 on course favourite – by five lengths in comfortable style. She made the lead early and always looked in control before eventually powering down the home straight in the style of a horse who should be aiming at better company in the future, and the fact she’s won despite a tough year for Ward given the disruption to his training operation this year.

The juvenile theme continues back in Vichy, with the Prix des Erables kicking off the card at 10.15. It’s the first occasion upon which we’ll see some juveniles with experience face newcomers, as Up and Go (fourth) and Copin D’Abord (seventh) and White Candle (tenth) come here from the Prix du Viaduc de Commelles at Chantilly, whilst Shi Fu Mi, seventh at Marseille Pont-de-Vivaux on the Polytrack first time up, also lines up.

The market doesn’t like Golden Dream or Thousand Dreams much at this stage and we should learn a lot in the hour leading upto the off.

The opener is followed by the Prix de la Grotte aux Cristaux (10.45) where Eernesto De La Cruz could have found a decent opportunity. He ran a very respectable race when fourth in a strong looking conditions event at Chantilly won by the exciting Hurricane Ivor and a repeat of that effort would give him a favourite’s chance here (which is obvious, as he heads the market currently). He was behind Be Ahead in a listed event at Chantilly but that wasn’t his running and a repeat of his Chantilly effort will give him a big shout in this event. The booking of Christophe Soumillon for Mirage Hero suggests he’s a major threat.

We had disappointment with an Aga Khan horse yesterday but he could have the answer for the Prix du Rocher de Bouligny (1.24) in the shape of Zarkallani. He fluffed his lines a couple of times at the top level but he was an impressive winner of Prix de la Queue du Renard at Chantilly on the all-weather on his 4yo debut when Half Light was well beaten and he could go onto decent things this year, so he’s taken to win this strong contest for the track.

Later on, many eyes will be on Soft Light in the Prix Biloe Monte-Carlo – Automobiles (1.58). Last seen sixth in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, he could be one of the more successful older horses this season but plenty have had difficulty on their return and he’s surely a watching brief.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Eernesto De La Cruz 1 pt win in 10.45 Vichy 1 pt at SP
BACK Zarkallani 1 pt win in in 1.24 Vichy 1 pt at SP

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 166.26 points
(Excluding Cheltenham 2021 antepost, Premier League ante-post, Six Nations Outright, Six Nations Specials, Cameron Brown Football Bets)