STAR PREVIEW Weds: Chantilly

Racing from Chantilly
Live on Sky Sports Racing HD from 9:45am
First Race: Prix du Belvedere (Conditions) (3yo Colts & Geldings) (Turf) (3yo) (UK Off Time: 10:00am)

Yesterday’s card at Saint-Cloud was a purist’s dream of promising horses showing their abilities on a racecourse for the first time, with the Prix Kefalin (for juveniles), the Prix Kashmir II (for unraced 3yo colts and geldings over a mile), and the Prix Praline (for unraced 3yo fillies over a mile) all being hugely intriguing contests.

The market was a strong guide to the Kefalin, with second favourite Sealiway coming with an impressive run down the outside right at the same time that favourite Xaario was being squashed in-between eventual third Choco Charly and fourth Passion My Love after being unable to pull through to the outside two furlongs from home. Sealiway was an impressive winner, but Xaario would have been entitled to get at least a length closer and the pair looked impressive, with a fair amount of distance between them and the rest of the field.

The Kashmir II maiden promised much on paper and is delivered a taking winner in the shape of Hurricane Cloud, a well backed half-brother to Gr3 winner Goken out of Frankel. He showed a good attitude and a smart turn of foot to get the better of Kingman colt Westeros after the two had burned off Whaze (New Approach) who was in a sustained battle with the pair but would eventually be beaten three lengths into third.

There was a shock in the Praline, as Baute Pour Toi came with a rattling late run to score at 22/1 and get the better of Gellhorn and Via Liguiria for Thomas Trullier and Nicolas Clement. Her closing effort can probably be marked up given that Gellhorn and Via Liguria got first run on her whilst she had a barging match with Metaphore (eventually eighth) before getting clear air. It doesn’t take a genius to work this out, but the first two shaped as being very useful.

Out one selection of the day was a complete blowout, as Enzel fell asleep in the early stages of the Tourbillion Stakes (2.00), having already lost 4-5 lengths at the start. It seems as if Christophe Soumillion had planned to drop him in, but he raced just as slowly as he did on his debut and had lost nearly 10 lengths before they turned into the straight. Enzel would catch up to the rear of the field, and Soumillon tried to raise some sort of effort from him, but the race was gone and he was wisely saved for another day. Port Guillaume another horse to go well from the front, eventually proved to be an impressive winner, holding off Gold Trip, Dawn Intello and Mare Australis with a deal of authority, and whilst all hold some sort of promise going forward, it would be no surprise if he could mix in pattern class company.

Another front running ride – and an excellent one from Hugo Journiac – saw Irska come home in front in the Durban Stakes half an hour later. Whilst Irska was well placed there, she was always holding off the more favoured pair of Vienne and Gemcutter, with a handy gap to the race fit Anobar in fourth. That was only Irska’s second run and she had more in hand than the winning margin suggested – she deserves a chance in pattern company.

Today we focus on Deauville, which is another card that mixes promise and proven potential.

The feature race is the Prix Texanita (1.12), a 6-furlong sprint for 3 year olds which has drawn a competitive field. Race fitness has – for obvious reasons – been worth its weight in gold at all levels in the few fixtures we’ve had so far and that makes Wanaway, a gritty winner of the Prix Ronde de Nuit here in March (Abama second and closing at the line, My Love’s Passion third), of obvious interest. The biggest worry for her backers would be the change in ground conditions since then – her two wins and all his best efforts have come on heavy ground, and whilst the ground is listed as soft at the time of writing, conditions were set to be dry both on Tuesday and overnight.

It’s entirely possible that the ground will be riding better than we’ve seen at either Paris-Longchamp on Monday (where the times suggested that the ground was not as slow as the official description) or indeed Saint-Cloud yesterday, which would be a sharp change in the going from the Nuit, but his race fitness will be a big asset and he’s not had a chance to show his sprinting form (was dropped in trip after finishing fourth over a mile here) on a more decent surface.

One of the chief threats on form would be Wooded, who was a smart winner at Deauville last summer before just being caught on the line by Kenway in the Prix La Rochette and not being able to make much of an input when third in the Prix Thomas Bryon (held up in rear). The way he raced in the Rochette would suggest that he’ll have the speed for 6 furlongs if taking a positive role – and he’s sure to be on the premises. Watch out for Alocasia, who found only Tropbeau too good in the Prix Six Perfections before then taking the Prix Sarca last season, in a very competitive race.

An early start is recommended for the Prix du Belvedere (10.00) where the wide margin Listed winner Celestin makes his reappearance for Fabrice Chappet and Christophe Soumillon. His chief rival on paper is Moshadid, who beat subsequent winner The Shard here in March, but defeat would be a disappointment for many. It’s interesting to see Andre Fabre put in Winwood – a well beaten sixth on his debut over 6f and dual winner Coronado Beach, entered in the Escoville earlier this week, should also help to underline the form.

Then it’s onto the Prix de la Pistole (10.30) where the market foresees a clash between dual winner Simeen and the Marcel Boussac fourth Bionic Woman. It’s a watching brief from here with Jessely not to be underestimated despite disappointing at Group 2 level when last seen as a juvenile. Private Romance (fourth in listed company on reappearance) Twelve Bros (handicap winner at Saint-Cloud last time out) and Golden Crown (won on debut, disappointment here over 6f on AW in March) round out an intriguing field.

Notebooks will be out for the Prix de la Reine Blanche (11.00, a maiden for unraced 2yo Fillies) and the Prix d’Orgemont (11.30, a maiden for unraced 2yo Colts & Geldings) whilst there may not be as much to be learned from the Prix du Viaduc de Commelles (12.00, juvenile claimer) at face value.

We certainly will learn a lot from the Prix des Veneurs (12.30) where many eyes will be on Hurricane Ivor, who won on debut here (5 furlongs) but seven and a half lengths on the bridle. He was sent off 4/5 for the Prix Du Bois over the same course and distance but never went a yard there, finishing seventh with no excuse for what cannot have been his true form.

He still retains a huge amount of potential, although the form of his debut win has worked out poorly (even for the grade) and it must be taken on trust that he’s ready to roll, for all that 11/4 is tempting. Jean-Claude Rouget’s Ayaad, who came with a late rattle to win at Deauville (AW) in November with two subsequent winners behind, is another big player if he’s fine with the turf whilst there’s been many a good word written about Marbling, who was a close second on her debut at Compiegne when she drifted across three quarters of the track in the last furlong. All in all, we ought to learn a great deal about many a promising horse once again.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Wanaway 1 pt win in 13.12 Chantilly at 4/1

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 177.53 points
(Excluding Cheltenham 2021 antepost, Premier League ante-post, Six Nations Outright, Six Nations Specials, Cameron Brown Football Bets)