AFTER a sensational Saturday, Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) is back looking at Sunday’s French racing.
15:45 Chantilly | At The Races
A one mile Group 1 for three year old colts and fillies here and it’s attracted a field of eight. It’s a good line up but not a vintage renewal of the Prix Jean Prat with only one runner (Full Mast) having won at Group 1 level previously.
As he’s the only Group 1 winner in the field we’ll start by having a look at him. He won the Grand Criterium on Arc day last season, where he was awarded the race somewhat controversially when first past the post Gleneagles was disqualified. Gleneagles has gone on to prove himself as a top class miler since then and that is solid form.
He has met today’s rival Territories twice and has beaten him on both occasions and seems to have the beating of him. He has run once this season coming second in a Group 3 over tomorrow’s course and distance. This was a promising enough return as he was conceding weight to the winner who is a solid group race performer, but it didn’t set the pulse racing. Though he will have improved for this outing I think he is vulnerable here and I’m taking him on.
His old rival Territories has run twice this season winning a Longchamp Group 3 in good style before coming second in the 2000 Guineas behind Gleneagles. He seems to have improved from two to three and he can go into his third meeting with Full Mast with real confidence that he can reverse the form.
I can understand why he is favourite here as there are less question marks about his well-being and his form this season is much stronger than Full Masts, but I’m taking him on as well with a horse whom he finished ahead of at Newmarket.
Dutch Connection finished 7th in the 2000 Guineas, five lengths behind Territories but I’m sure it will be closer this time. Territories had the benefit of a run behind him before the Guineas where it was Dutch Connections seasonal debut. After that race he went to Royal Ascot where he won a decent looking Jersey Stakes conceding weight to most of the field. He won that in the style of a horse going places and on the basis of that performance he has very little to find with the French pair.
He progressed with every start last season and has done the same this season. He’s never won over a mile before, but this doesn’t concern me. He is bred to get a mile, but French Group 1 races tend to develop in to sprints, and providing he settles early on I feel that his tactical speed late on could prove to be a real asset. At 6/1 I see him as a great each way bet as his form is stronger than anything at bigger prices and he can see Charlie Hills claim his second Group 1 win in 24 hours!
15:45 Chantilly – Dutch Connection each way (6/1 Skybet)