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An Early Season Bargain?

Prix Sicie

3YO Claiming Hurdle - Compiegne 31st March - 3200m

An early season claiming hurdle for the Juveniles could be seen as an opportunity to try and grab a bargain. 7 go to post for this €23000 contest, with just over €11000 to the winner, but the majority of the connections will be hoping for a slightly larger pay day from their 3-year-olds. The pedigrees on show are a bit of a mixed bag, we have a son of the Derby win Wings of Eagles, the Prix du Jockey Club winner, the late Le Havre and even a Futurity Stakes winner, Elm Park. 6 of the runners have hit the track already, with somewhat limited success so far, but it is early days in the majority of their careers. Having looked through their form, I think that I can say with a good degree of confidence that there is unlikely to be a Triumph hurdle horse in this field, but it is entirely not devoid of hope, so I have prepared this preview of the runners as an example of what a potential owner could get for their money.



3-year-old Gelding

Wings of Eagles x See You Me (Siyouni)

David Cottin

Form - 77-5

The first of 2 runners sent out by David Cottin, SEE MY EAGLE is a out af See You Me, a mare who won 2 of her 19 starts on the flat and won over 2500 metres, so he should at least stay the trip. He is her first foal, but the family has a somewhat limited appeal. Wings of Eagles is yet to have a winner over obstacles, whilst the dam sire Siyouni has only had a couple, albeit from a relatively small sample size. His 2 starts on the Flat last year were fairly average, but he made a much better fist of things when 5th in a 3-year-old hurdle at Fontainebleau earlier this month. He was beaten just 8-lengths, with the right horses from some powerful yards ahead of him and if he can build on that effort, he will probably go very close in this field.


3-year-old Gelding

Fly With Me x Shabby Rose (Martaline)

David Cottin

Form - 7

The 2nd of the Cottin team, JEREVIENDRAI is a son of the Prix de Barbeville winner Fly With Me, so his stamina for National Hunt racing is almost guaranteed. His dam didn’t trouble the scorers in 2 runs over hurdles, but she is from a decent jumping family and is a half-sister to the prolific Le Ribardon, who won 19 of his 43 starts over obstacles for Guillaume Macaire. He finished 2-lengths behind his stablemate at Fontainebleau, but he raced more prominently than See My Eagle and ran very green under pressure in the closing stages. That was his first trip to a racecourse so there is every chance that he will improve for that experience and of the yards 2 runners, he is the horse that I prefer with an eye to the future.


3-year-old Gelding

Martaline x La Coquette (Kamsin)

Yannick Fouin

Form - P

A son of Martaline, his dam won twice over hurdles and comes from a very strong national hunt pedigree. She is a half-sister to 3 winners, most notably Prix Du Cadran winner Le Miracle (2007). Yannick Fouin had winners at Auteuil and Nancy over the weekend, so we can definitely say that the yard is at least in from. However, Garcon D’Or pulled up in a 3-year-old hurdle at Compiegne at the start of March. He was held up in rear and never threatened to get involved, but his jumping was slow and novicey, so he is likely to be a longer term project on that evidence.


3-year-old Gelding

Whipper x My Vanessa (Medaaly)

Jean-Luc Pelletan

Form - 777600-0

Supplemented for this race by the Pelletan team, this will be a first start over hurdles for Casey, but he has plenty of experience on his side with 7 starts on the Flat. He has finished no better than 6th in those 7-races and will need to improve over hurdles to play a part, but his pedigree does offer some hope. His dam won just once, but she ran to a fair standard over obstacles, reaching a rating of 56-kilos and finishing 5th in a Listed Chase at Pau in her final season. She has produced 3 winners, but based on the form he has showed on the Flat, Casey is unlikely to add to that unless the hurdles spark his ability and he looks likely to be outpaced when the race unfolds.


3-year-old Gelding

Elm Park x Avec Classe (Johann Quatz)

Butel & Beaunez


I must admit to having a soft spot for Elm Park and it is a shame to see this Group 1 winning Juvenile standing for just €2500. He handled soft ground extremely well and was perhaps unlucky to reach his Classic year at the same time as Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs. Jeu Tenant will be his first runner over obstacles. His dam won just once in her 60 starts and was fairly limited on the Flat (rated 17-kilos), but she has produced a couple of winning progeny, most notably Amssetou, who won 3 of his 11 starts over obstacles. The yard had a winner at Fontainebleau last Friday and in truth, Jeu Tenant would not need to be exceptional to get involved in the finish.


3-year-old Gelding

Quick Martin x Act of Honor (Alhaarth)

David Windrif

Form - 00

11th on both his starts to date (once on the Flat and once over hurdles), SOLEIL DE CANNES is a son of Quick Martin, a son of Martaline who raced as an entire over hurdles. His dam was an 8-race maiden, but she has produced 2 other winning progeny, including Carlain who won 3 times over obstacles. He was beaten 40-lengths at Compiegne and looked in need of the experience, though it should be noted that this is a significant drop in grade for all of the horses who ran in that contest. The Windrif yard have sent out 2 winners from their last 5 runners, including a 4-year-old handicap winner at Auteuil on Sunday, but there will need to be significant improvement from Soleil De Cannes if that stat is to become 3-6.


3-year-old Gelding

Le Havre x Hocquigny (Rajsaman)

Mickael Seror

Form - 0

13th on debut in the 3-year-old hurdle at Compiegne that provides the majority of the form going into this race, he will need to improve on that effort. The Seror team have been struggling for form slightly, with 2 wins from 71 runners so far in 2022, but his pedigree is not without hope for the long term. His dam is an unraced half-sister to the prolific Hong Kong winner Mont Ormel and the pedigree offers hope that he will at least well. The debut looked to be an educational experience and this is likely to be something fairly similar, but he is not entirely devoid of promise.


Which horse would I buy? Tough question to answer. If you’re having a bet in this race, then the obvious 2 to focus on are the David Cottin pair, as the form of their meeting at Fontainebleau would look to be the strongest piece of form on offer and they have showed the most on the track so far. Slight preference would be for JEREVIENDRAI, who probably did too much on debut and looks the most likely to improve on his 2nd start. He is bred to be a decent National Hunt prospect and if I was feeling flush, he is probably the horse that I would take a chance on. SEE MY WINGS has a nice pedigree and could be a dual purpose type, though he has looked relatively one paced and after 3 starts, he doesn’t appear to have taken too many steps forwards since his debut. JEU TENANT is the hardest to weigh up and he won’t need to be anything above average to play a hand in this race, though there is a certain degree of guesswork involved.

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