Best Bet - 4th February 2022
We are approaching the end of the winter season at Pau, with Sundays bumper 12-race card only a few days away. This Friday sees a mixed card of 4 races on the All-weather mixed with 4 over obstacles.
Now we need to take a lot of care when getting involved in the Flat action here as there has been a very significant front running bias on the loop and the going has been officially described as “Slow” in each of the last 2 meetings. If your horse is in the wrong place, it can be all over after 2-furlongs and I have a lot of horses in the tracker that are best forgiven their recent form at Pau as the conditions and the bias have made it hard for them to show their best. Any bets are subsequently smaller stakes than usual to allow for that, but this is the time of year when Jean-Claude Rouget brings forwards a lot of his better 3-year-olds and with a forgiving nature in mind, he has a nice filly in the opener that’s worth considering.
3-year-old Filly - trained by Jean-Claude Rouget
Lucana x Reale (Loup Breton)
A daughter of French 2,000 Guineas winner Lucayan (who made a winning start to his career on the all-weather at Pau in 2011) with several all-weather winners on the dam side of her family, she should definitely appreciate the surface. She made her debut in a turf maiden at Cagnes-Sur-Mer last month when she finished 7th. Although she was beaten by 7-lengths, we can make allowances for that result and she certainly wasn’t given a hard time by Coralie Pacaut when it became clear that she wasn’t going to be involved in the finish. Having been drawn in stall 1, she missed the break by 6-lengths and was ridden away from the start to make up ground. She made steady progress through the first 600-metres to eventually settle into a position 3-lengths behind the leaders. This race was run on Heavy ground and the jockeys on board the leaders were keen to run at a steady tempo with such inexperienced horses and so having quickened, Real Life was then asked to slow drastically once she had recovered her position. To ask a filly to quicken, then slow, then quicken again on heavy ground, on her debut, was too much to ask of her and when the pace eventually lifted in the straight, she wasn’t able to go with them.
That form has not yet been fully tested, though the 2nd Montmirail did win at Cagnes yesterday, but under a hands and heels ride from the 300-metre mark, Real Life kept on nicely to hold her 7th placed finish, running the final 2 furlongs in 12.18 and 11.89, which although not outstanding, was a decent effort on Heavy ground under a gentle ride and she is worth forgiving on her 2nd start. Jean-Bernard Eyquem takes over for this race and she has been well drawn in stall 5, so should be able to get into a prominent position, which is always crucial here. We are taking the risk that she might miss the break again, but it is always worth forgiving a horse who does that on debut. Jean-Claude Rouget has had 12-winners from 44 runners so far in 2022, including 3 at Pau and the market seems to have made too much allowance for her debut effort.
10:55 Pau - Real Life - 0.25 pt WIN (5/1 Bet365)