Updated: Jan 6
5:45 Lyon La Soie - Joli Prince 0.25 pt. EW (14/1 Bet365)
There is a typical mid-winter feel about this 3-year-old maiden race, but whilst there is a mixture between those running for experience and those trying to pick up a weaker maiden race in the closed season, there is an angle into this market. ATI SHRADEVANI should be more than capable of winning a race at this level. He is a son of Dream Ahead and a half-brother to 3 winners and it is interesting to see that his powerful connections are persisting with him despite the record of 0-7. He has made the frame on 5 of those 7 starts, but at a relatively short price he doesn’t make too much appeal as he seems to lack a turn of foot and is always going to be vulnerable at this trip. An official rating of 34.5 probably flatters him slightly and he is possibly running here instead of handicaps because the Pitart team feel the same way about him.
The highest rated of those with a mark in this lineup is MR GOODNIGHT. He has been brought here by the Montfort yard and arrives on the back of a 6th placed finish at Chantilly 3 weeks ago. That race was run in a time 1s below the course average at Chantilly, which is fairly impressive for a 2-year-old maiden and so we can definitely upgrade the form, though it may also mean that Mr Goodnight was slightly flattered as he ran on past beaten horses in the closing stages. When pricing the race I made him the slight favourite, but there is a nagging doubt about the trip. He is a son of Oasis Dream out of a 7-furlong winning mare and it may be that the quiet ride in rear is the reason he appeared to see out the trip at Chantilly. SIBUYU has also been supplemented for the race and on his early form, when he placed on his first 3 starts, he would be of interest. However, his form has tailed off significantly since and he was beaten fairly in a claimer here last month, so has a lot to find on that evidence.
With doubts over the principles in the market, I think there is an each-way angle to this race with the once raced JOLI PRINCE. Phillipe Decouz horses always seem to improve for their first outing and although he finished last of 8 at Chantilly on his debut in November, there are some signs of encouragement from that to suggest he could make a better fist of things this time. The winner of that race, Elizar, looked to be significantly above average and has since been sold to the US for a considerable sum. JOLI PRINCE settled in behind the leaders and looked to have a good chance as they turned for home, but he was caught in the pocket in the straight and with no racing room. Jules Mobian attempted to take the brave route along the inside rail, which is never ideal at Chantilly and although he did keep on, there wasn’t sufficient room for him to be seen at his best. He was allowed to coast home in the final 150 yards, but was only beaten by 9-lengths, a fact that appears to have been missed in the early market prices. Aurelien Lemaitre takes over the ride and backing all of his rides each-way for the Decouz team does yield a small profit of +£4.60 at an 11% Win strike rate. From stall 1 he should be able to get into a decent position behind the principles and on this fairer track, he could run on into at least a place at a fair price of 14/1