Back to Cagnes-Sur-Mer for another 8-race Flat card on Thursday. The feature race is Race 2, the Class 2 Prix William Alexandre Ruinat for the older horses and that is arguably the most informative race on the card. Skazino, Castle, Sir Polski and Ateem will all have claims to be competing in Pattern company later in the year, but on these terms it is hard to split them so that race will be a watching brief for me. Instead it is the pair of 3-year-old maidens that appeal more. In Race 3, we have the Fillies maiden over 1500m and all eyes will be on Jean-Claude Rouget’s newcomer, Elana. She runs in the colours of the Aga Khan under Christophe Soumillon and comes from the family of the Prix du Moulin winner, Ervedya. With that pedigree and those connections she is likely to be very popular in the market, though she will need to be smart on debut to overhaul the likes of Montmirail and Friends Story who ran well on debut here last month. Under the bracket of “could be anything”, I’ll stay out of that race too but there is a colt in the opener who makes a lot of appeal.
3-year-old Colt trained by Ed Montfort
Ribchester x Trainnah (Pivotal)
ECURIE TYGALY, CHAUVIGNY GLOBAL EQUINE SASU, ECURIE BRILLANTISSIME, ED.MONFORT
A son of Ribchester, a grandson of Chesham winner Whazzat, from the family of Greenham stakes winner James Garfield, on paper FORCHESTER is bred to be smart. He cost €125,000 at the Arqana Deauville sale in 2020 and made his debut for Ed Montfort at Paris Longchamp in June last year. Having broken nicely he settled in behind the early leader Olaf the Big One and looked to be travelling best of all as they left the false straight behind. He wasn’t quite able to match the speed of those around him, which given his pedigree is perhaps not surprising, especially on the soft ground in Paris, but kept on nicely into 4th in the closing stages and the step up to 1,500m should be much more to his liking.
He finished 4th, beaten 5-lengths by Trident. The form of that race has worked out remarkably well in hindsight, with the winner being sold to Hong Kong for big sums over the winter after he went on to finish 2nd in the Prix Morny. The 2nd, Khan is now rated 40.5, the 3rd, Space Force bolted up at the meeting here last Thursday, whilst the 5th, Dirty Guerty has also won since and has a rating of 37.5. Forchester has been given time to develop and grow and should find this race is run to suit, with a decent draw in stall 7. The Montfort team won both divisions of the maiden here last Thursday and could add to that tally with the strong travelling Forchester.