Not everyone will agree with this sentiment, but once we get into April it is time to accept that the Flat racing is going to take centre stage. It is a strange approach taken by many in the racing industry, both professionals and fans alike, that having a liking for both codes put you in the minority. Personally, I can get just as enthused about the early stages of the Flat campaign at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in January as I can about a Novice hurdle at Chepstow in early October. In France there isn’t a clear divide between the Flat and Jumps seasons, with both codes running alongside one another throughout the calendar. However, whilst I love the National meeting at Aintree and I can’t wait to spend countless hours analyzing the 3-year-old hurdles at Auteuil, April is definitely a Flat racing month for me. There are so many Classic trials and intriguing maidens to get stuck into and to form opinions on for the remainder of the season that it must be front and centre. With that in mind, I have been looking through this week’s action and have picked out a few newcomers who look the part on paper and could be worth watching as they make their debuts.
Mont De Soleil (3YO G)
3YO Maiden Chantilly 5th April – Prix Du Bosquet du Thesse
A 3-year-old Gelding by Siyouni, he is a son of a Dubawi mare, Kohinur. She was placed in 3 of her 4 starts for Hugo Palmer in 2017/18 before she finally got her head in front on her French debut for Francis-Henri Graffard at Vittel in July 2018. She ended her race career with several solid mid-division finishes in pattern races and Mont de Soleil is her first foal. The Grand-Dam, Vita Nova, won her first 3 starts and reached a peak rating of 115, peaking with a 2nd placed finish in the Yorkshire Oaks in 2011. With Galileo and Dubawi in his pedigree, it is no surprise to see that Mont de Soleil has not appeared on the track before now and he looks almost certain to develop into a thorough stayer.
Tremblant (3YO C)
3YO Maiden Deauville 6th April – Prix Saint-Lo
Andre Fabre has made a superb start to 2023 and he has unleashed a string of impressive 3-year-olds in maiden races at Deauville and Chantilly in the early months of this year. Tremblant is a Sharmadal Colt and a son of Joyeuse, who was a 108-rated race mare when trained by Lady Cecil in 2013-14. She won on debut in 2013, but she stands out on her page as a very talented Broodmare. Her roster so far includes Maximal, Jovial and Jubiloso (Sir Michael Stoute) who have all rated 100+ in the UK and proved to be pattern class horses. Tremblant is a full brother to Jubiloso and will be her 2ndrunner in France after Badge, who runs for the same connections. Although he will surely stay further in time, it is interesting to see him make his debut over 1,200 meters, which would suggest that he has been showing plenty of speed in his homework.
French Glory Day (3YO C)
3YO Maiden Toulouse 4th April - Prix De La Chambre De Commerce et D'Industrie de Toulouse
I have real soft spot for the Dam of French Glory Day, Marina Piccola, who won 2 of her 6 starts in France, making a winning debut at Maisons-Laffitte in 2012 before going on to win the Listed Prix de Thiberville at Paris Longchamp. This is her 3rd foal by French Fifteen and so far, it is fair to say that the pair have exceeded expectations when mated together. They have produced G1 Grosser Preis Von Berlin winner French King and G3 Prix D’Hedouville winner Mutabahi, who were both trained by Francis-Henri Graffard. With a family that the yard know well, French Glory Day is in the right hands and could be a 3-year-old to note this season.