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Not Royal Ascot – Day 4


Saint-Cloud Racecourse in France

Into the closing stages of what feels like a long week. The French horses haven’t really landed a blow at Royal Ascot, although Crown Princesse ran a cracker to be fourth in the Ribblesdale. Yesterday started terribly. If you tip a 4/9 shot, you need to be certain and sadly Le Listrac never travelled like the good thing he looked to be. The winner, Here I Am, is at least unexposed and had the run of the race in front, but the favourite ran 15lbs below his mark and I can only apologise for what was a lazy selection on my part. However, I redeemed myself with a nice win for Sea of Ash at La Teste in the evening and she travelled like the winner from a long way out, so that was a somewhat easier watch.


On to Friday and we have 2 meetings at Saint-Cloud and La Teste. The 3-year-old hurdle at La Teste is perhaps the most interesting race of the day and I look forwards to seeing Sierro Dino (see related articles) make his second start. I think he will reverse the form against With the Stars, but with a couple of nicely bred newcomers in the field, I am happy to just take that as a watching brief and focus on Saint-Cloud instead.


The opening race makes the most appeal as a betting proposition. Austral is the best of those with a rating and he has proven that a mark of 37.5 is a fair reflection of his ability. He should have won last time, and the time before for that matter, but after 3 starts it is hard to write him off so soon and if he runs his race he will be there or there abouts. However, I’m not sure that I would want to take 11/10 about him, for all that this is a modest affair. Instead, I’ll take an each-way bet on Attack Massive at around 7/1. He finished 3rd on his only start in October, chasing home Valimi and American Flag at Deauville. He was no match for those 2, but he did have a difficult run through, dropping to the rear around the bend before coming through runners to finish a clear 3rd. He wasn’t in the same league as the winner, but this was a good run, and he had some subsequent winners and horses rated in the mid-30s in behind him that day. The absence is a concern, but that has been factored into the price and the booking of Mickael Barzalona should only be viewed as a positive. He is a half-brother to the Lincoln winner, Migration, who is trained by David Menuisier. In a smaller field, the wider draw isn’t really a concern and in a race with very few genuine contenders, he makes a lot of each-way appeal.

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