Tuesdays feature race at Chantilly is the Listed Maurice Caillault (2:50pm UK time) over 1m 1/2f on the All-Weather. 7 go to post for this €27500 prize for the 3-year-olds. This looks to be a fascinating contest and I am in no doubt that there will plenty of winners to come out of this race throughout the season. THE LAUREATE, trained by Mauricio Delcher Sanchez is officially the top rated and given that Pierre-Charles Boudot is booked for the ride, he will no doubt be very popular in the markets. This son of Soldier Hollow was last seen winning a class 2 conditions race here 3 weeks ago, when he was held up into the straight before showing a devastating turn of foot to come around runners and record a 4 length victory. 3rd that day was WILKIE, who reopposes here. Andre Fabres charge has won a maiden over course and distance since that race, but given how easily The Laureate picked him up in the closing stages, I can’t really see how that form can be reversed.
Andre Fabre runs 2 in the race and it would be fair to say that NUBIA could well be his better chance. She is a nice filly by Palace Malice, who is definitely an underestimated siire. She was the winner of a mile maiden here on 19th February, tracking the pace before pulling away on the run in. There is no doubt that she is a talented filly who will win her share of races, but I would still be surprised if she has the speed to match the colts in this line up at such an early stage of her career.
I would also add that I believe the same is true for the other 2 fillies in the line up, WILDWOOD and ASPIRANTE. Wildwood ran to a decent level as a 2 year old and was last seen finishing 3rd in a conditions race at Longchamp in October. That form hasn’t really worked out since and on her first all weather start, after a 131 day absence, she would be entitled to need this and will no doubt improve as the season progresses. Aspirante does have more recent form, winning a class 2 conditions race at Deauville in early January. She dominated the finish at Deauville under Stephane Pasquier, who retains the ride, getting a dream run up the inside before kicking clear with 300 metres to go to record a 6 length victory. The form in behind is nothing to write home about, but she did it well. However, given the likely competition in front and the higher quality of opposition, she is unlikely to get the same breaks in running and there are others in here who would look to have more potential.
TOKYO GOLD, for the Kobayashi team, was a Listed winner at Craon last season and was last seen running a decent race to finish last of 5 in a red hot group 3 at Saint-Cloud in October. He is a nice type and this is a much easier assignment, but as a son of Kendargent, he is bred more for the turf than the all weather and I can’t help but think he will find things happening too quickly for him on his first start for 158 days.
By far the biggest danger to The Laureate is FORT PAYNE. Nicolas Caullery has a very talented individual on his hands and this horse has shown that already in 2021, chasing home Bobbymurphy and Lord Shalaa at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, 2 extremely talented Colts who are destined to compete in the classics later in the year. Those 2 runs represent the best pieces of form on offer in this line up. He is a very strong traveller and the extra furlong should suit, but I do have a slight doubt over his temperament. On both of his 2 starts at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, he loomed up in the perfect position and yet both times, the leader was able to hold him off. The sectional times show that he did quicken when asked, so perhaps I am being overly harsh and he has just been unlucky to bump into 2 very good colts, but there are others in this line up who have shown a tenacious attitude and galloped through the line in a manner that would suggest he may well be worried out of it when it matters.
Drawn in stall 1, The Laureate has the ideal position and in recent weeks, Pierre-Charles Boudot has been magnificent in being able to dictate races on the all weather from the front. As there is no confirmed front runner in this field, he may well be able to go forwards and with the turn of foot The Laureate showed here last time, he will most likely have too much speed once they turn into the home straight.
THE LAUREATE - 1 Point Win