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Prix Tourbillon


Saint Aquilin winning a race at Toulouse, France

It’s a shame that we only have 4-runners going to post for this year's Prix Tourbillon. Even the €35,000 in the pot hasn’t tempted a full field but there is one simple reason for that, the ground. It is as deep as I can remember in Northern France, yesterday’s meeting at Chantilly highlighted that issue and the forecast Very Heavy at Saint-Cloud, an incredible 6,0 reading on the penetrometer suggests today will be run on similar ground. When the ground is this bad, it’s wise to exercise caution when betting, but this is a race that I have been looking forward to this week and at the morning prices, I can’t help but get involved.

 

The race revolves around Grecian Storm. He won 2 of his 3 starts as a Juvenile in 2023 and arrives here with 4-kilos in hand on the official figures. That ought to be good enough and the fact that he holds a Prix du Jockey Club entry is probably enough to make him a short-priced favourite for this race. He is the most likely winner, but the ground can be a great leveler and he has yet to encounter ground that is anywhere near this testing. A Churchill colt out of a Rock of Gibraltar mare, he didn’t appear to have an obvious deep ground action and even in this small field, this is going to be a real test. At 8/15 in the early market, he makes no appeal and so I will take him on. For what it’s worth, on my paper tissue I made him a 5/4 chance.

 

Bolide Porto is a nice type, but he doesn’t look to be progressing and he would need to step up significantly on his latest run on the All-Weather at Chantilly in February. Alfred makes his French debut for Hedi Ghabri having been sold out of the George Boughey yard over the winter. He was a winner in the UK and reached a peak rating of 84, but his form on soft ground was patchy at best and I would be surprised if he is capable of finding the 12-14lbs of improvement that he would need on his first start for his new connections.

 

Saint Aquilin is the obvious bet for me. At the time of writing, he is a 10/3 chance, but I would be happy to back him down to around 9/4. He has plenty of form on soft ground and has already run twice in the South for Jerome Reynier, landing a Class 2 conditions race at Toulouse at the start of last month. He goes forward, which is a plus in this field and we know that he handles the soft ground. Although he is 3.5-kilos wrong at the weights with Grecian Storm, a fitness edge and a confirmed liking for the conditions should bring them closer together. There is a chance of course that Grecian Storm is a class above this field, but it is not as certain as the market prices would suggest and so I would be happy to take him on after 187-days off.


Betting markets for the Prix Tourbillon


The race card for the Prix Tourbillon


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