Rose de Mai Stakes - Statistics
At this time of year it can seem as if the only horse racing taking place in the entire world is at Cheltenham next week. For Flat racing fans, the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster, which is less than 4-weeks away, can seem further away than Christmas as the Jumps takes centre stage, but the same cannot be said in France. By the 2nd week of March, we have already had a full turf season at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in the South, as well as Flat turf meetings held at Toulouse, Fontainebleau and Bordeaux. Flat racing returns to Paris this Thursday, with the traditional opening to the Saint-Cloud season with the Listed Rose de Mai and Prix Altipan Stakes. The seasonal return of The Revenant adds a bit of class to the Prix Altipan, a race that he has won twice before, but it is the Rose de Mai which is usually a more informative race for the season ahead.
There will be Ten 3-year-old Fillies going to post this year and with the exception of ROMINA POWER, they will all be stepping into pattern company for the first-time. In fact, one angle into the race could be ROMINA POWER, who is still a maiden, but has bumped into some talented Fillies and comes here on the back of a prep run at Cagnes last month. She was turned over at short odds on that occasion, but the return to Saint-Cloud and perhaps more importantly, the turf, could mean she is overpriced under Christophe Soumillon. In truth, unless there is a real "rick" in the markets, there wouldn't be a bet in this race for me, but it looks likely to develop into a are to follow based on the entries and the data below. The completely unexposed pair of Cracksmania and Pensee Du Jour fit firmly into the "could be anything" bracket, whilst last time out winners Avolta, Olkovskha and Elusive Princess all ran well enough last year to suggest that they are capable of securing Black Type on their comebacks.
The draw and more importantly the track bias are key at Saint-Cloud, especially as there is normally a bias against either rail if there is any serious cut in the ground. The track favors prominent racers, but there is a problem with this field. As you can see from the table below, 8 of the 10 runners went forwards on their last start and that could mean there is a scramble for a prominent position in the early stages.
The draw would appear to favor Cracksmania getting to the lead, but she will need to bounce out to do so with so many likely to want to be in a positive position. Her win at Pau was impressive, but it must be added that the PSF track there heavily favors front runners and the horse that chased her home, Plethore, was soundly beaten at Toulouse on Monday. As her name suggests she is by Cracksman, out of Panthelia, who was Group placed in Germany and France over trips beyond 2,000m, so I think it is fair to say that she will need this race to be truly run and Anthony Crastus will be keen to avoid this turning into a sprint. Pensee du Jour was eyecatching on debut, but she is also bred to want much further than this and if she can't get to the front in the early stages, she is going to need a true pace to give her a chance to use the stamina in her pedigree. By the end of the season, I am in no doubt that she will prove to be the best horse in this field, with the potential to be a Group 1 Filly, but on just her second start I can't quite bring myself to back her with the likely makeup of the race.
The last 2 winners of this race, Anasia (2021) and Agave (2022), haven't perhaps delivered on the promise that they showed in this race, though both held their form reasonably well in pattern company. 7 of the 10-runners last season went on to win races later in the season, making it one of the key early season races to follow. Unless ROMINA POWER develops into a ridiculous price in the market, and after the last run I would want 14/1 or bigger to get involved, I won't be having a bet in this race, but I will probably be watching it several times. The aim is to make notes on Fillies who could develop into Prix de Diane horses, but my focus will be on how they settle and travel through the race. With so many Fillies stepping up in class for the first-time, there is a great deal of guesswork involved in a race like this in early March and so it will be a watching brief for me at this stage.