FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Friday’s meeting at Vichy with Soft Light the class act in the Prix Biloe Monte-Carlo Automobiles
- It will be disappointing if Soft Light cannot win in the mile and a half contest
- He failed to win in seven starts in 2019 and finished second four times
- Others to watch on the card include Ernesto De La Cruz and Tantpispoureux
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The central France track in the Auvergne region may be new to many British viewers and racegoers but the 10-race card still boasts the country’s leading jockeys and many of its top trainers.
It also is the stage for a horse who will be familiar to some race fans in SOFT LIGHT (1.58).
Friday’s scheduled meeting at Fontainebleu has moved 160 miles south to Vichy
The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained four-year-old is the class act in the Prix Biloe Monte-Carlo Automobiles and it will be disappointing if he cannot gain a confidence boosting win in the mile and a half contest.
Soft Light failed to win in seven starts in 2019 and finished second four times but he was largely campaigned in much deeper water.
Those second places included a neck second to Charlie Appleby-trained Al Hilalee in the Group Two Prix Hocquart at Chantilly as well as being beaten half a length by Ziyad in the Group Two Grand Prix de Deauville.
Soft Light finished the season with a sixth place to Waldgeist in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
Trainer Andrea Marciallis has had three wins and two seconds from his last seven runners and Arc winning jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot has also been in top form since racing resumed.
They team up with ERNESTO DE LA CRUZ (10.45) in the Prix De La Grotte. The gelding was a fair fifth to Hurricane Ivor in a Listed race at Chantilly on May 13.
This is a drop in class and Boudot takes over from an apprentice jockey.
Zarkallani was a decisive three-length winner on the All-Weather at Chantilly in March but must give at least 7lb to all his rivals in the Prix Du Rocher Du Bouligny.
That means there is an 11lb turnaround for Half Light, who was beaten five and a quarter lengths in the Chantilly contest.
Boudot may be the jockey to side with again in this mile contest. TANTPISPOUREUX (1.24). The Francis Graffard-trained gelding won first time out last season and put in some solid efforts subsequently including a third place behind Rocquemont at Deauville in August.