FRENCH RACING TIPS: The best bets for Monday’s racing at Deauville as Victor Ludorum lines up


FRENCH RACING TIPS: The best bets for Monday’s racing at Deauville as Victor Ludorum lines up in Poule d’Essai des Poulains

  • As racing restarts in the UK at Newcastle, France has its own events on Monday 
  • The Deauville racecourse will host the French 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas
  • Victor Ludorum will be looking to bounce-back from a first defeat of his career

The eagerly-awaited resumption of racing at Newcastle on Monday is supplemented by a Classic day’s racing at Deauville with the Normandy venue staging the French 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas.

Victor Ludorum (2.50) bids to restore his reputation in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains for colts having sustained a first defeat of his career in a muddling trial won by The Summit in May.

A number of trainer Andre Fabre’s horses looked as though the run would benefit them fitness wise when racing restarted in France so it would be remiss to write off the Godolphin-owned Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner on the back of one defeat.

Victor Ludorum is set to run on Monday at Deauville in a bid to bounce back from a first defeat

Supporters of Ecrivain will insist the Lope De Vega colt, a place in front of Victor Ludorum at Longchamp last month, can confirm those placings, especially as he suffered an interrupted passage that day.

However, Victor Ludorum comfortably accounted for his old adversary in Paris last autumn and should be sharper with that initial run behind him.

There is a similar theme to the first fillies’ Classic of the season with Fabre also responsible for the likely market leader in Tropbeau (3.25), who bucked the trend of her stablemates by winning first time out.

Trainer Andre Fabre's horse will be impossible to write off after looking rusty in his return

Trainer Andre Fabre’s horse will be impossible to write off after looking rusty in his return 

Dream And Do and fellow Fabre filly Tickle Me Green were second and third that day.

But Tropbeau displayed a great attitude and will-to-win and her two rivals were never going to overhaul her in the final furlong.

The classy Simeen rates a big threat following her cosy comeback win at Chantilly, but there should be more improvement to come from Tropbeau who is taken to complete a Fabre clean sweep.



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FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Sunday’s racing at Deauville


FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Sunday’s racing at Deauville as trail-blazing Ken Colt lines up in the Prix du Gros-Chene

  • First seven across the line in the Prix de Saint-Georges renew rivalry on Sunday 
  • Fabrice Chappet’s Ken Colt has some appeal in the Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene
  • He boasts track figures of 1341 and was only overhauled late on at Longchamg 

A quality card at Deauville on Sunday features two Group 2 events and a number of other intriguing contests to keep race fans occupied until British racing resumes 24 hours later.

The five furlong Prix du Gros-Chene looks a tough puzzle to solve with the first seven across the line in the Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp all renewing rivalry once more.

There appeared very few hard-luck stories that day, although connections of RED TORCH (4.35) may big to differ.

A quality card at Deauville on Sunday features and a number of intriguing contests

Admittedly, this level may be a step too far for the five-year-old, but he was chopped for room at an early stage of his comeback and, in the circumstances, did well to finish as close as he did to the winner Batwan.

That was Red Torch’s first run for six months so he is entitled to improve fitness wise and, if the likes of KEN COLT (4.35) set another strong gallop, he could well be finishing off as well as any.

Given trainer Fabrice Chappet has his horses in blistering form, four of the last eight have won, the trail-blazing Ken Colt also makes some appeal for those that don’t mind supporting a couple at decent prices in a race of this nature.

The son of Kendargent boasts track figures of 1341 and was only overhauled late on at Longchamp so may last a little longer this time with that run behind him.

MISS EXTRA (3.25) has yet to prove herself out of handicap company, but she may put her race fitness to good use in the Listed Prix des Lilas.

The half-sister to Lucky Dream, himself a notable winner on British shores when landing the AW Mile Championship two years ago, appears to have inherited plenty of her older brother’s genes when she sprung a mini surprise at Longchamp on her return.

Following creditable efforts on the synthetic surface at Deauville, that comeback win did at least prove she is versatile with regards to underfoot conditions and it will be interesting to see if she can maintain her progression now that she steps up in class.



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FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Saturday’s racing at Clairefontaine


FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Saturday’s racing at Clairefontaine with Via Maresca seeking to build on comeback win in the Prix Trinidad

  • Clairefontaine host a bumper programme with €418,000 on offer in prize money
  • Via Maresca looks to be the pick of the bunch in the €80,000 Prix Trinidad  
  • She was an impressive winner last time out in a solid handicap at Compiegne

National Hunt fans are well catered for in France on Saturday when Clairefontaine host a bumper 10-race programme with a staggering €418,000 on offer in prize money.

The Prix Trinidad is the most valuable race on the programme and VIA MARESCA (2.15) is likely to prove popular on the Pari Mutuel following her emphatic comeback victory at Compiegne earlier this month.

Ridden by conditional Florent Bayle, who is closing on a half century of career winners, the Poliglote mare travelled well in the first half dozen throughout, but appeared booked for a place at best once the main protagonists swung for home.

National Hunt fans are well catered when Clairefontaine host a bumper 10-race programme

However, she gained good momentum from a good jump at the second last before producing a terrific finishing kick to lengthen away from runner-up Raster with another of Saturday’s rivals, Famille Formidable, left trailing in fourth, beaten 12 lengths.

The conditions of the Prix Quomodo and a truly-run affair certainly seemed to suit Via Maresca given she finished so powerfully and the prospect of tackling another big field with some cut in the ground should hold no terrors as she looks to land a third career success for trainer Marc Rolland.

Connections of Famille Formidable will be hopeful their five-year-old can narrow the gap with Via Maresca, but she will have to step forward considerably fitness wise given the way her old adversary ran away from her after the last.

Heaven’s Knight could perhaps pose more of a threat to the selection as she has finished runner-up and third in two 18-runner hurdles at this venue so the requirements of this race should suit ideally.

The Mickael Suror-trained mare finished an honourable sixth in an Auteuil Listed event (Katy Love 9th) on her first start in more than four months earlier in May and, given she looked a little ring-rusty that day, there could be more to come now she returns to handicap company. 



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FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Friday’s racing


FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Friday’s racing with Fantasia du Rock backed for the Prix Jacques Delaye in Bordeaux

  • Fantasia du Rock’s fitness will be put to good use over the fences on Friday 
  • She is yet to win over the large hurdles but is a strong contender in Bordeaux 
  • Sky Power could be worth a punt each way at the Prix la Lagune 

Friday is a rather low-key day in France with mixed cards at both Bordeaux Le Bouscat and Moulins providing the action.

The sole jumps race on the Bordeaux card is the Prix Jacques Delaye, a conditions chase which has attracted five runners and it will be interesting to see if FANTASIA DU ROCK (5.15) can put her race fitness to good use back over fences.

David Cottin’s mare defied a 75-day absence at Auteuil earlier this month to win a conditional riders’ handicap in snug fashion and, although she is yet to win over the larger obstacles, she ran very well in a decent race of its type in February at Fontainebleau under regular rider Charlotte Prichard.

The sole jumps race in Bordeaux is the Prix Jacques Delaye on Friday with five riders 

Kevin Nabet takes over in the saddle on Friday and Fantasia Du Rock probably has most to fear from the returning Ecris L’Histoire and Device who looked ring rusty last time behind My Way on his first start in nearly two years at Auteuil.

The Prix la Lagune looks one of the more interesting flat races on the card and there could be some licence in risking one or two units each-way on SKY POWER (4.35).

Handler Gael Barbedette has only sent out five winners in an embryonic training career, but the three-year-old son of Stormy River displayed enough encouragement on a first outing in six months at Longchamp to suggest he could make an impact here.

Race fitness could prove a useful attribute at this stage of the return to action and Sky Power was in the mix behind Arapaho before fading late on to finish seventh of 10 runners.

The selection wasn’t knocked about once his chance had gone and he could be some value each-way with one or two more high-profile stables likely to be favoured in the market.



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FRENCH RACING TIPS: Kilrush Memories in the running to double victory tally


FRENCH RACING TIPS: Kilrush Memories in the running to double victory tally in five furlong sprint at charming Vichy racecourse

  • French racing continues on Wedensday, with British action to return in June
  • Four-year-old Kilrush Memories will run in the five furlong sprint at Vichy (12.50)
  • Trainer Fabrice Chappet is hoping to double the gelding’s modest win tally

The picturesque Vichy racecourse, situated on the banks of the Allier river, hosts Wednesday’s action from France with a 10-race programme providing some live equine action before UK racing hopefully resumes on June 1.

One positive from the enforced UK lockdown has been discovering the charms of France’s less publicised venues and Vichy is the latest addition to the bucket list, even more so if Kilrush Memories (12.50) can land the valuable five furlong sprint.

It is fair to say the Shakespearean gelding has been anything but a winning machine with one victory from 20 career starts, but there were signs at Chantilly in a warm handicap last time that Fabrice Chappet may have the four-year-old primed to double his victory tally.

French racing continues at the Vichy on Wednesday, following the action at Chantilly

Travelling powerfully throughout in midfield, rider Stephane Pasquier tried to manoeuvre his mount for a run approaching the furlong marker but found his path blocked just as the winner, Goldino Bello, picked up powerfully down the outside to clear away.

To his credit, Kilrush Memories picked up well when in the clear, but the winner had flown and a runners-up berth was the best Pasquier could obtain.

The drop to five furlongs could be a slight issue for a horse that has spent most of his career competing over further, however the selection had no problem laying up at Chantilly, displaying plenty of natural pace in the process, and Kilrush Memories is fancied to confirm placings with Tudo Bem and Soho Starlight who were third and fourth behind him that day.



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FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Monday’s meeting at Chateaubriant


FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Monday’s meeting at Chateaubriant where Vigo has a decent opening in the Prix de Chantilly

  • The Fabrice Veron-ridden Vigo has a decent opening in the Prix de Chantilly
  • The three-year-old has shown ability and looks interesting on handicap debut
  • Irish Storm can shine in Prix De la Societe Des Courses Des Chateaubriant
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

You have to be out of bed early in the morning on Monday if you fancy a bet on French racing with the meeting at Chateaubriant in the west of the country starting at 9.25am (BST).

In truth the early exchanges dominated by maiden races and with little form to go on are not attractive betting mediums and whole days action looks about the most mundane set of racing over The Channel since the sport returned.

But wait a little longer and the Fabrice Veron-ridden VIGO (11.55) a decent opening in the Prix de Chantilly.

It’s an early start in France on Monday with the first race at 9.25am in Chateaubriant

The three-year-old struggled on final start in maidens but had shown ability prior to that run and looks interesting on handicap debut.

In the Prix De la Societe Des Courses Des Chateaubriant, IRISH STORM (1.07) won a handicap by a neck at Angers earlier this month. 

He finished well on that occasion and looks the one to beat again here.



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FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Sunday’s meeting at Deauville


FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Sunday’s meeting at Deauville as Call The Wind bids for back-to-back wins in the Prix de Barbeville

  • Call The Wind can prove the star attraction in the Prix de Barbeville at Deauville
  • He ended a run of three second places by winning in Saudi Arabia in February
  • Value seekers will probably look to Holdthasigreen as a reasonable play
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The Group 3 Prix de Barbeville takes centre stage on Sunday’s nine-race Deauville programme and the marathon feature looks at the bequest of CALL THE WIND (3.25).

The layers are unlikely to take many chances with Freddy Head’s son of Frankel who recorded his first victory in 18 months on his latest start when landing the inaugural running of the valuable Longines Turf Handicap in Saudi Arabia.

The cosy victory may have been a while coming, but landing a £1.1million handicap probably satisfied any impatience from connections who had previously witnessed the six-year-old chase home adversary Holdthasigreen in the Group 1 Prix du Cadran on Arc weekend in Paris.

The Group 3 Prix de Barbeville takes centre stage on Sunday’s nine-race Deauville programme 

Call The Wind gained his revenge three weeks later in the Prix Royal-Oak, another Group 1 for stayers, however neither could keep tabs on the Martyn Meade-trained Technician who was too powerful for the duo who renew rivalries once more following any number of meetings last season.

Value seekers will probably look to Holdthasigreen as a reasonable play in a race which appears to revolve around the protagonists, but Call The Wind proved in Riyadh that a sound surface seems to suit more than connections once believed and his superior turn of foot and advanced fitness may prove the difference.

Later on the card, the Prix de Lormoy features the unbeaten TAWKEEL (5.10) who bids to strengthen her French Oaks credentials with success in the finale.

The striking Teofilo filly didn’t make her debut until January at Pau when she dismissed 15 rivals with a taking display prior to making her second start at Cagnes-Sur-Mer seven weeks later.

Sent off a well-backed favourite, Tawkeel bowled along at the head of affairs before being asked to lengthen in the straight by rider Cristian Demuro and the response was immediate as the duo shot clear of six rivals for an impressive triumph.

The step up in trip should hold no terrors for Jean-Claude Rouget’s three-year-old and the likes of stablemate La Norma and course and distance winner Wangari should represent a decent test at this stage of her career.



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FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Saturday’s meeting at Bordeaux Le Bouscat


FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Saturday’s meeting at Bordeaux Le Bouscat where Fantastic Spirit stands out on an attractive card

  • The Listed Derby Du Midi provides one of the day’s highlights in Bordeaux 
  • Two-time all-weather scorer Frohsim may well dominate the market for race
  • Jean-Claude Rouget has good relationship with Spirit’s rider Hugo Journiac
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A mixed card at Angers and Flat racing from Bordeaux Le Bouscat provide the action from France on Saturday with the Listed Derby Du Midi one of the day’s highlights.

Two-time all-weather scorer Frohsim may well dominate the market following successes at Chantilly and Deauville since the turn of the year, both of which saw the Dabirsim colt dominate and dictate from the front in small fields.

There is a chance that scenario could be repeated here in a modest field numerically, however, jockey Christophe Soumillon excelled on both of those occasions and Julien Auge will face a tough task trying to emulate such brilliant rides back on turf.

The Listed Derby Du Midi provides one of the day’s highlights in Bordeaux on Saturday

Frohsim was also all out last time at Deauville to withstand the late charge of old adversary Lord Achilles and it will be interesting to see if he can translate that style of racing and level of form to soft ground in this event.

A similar comment applies to FANTASTIC SPIRIT (11.15) who has also been plying his trade of late on a synthetic surface.

Jean-Claude Rouget has struck up a good relationship with rider Hugo Journiac who has partnered more than a 100 winners for the Pau-based handler and the duo were seen to good effect at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in February when striking with Fantastic Spirit

Journiac brought his mount with a brilliant last-to-first challenge in the Cagnes straight, a run which snatched that 10-furlong event in dramatic fashion, while the colt’s previous start when third to Bebeautiful in the Prix Sky Lawyer reads well as the winner subsequently won at Deauville.

Fantastic Spirit may not be one of the leading lights at Rouget’s south-west France base, but connections have left him entered in the French Derby, scheduled for early July, so they must clearly feel the Charm Spirit colt can make an impact on turf this summer.



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FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Friday’s meeting at Vic


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
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The shuffling of fixtures in France after the Government stopped racing in COVID-19 ‘Red Zones’ means Friday’s scheduled meeting at Fontainebleu moves 160 miles south to Vichy.

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.



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BHA confident of racing resumption in Britain despite French suffering shock setback


‘We are making good progress as we prepare for June 1’: BHA confident of racing resumption in Britain despite French suffering shock setback

  • Fench racing in turmoil after the sport was suddenly halted in its key regions
  • The French government stopped any racing in Paris and the north on Tuesday
  • There will be no racing at least until the next review of the transition on June 2
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The BHA have said the fact French racing has been forced to close tracks in Paris and in the east of the country should have no ramifications for the resumption of racing in Britain.

Racing’s ruling body has steered clear of using overseas jurisdictions whose racing has either continued or resumed as evidence as to why British racing should return.

A spokesman for the BHA said: ‘Our proposal has always been that racing will be ready to return safely in Britain as soon as the UK Government permits the resumption of sporting events.

There will be no more racing at Longchamp, where the sport resumed in France on May 11

‘Our plans are being developed with officials from Public Health England and will be in line with UK government policy. We are making good progress as we prepare for a resumption on June 1.’

Final Government approval for the return of British racing has yet to be received.

Racing returned in France on May 11 at Longchamp but the French Government backtracked when announcing on Tuesday that no track inside Red Zones of high COVID-19 infections rates can now race.

Thursday’s scheduled meeting at Longchamp has been switched to Deauville on the Normandy coast.

French racing was thrown into chaos on Tuesday after being told to shut down its Paris tracks

French racing was thrown into chaos on Tuesday after being told to shut down its Paris tracks



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