Angus McNae tipped two winners yesterday and Racing UK pundit Rachel Candelora picks up the tipping baton on Thursday and has three in France and one at Chelmsford at 5-1.
That’s it – I’m leaving!
Well not that dramatic really, but I am taking a 36-hour trip to Paris on Thursday (I’ll be back in the Racing UK studios for Kempton on Friday evening!) as Auteuil is hosting a fantastic mid-week card featuring two Listed events and loads of clues towards the big French jump races this Fall (okay, autumn).
Therefore most of my selections will be at the most picturesque of Parisienne venues, but I’ve also thrown in an all-weather fancy at Chelmsford as this is the time of year that I try to stay away from turf flat racing due to the ground unknowns.
12.10 Auteuil - Ducello:
Jumping will very much be the name of the game in Auteuil’s 4-y-o Chase and I am hoping that Ducello can put in a clear round, having fallen at the big open ditch, five out, on his only previous visit to this course.
He was still in touch, and going well enough, when he slipped on landing that day and since then he jumped solidly (albeit over smaller fences) when beating today’s rival Diligent at Vittel in July.
Diligent, trained by Guilluame Macaire, has since won a handicap chase at Dieppe and the two now meet again on the same terms.
Ducello is trained by the wonderfully named Augustin Adeline de Boisbrunnet, who has called on the assistance of reigning French Champion Jockey James Reveley for the first time for this horse.
12.47 Auteuil – Song and Whisper:
Usually when you look at a French jumps race the first name to look for is record-breaking trainer Guillaume Macaire but over the last year or so at Auteuil it has also been essential to note anything saddled by Francois Nicolle.
It appears this autumn Nicolle will again be the man to beat at “The Temple of Jumping,” given on the opening day of the autumn season at Auteuil last Friday, he sent out three winners.
The big betting race in France on Thursday is the Listed “Tierce/Quinte” Handicap Hurdle and Nicolle is represented by the dangerously handicapped Song And Whisper – the winner of a Listed Conditons Hurdle at Enghien last September.
On his last two starts at Auteuil in June, he finished second and third respectively in a couple more Listed Conditions Hurdles and the French handicapper has left him on the same mark!
2.20 Auteuil – Bipolaire:
Staying on the Francois Nicolle theme, one of the horses I am most looking forward to seeing again at Auteuil is Bipolaire in the Listed Chase.
This six-times winner (five victories at Auteuil) is one of the most exciting AQPS horses currently in France and ran an amazing race to finish 11 and half lengths fifth to So French in the Grand Steeplechase-Chase de Paris on his last start in May.
This will be no easy task on his reappearance, up against a couple of Guillaume Macaire trainees in addition to a hat-trick seeking runner in the shape of Capferret, but given the high regard in which trainer Francois Nicolle holds Bipolaire, and the form of the yard at present, he should be ready for this valuable prize.
While a short field of five go to post in this mile Nursery, three of the runners have already tasted success. The nod goes to the course and distance winner Four Fifty Three, whose half-length margin of victory last time out does not tell the whole story.
This son of Kheleyf was out the back of the field coming into the final turn, and encountered some traffic trouble, but was able to get up in time when he found clear running.
He should improve again for that effort and a smaller field. He is taken over the odds-on favourite Dream of Delphi, who is making her all-weather debut and steps up to a mile for the first time.
Connections are hoping that the blinkers that worked so well at Lingfield last time, work again here. At the 5-1 I’d rather have the horse who has been there, done it and got the T-shirt.
Rachel Candelora's Thursday tips:
12.10 Auteuil: Ducello
12.47 Auteuil: Song and Whisper
2.20 Auteuil: Bipolaire
6:10 Chelmsford: Four Fifty Three at 5-1 generally available