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Yesterday wasn't a great day. Just Beautiful was edged out by William Haggas' horse, which seems to me that our selection didn't run to form, as Cloudy Dawn wasn't even 100 rated. As for Millebosc, he was never in the race, and ran extremely flat. However, we ended the day with a nice 18/1 winner in Justanotherbottle who absolutely hosed up in the big handicap of the day.
English raiders The Wizard Of Eye & Oneforthegutter who probably have some backers, as that is the only bit of form which punters on this side of the channel can fully relate to, but I think it could be best if following the French form with NEVER DIES.
This No Nay Never colt could prove to be a level above this field, IF he handles the different ground conditions which he will face. He has previously ran on Very Soft and Soft ground, and despite the French normally telling a couple of porky-pies, I do think the ground was probably correct on those occasions, as the times weren't exactly quick. The ground will be much quicker today, and that does raise a couple of questions about this horse, but his pedigree does suggest he should be fine on this ground, whether he is better on this or worse, it's hard to say with it being so early on in his career. Nevertheless, from what we've seen from Andre Fabre's horse is that he could be smart. I think the novice race in which he contested on debut will work out quite well, as the horses who were at the front of that race, they do have nice pedigrees, especially the winner. Next time out he won extremely easily, and it was clear that he would be pitched into a stakes level race the time after. It's hard to say what the form is like, but based on visual interpretation, it was impressive, and I think a chance can be taken on him for the master trainer & jockey combination in Fabre and Barzalona.
As for the British contingency, I think Stan Moore's colt is the better of the two. He was impressive when winning lto at Newbury, and I think he might've beaten a couple of decent horses too. He takes a step up in trip to 7f, which should suit on pedigree, being by Galileo Gold, who won the 2,000 Guineas. Again, the ground is a question mark, but I wouldn't put anyone off having a few quid on him, if the French horses aren't your cup of tea.
WALLY looks to have a decent enough chance to get another win under his belt, as he is the clear pick based on recent form. He recent won a Group 2, though it wasn't a great race (Italian Group 2), he did beat Grocer Jack who is a decent enough horse based in Germany, who recently finished 2nd in a Group 1 to Skalleti. The time before the race in Italy, Wally ran a very nice race at Longchamp, finishing 1 length behind Skalleti in fourth, which was a good run. The form of that race has worked out well, Skalleti won next time out, Tilsit won a Group 2 at Ascot and Victor Ludorum cantered up in a Group 3. He was on a hat-trick earlier in this season, winning a Group 3, beating some classy horses like Duhail (since ran well at Glorious Goodwood, as well as winning a Group 2), Group 1 winner The Revenant was behind Wally that day, as was Tropbeau who finished 2nd in the Maurice De Gheest last weekend.
If truth be told, I don't think this is that competitive, and I'd probably say No Limit Credit will be the main danger, as well as Kenway who is a consistent horse. Dettori takes the ride on the former, and that is an interesting jockey booking. Kenway always seems to be running on in his races, but I'm not sure this trip is what he wants, maybe a flat out mile would be better.
To see Palace Pier at odds on isn't a great surprise, but if you're backing him at those odds I'd say you're slightly bonkers as POETIC FLARE is in this race, and he looked like an absolute superstar at Royal Ascot.
I know what people will say, they'll say that Palace Pier is/has been the best miler in the world (on turf) in the last year, so it seems a little ridiculous that you're writing him off. I'm not exactly writing him off, I just think today's race conditions will not be best suited for him, and at the prices I think Jim Bolger's horse is definitely the value in this race. At the time of writing, Poetic Flare is around 7/2 or 3/1, and it would not surprise me to see him go under 2/1 before the race, as I do think punters will latch onto him. Though Palace Pier has won on quick ground, I think he is probably best suited on a slower surface, as it allows him to bring his stamina into play over a mile. Whereas, Poetic Flare is definitely best suited when on rattling fast ground, like we saw at Royal Ascot in the St James' Palace Stakes, winning by an easy 4.25 lengths, recording an RPR of 124.
You've got to take your hat off to Poetic Flare and Jim Bolger for having the cojones to constantly run this horse in all the big races, as it's not something which generally happens in flat racing, as connections get worried about them losing, which could effect their stud career. In this season alone he has run in the Guineas Trial, the English, French & Irish Guineas, The St James' Palace, The Sussex Stakes and now the Prix Jacques Le Marois; that is seriously impressive. On all of those runs, you'd have to say he has only disappointed when the ground has got testing. He was messed around in the French Guineas, but the ground also hindered his chances, he was then beaten on the line on heavy ground in the Irish Guineas, and then was beaten by a classy filly (Alcohol Free) in the Sussex stakes, which is definitely nothing to be frowned upon.
What I found interesting that when both Palace Pier & Poetic Flare ran at Royal Ascot, both on Good To Firm ground, Poetic Flare ran over 1.5 seconds quicker, whilst carrying the same weight. The only difference that day was that Palace Pier was on the straight track and Poetic Flare was on the round course, but I don't think that would've made much of a difference, but it would appear Poetic Flare has more speed.
As for the others in the field, I think this is probably going to be a straight match between the two stated. Alpine Star WAS a quality filly, but she is definitely seen to best effect on testing ground, which she shouldn't get (pray the weather forecasts are correct), and she was mightily disappointing last time out in a Listed race. You can say that was a decent run on the back of a 292 day break, but in my opinion it was shocking, as that was not a strong race by any stretch of the imagination, and a filly of her class should be winning that. Maybe that goes to show how much better she is on slow ground?
One last thing to note is the fact that Poetic Flare is in receipt of 6lbs from the older horses, which makes his chances even better.