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I thought it was worth a try at going against the odds-on favourite yesterday at Yarmouth, and when the money arrived, putting them extremely close on odds, I thought we were about to land a decent winner, but he travelled well and then the tank emptied. Unfortunate and disappointing when you consider how well he was travelling, but the winner is a more progressive horse who battled back.
I put up BAIYKARA over a month ago when she won a Group 3 race at Chantilly, being well supported from around 7/1 to 31/10 and she managed to win with plenty in hand and in the manner of a horse who is going places, as the 4L winning margin would suggest.
Today's race is tougher, as you'd expect with it being a Group 2, but I think there is still plenty more to come from the daughter of Zarak. I thought she was going to relish the slow ground last time around, and she cut through it like a hot knife through butter, so today's conditions which will be good ground, potentially being slightly quicker, is a bit of a concern, but her pedigree does suggest she should handle most conditions. I think this trip will help her get through the ground which probably isn't going to be ideal, but we see it on many occasions where the class horse gets on with things and wins even though they don't have their best conditions. Current odds of 2/1 will probably get bigger before the race start as the doubt over the ground will creep into punter's minds, which makes her a good bet in my opinion.
It feels strange having a Group 1 in the middle of the week without it being a festival of consistent good days of racing, but we have the Grand Prix De Paris taking place in the night of Longchamp, and it looks like a decent enough race. It's a surprise to see no Aidan O'Brien horse, considering he has a very good record in this race with winning three of the last four renewals, however, his son Donnacha has filled that void with Piz Badile, who brings the Irish Derby form into this race.
A lot of British and Irish punters just latch on to their runners whenever they go punting on foreign races, but it is foolish to overlook the home horses, as I think ONESTO is the one they have to beat. This lad won a decent race at Saint-Cloud in a Group 2 beating Algave, who was odds-on that day and was a horse with a good reputation heading into that race. David Menuisier had Sir Bob Parker in that race as well, who arrived to that race winning his most recent start, and there were whispers that they fancied him to run a good race in the Epsom Derby, but he missed that race. Onesto then went to the French Derby, where he ran with plenty of credit, but was positioned too far back, and didn't quite have the pace to get involved. The French Derby was a strange race, with the winner making the most of a good position and kicking for home when many others didn't get involved. It was a surprise to see him win the Coral Eclipse at Sandown, as I thought he had the French Derby run to 100% how he'd wanted, but he's clearly a good horse and that franked the form.
Onesto is by Frankel, so is bred to stay slightly further, with Frankel progeny liking a decent stamina test, so today's new trip of 12f should allow him to improve again. I think he is the one they have to beat, with the English and Irish horses probably a little over-hyped on what they have achieved. I hope they are well-supported, as it will mean a better price is available on my selection.
It's hard to get a gauge on how good the French horses are in this race, but I will be taking a chance on QUICKTHORN who has improved this season and is a horse who likes to run from the front, which could play to his strengths today in this six-runner field.
Hughie Morrison won this race back in 2018 with Marmelo, so knows the level required to win this. Quickthorn was impressive last time in the Group 3 at Sandown, where he had the race run to suit, and though he's not exactly the best horse and I struggle to see him becoming Group 1 level, he will enjoy an easy lead in this, and in France where things are often turned into a sprint, it will suit this lad who will have Tom Marquand setting the right fractions, meaning it will be tough for horses to come from off the pace.
His form this year looks rock-solid. He was a head behind Princess Zoe, who won a Group 1 in France in 2020, and Quickthorn ran a respectable race to finish runner-up to Trueshan in a Listed race, where he was simply out of his depths, but it was a good run, where he had the Group 1 winner off the bridle.