Star mare L'Autonomie proves too classy for Prix Leon Rambaud rivals
She was undoubtedly the best of her generation last season and it looks as though star mare L'Autonomie might just be France's top hurdling talent, with Sunday's Prix Leon Rambaud (Grade 2) success confirming her lofty standing.
The Francois Nicolle-trained five-year-old had to be shaken up in the straight as 2-5 favourite to see off James Reveley-ridden 48-1 outsider El Gringo, but the heir to De Bon Coeur's throne produced a classy display to make it nine wins from 12 career starts.
Following her victory under Angelo Zuliani, whose enthusiastic celebrations could be heard as the exciting daughter of Blue Bresil crossed the line, a tilt at the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil (French Champion Hurdle) could be next on the agenda for L'Autonomie.
The 2019 running of the French Champion Hurdle saw De Bon Coeur turned over by Willie Mullins' exceptional mare Benie Des Dieux, and this year's top-level contest is scheduled to take place alongside the Grand Steeple Chase de Paris on June 7 at Auteuil.
Elsewhere on Sunday's quality card, a good afternoon for Nicolle got even better when his Kool Has (59-10) landed the Grade 2 Prix Amadou 35 minutes later, completing a treble that was started earlier by Pamela Des Mottes (19-5).
The Grade 3 Prix du President de la Republique (known as the French Grand National) was captured by the Patrice Quinton-trained D'Jango, who saw the 2m7½f handicap out best to get the better of Francois-Marie Cottin's Cafertiti.
The latter, sparked by first-time cheekpieces, was just mowed down by a game effort from the mount of Paul Denis, with the winner returning at 92-10.
Guillaume Macaire looks to have another bright prospect on his hands in the shape of My Way, who ran out a decisive winner on his return to fences, while Gardons Le Sourire (43-10) registered a Grade 2 success in the Prix Jean Stern (Chase).
Place bets on international races with the Racing Post app. Log in to your bookmaker accounts in the Accounts tab in the bottom right and then click cards to view the racecards