Rayvin Black chasing euros on first French outing
Useful dual-purpose performer Rayvin Black has his first overseas assignment on Sunday in the 13-runner Grade 3 Prix Juigne at Auteuil.
The Oliver Sherwood-trained eight-year-old, winner of the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton last season, cut little ice back at the same course last month when fifth behind the classy Yanworth.
Before that Rayvin Black had finished in the money at Grade 2 and Listed level, and Sherwood is hoping the eight-year-old can snare some euros at the Paris track.
However, while it is a drop in grade, Rayvin Black, who will be ridden by Thomas Garner, will not find it easy, with crack French hurdlers Blue Dragon and Device among the opposition in a 2m2f contest worth €1350,000.
Sherwood said: "I don't think Rayvin Black will be beating the top ones in the race, but off his rating where do you go with him? We thought we'd try something different, and it's good prize-money.
"One thing he will appreciate is proper soft or heavy ground, which they say it is. Let's hope it stays that way."
Device, the mount of James Reveley, has already won ten races at Auteuil, mainly at Grade 2 and 3 level, and fell when looking likely to win a Grade 1 there last time.
Only slightly less prolific is Blue Dragon, one of four runners for Guy Cherel and who has won nine at Auteuil, most recently a Grade 2 in November.
Connections of Rayvin Black will be hoping there is no repeat of Tuesday's upheaval when Auteuil was cancelled after officials failed to reach agreement with union representatives and employees who had occupied the parade ring.
The protest was organised to highlight a number of grievances, notably plans to fuse the individual racecourse teams which work at Saint-Cloud, Maisons-Laffitte and Auteuil.