French racing tips: Scott Burton with a selection at Auteuil and Vichy
Gant De Velours
Therewill be a couple ofextremely talented mares in the Graded races at Auteuil on Sunday with a string of 1s next to their name and very cramped odds.
That doesn't mean L'Autonomie and Want Of A Nail are just required to stand up to win and, as with so much else in betting life, it is worth examining whether either has a potential chink in their armour.
In the Prix Leon Rambaud (4.00), L'Autonomie has a fairly obvious question to answer, as she races the thick end of half a mile further than she has ever been required to before.
You could play the odds that she won't stay but, on pedigree and from everything she has shown over shorter trips to date, you'll spend a very uncomfortable time waiting for her to come off the bridle.
The regally-related Want Of A Nail looked another very serious filly at three last year but chances are she was being made to lookgood against a small pool of opposition.
That is not to say she might not continue to push aside all that is put before her and she looked all class last autumn.
But two of her nearest pursuers from that unbeaten second half of last season, Kalmia and Polisud, were both beaten at Auteuil on Saturday,while it may be thatGuillaume Macaire is playing for time withWant Of A Nail back over hurdles in the Prix Amadou (4.35), having alreadygiven her a sighter of the Auteuil chase track in November.
Moises Has was second in the Prix d'Indy on comeback and looks the most obvious danger but the one with a chance toshakethe four-year-old division up is GantDe Velours, who only just failed to win the best Flat race for AQPS jumps bred horses at Saint-Cloud last November.
The transition to hurdling could not have started much better asGant De Velours brushed aside his opposition here by 30 lengths.
This is an altogether harder test, but the son of Poliglotelooks ready to repay trainer Nicolas de Lageneste for biding his time in the nearest French equivalent to bumpers.
Away from the bright lights of Auteuil is the mixed card at Vichy, where Henri-Francois Devin looks to have found and ideal opportunity forClassicalWave to make up for lost time in the PrixGouvernant (3.42).
A Gleneagles half-brother to the talented Weekender, Classical Wave ran much better than a five and a half length defeat suggests when blown away by Another Sky on debut at Chantilly in April.
The winner was one of several Freddy Head inmates to look in need of the run this week when running down the field in the Prix La Force, but the fact remains that his debut success came in what was almost certainly an above-average maiden.
Devin clearly wants toshedClassical Wave's maiden tag as quickly as possible and yard favourite Alexis Badel has been dispatched to Vichy to do the steering.
It would be unwise to assume that Chantilly royalty always trumps the local powerhouses of the Centre-Est such as Jean-PierreGauvin, while the Fabrice Chappet-trained Moon Dream should hopefully ensure some market opposition.
A bigger danger may be Madeleine Moves, who is having her third start for Alex Pantall and could take a big step forward from finishing sixth at Chantilly on her seasonal reappearance.
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