We’re off to Chantilly on Wednesday for another action-packed ten-race card live on Sky Sports Racing.
The French have been going at anything but a snail’s pace since racing’s resumption on Monday, and our man on the trading floor, Johnathan Priddey, has previewed the card for us.
Prix Texanita (13:12)
The centrepiece at Chantilly is the Group 3 Prix Texanita (13:12). This sprint prize is restricted to three-year-olds only and typically throws up a classy young speedster, with 2014 and 2015 winners Rangali and Goken later progressing to hit the places at Group 1 level.
It has admittedly been a few years since their exploits, but the current European sprint scene is wide open for a fresh shooter to emerge at the top.
As we try to find our bearings so early in the season, a good starting point must be to look at the trainers who have started strongly and produced their horses in condition to win first time out after the lockdown.
Francis-Henri Graffard rattled the crossbar and came away from Longchamp and Toulouse with no winners on Monday but all four of his runners finished second.
Graffard had also fired in an astonishing 10 winners from his last 15 winners before French racing came to an abrupt halt back in March. With that in mind, you must expect his Prix Texanita hope Wooded to lack very little in fitness.
This son of Wooton Bassett was placed twice at Group 3 level last year despite looking rather tall and weak and racing a little too keenly at times. Expect the older, stronger and more streetwise Wooded to take all the beating under Pierre-Charles Boudot here.
Another trainer who carried strong pre-lockdown form into Longchamp was the excellent Pia Brandt, whose Miss Extra was an impressive winner of a three-year-old handicap on Monday.
Brandt sends a strong party of six horses to Chantilly including Twelve Bros (10:30), who steps out of handicap company into a warm conditions race.
This filly won at Saint-Cloud in March and may be able to use her superior race fitness to bridge the gap to classier rivals.
Brandt also looks to have a pair of strong chances in the sprint handicap at 14:22. Maxime Guyon will look for the gaps aboard hold-up horse Vautrin and Theo Bachelot getting the leg-up on Shams Brazileiro, who looks to go 2-2 since joining the Brandt offensive.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.