Published 17:32 19/6 - Saturday's selections online.
传奇sfWe have two good meetings on Saturday with Flat action at Compiègne and a mixed card at La Teste.
Third time lucky ? Since her French debut in March, I thought BERYL THE PETAL would rapidly win a claimer or a handicap. The slight rise in distance last time was a plus, but unfortunately she ran into a little bit of trouble in the final stages of the race, before finishing a very good third. She goes over 1m1f today (2.10pm传奇sf), and should enjoy every yard of the trip. The race is probably a touch stronger than her last outing, but she has some fairly decent form on soft ground in the UK, which is reassuring as the surface can get really testing at Compiègne. She is unlikely to be the favourite and could therefore be an attractive price.
The Prix du Château de Pierrefonds Stakes at 2.50pm is reserved to two-year-olds, and offers the next logical step for four previous winners, though some interesting contenders amongst the maidens also lurk. However, I will stick to a recent winner in FOREFRONT, who was very dominant when breaking his maiden tag at Nantes 11 days ago. The 7f at Compiègne can be a good test of stamina, but the way he scored over the same trip at Nantes makes me think this horse offers more guarantees than some of his opponents. In such an open race, there may be some value with this horse, trained by the young Josephine Soudan.
I was a little hesitant before deciding to advise MOTAMARRIS in the Listed Grand Prix De Compiegne Stakes at 3.50pm传奇sf, but Freddy Head's colt was such a nice individual last year that I'm sure he can make a winning return to action. A game third in a good edition of the Prix du Jockey-Club behind Sottsass and Persian King, despite sustaining an injury in the race, he won his three previous outings and seems to face a task within his range even if not fully fit. We saw Persian King finishing a good second on his comeback a few days ago, but Motamarris is not a big individual and I'm sure Head will have his horse in a condition that should enable him to make a successful return to competition.
Later on the card, TURANIA is unlikely to be at a speculative price in the 1m6f handicap at 5.32pm, as everyone noticed his excellent late finish effort at Chantilly last time - plus, Christophe Soumillon i sdeclared on the son of Air Chief Marshal. A maiden from six starts the five-year-old gelding has been knocking at the door in his recent outings and is an obvious short-term winner. He is a big individual that will be suited by the 700 yards home stretch, and we can be sure that Soumillon will keep him out of trouble. His trainer runs him scarcely, and obviously cares a lot for his horse that will definitely get better in time. Turania should get plenty of support from Australia too, as his owner and many supporters will be watching from the other side of the world. His connections should be rewarded for an early awakening, as I'm convinced that Turania can finally open his account today.
TOP BY COCOONING showed a nice rebound of form in his last start at Lyon-Parilly and travels a long way from Eastern France to La Teste for what looks a very good entry in the 7.20pm. He is the highest-rated horse in this contest and benefits from the assistance of Valetin Seguy, a good jockey to have on your side in South-West France. The seven-year-old gelding takes a small step down in distance from his last run, but I'm not worriedas he scored over 1m4f last October. I'm sure he will prove very hard to beat and I will definitely side with him despite odds just short of evens..
Laurent's Best Bets:
BERYL THE PETAL (11-2, bet365)
FOREFRONT (3-1, bet365)
MOTAMARRIS (6-4, bet365)
TURANIA (4-1, bet365)
1.30 LA TESTE
TOP BY COCOONING (10-11, bet365)