Grand Prix De Paris Tips & Betting Preview

As if trying to sort out French form wasn’t hard enough with their stop start style of running, this Group One has only attracted a select field of six runners which makes second-guessing the race tactics that little bit harder.  The first thing to notice is the Group One status with the two unbeaten French colts stepping up in class and heading in to unknown territory against their betters – on paper at least.  Starting at the head of the betting, trainer Andre Fabre is not a man to mess with and if he thinks Ampere (5/2) is up to the challenge then he probably is? Two wins from two races, the first a Conditions race on very soft ground and the next the Group Two Prix Hocquart on good to soft ground where he cruised up when asked, but needed to be ridden out to assert by a length from Cape Clear Island who in turn was soundly beaten nest time out at Royal Ascot in the Group Three Tercentenary Stakes. To attempt to tie up some of the form, Cape Clear Island finished just over a length in front of Silverware (12/1) the race after Ampere’s, which in theory gives that rival no chance if the form book is upheld accurately, though he did in turn win his first four career starts in lower grades and may not be quite as outclassed as that form make it appear, though a softer surface seems likely to be needed to see him at the peak of his powers.

Erupt (7/1) is the other who brings an unbeaten record to the table after victories at Lyon Parilly (twice) and then when stepped up to Group Three level when successful by a neck at Chantilly. A late developing son of Dubawi, he handles good ground which is a tick in the box, and hasn’t been truly tested as yet but failed to really catch the eye and may have to settle for a place at best if all the big guns turn up firing on all cylinders. A double figure price about an Aidan O’Brien challenger in this sort of race seems ludicrous, but that is how it is about Archangel Gabriel (12/1), who will be ridden by Joseph O’Brien in the absence of Ryan Moore through injury. His bare form of a maiden win and a small Fairyhouse victory do not add up to anything like the quality needed here – but do they know something we don’t? A son of Montjeu they may well have been looking for a decent race on a softer surface to enhance his value, but tactically we are more interested in whether he tries to front run as he did last time out, thus setting up the race for those looking to come from behind?

Two to go and as they are both British trained, they both deserve a mention, starting with the David Simcock trained Balios (3/1) who is about as lightly raced as most here and thus just as difficult to assess. A Kempton maiden win saw him put away for the winter, while a second to Best Of times on his reappearance failed to show the latent talent that was unleashed next time out at Royal Ascot when he comfortably saw off Mr Singh in the King Edward VII Stakes, form which has been boosted by the win of the runner up at Newmarket in a Group Three last week, Again, he is stepping up in class but he deserves the opportunity, and with further improvement could be there or thereabouts at the finish.  Lastly, the best form brought to the table is the William Haggas trained Storm The Stars (7/2), the one true Group One performer in the field. A superb third to Golden Horn in the Epsom Derby was followed by a second place in the Irish Derby next time out, rock solid form, the first behind the highest rated three year old since Frankel, and not to be sniffed at. All of those aspects are very much on the plus side but this is his seventh run of the season in mid July, and surely that has to take it toll at some time or other?

In conclusion we are in for a fascinating race and the only way to even attempt to find the winner is to second-guess race tactics. Archangel Gabriel looks likely to make the running but if he doesn’t (or isn’t quick enough) then Storm The Stars may have to do his own donkey work – neither can afford to allow the locals to have a sprint finish left at the end of the race but with the first named possibly not good enough and the second having had a hard season, we doubt they go hard enough to succeed in drawing the sting out of the others.  Erupt may not be quite good enough, ditto Silverware, leading me to Balios or Ampere with a narrow preference for the French horse with Mickael Barzalona’s track knowledge giving him the edge over Jamie Spencer who may misjudge the kick the favourite has to call upon.

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