1.35 Longchamp: Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Group 1)
I stick to Herald The Dawn – was keen on him in the National Stakes when the ground turned soft though, which is not ideal. He finished a decent second behind classy Air Force Blue nonetheless. To an extend he followed up on his gutsy Futurity Stakes success, where he overcame softish conditions.
But the full-brother to Dawn Approach is a top of the ground horse as Jim Bolger pointed out, so today’s conditions at Longchamp do very much favour him. If he is as classy as his trainer says he is, he’ll be a big runner. With the benefit of the doubt, I give him this chance here.
Herald The Dawn @ 9/2 Betfred – 5pts Win
2.10 Longchamp: Prix de l’Opera (Group 1)
Queen’s Jewel was a very short favourite to land the Diane earlier this year. She seemingly had problems that day, though, reportedly bleeding, that you can easily forgive her the poor showing there. The filly is much better judged on her utterly impressive display in the Saint-Alary, when she overcame greenness as well as a wide passage.
The Freddy Head inmate looked special that day, which was the reason for her short odds in the French Oaks. Her break since then may be a blessing in disguise, given that she arrives as a fresh horse here. Still lightly raced, you would assume there is more to come from here.
Queen’s Jewel @ 13/2 VC – 5pts Win
3.45 Tipperary: Istabraq Hurdle (Grade 2)
This should be a battle between the two Tony Martin inmates Thomas Edison and Ted Vale. The latter one finished an excellent third in the Galway hurdle, while having been caught a bit too far off the pace and in slight in-running trouble at a crucial time turning for home. He travelled strongly, though, coming with a big challenge jumping the last, when his stable mate Thomas Edision, equally looking to win the race, fell and hampered Ted Vale.
On that form, both horses are closely matched, although Thomas Edision stands better in the weights today, and potentially has a bit more room for improvement, while we basically know what Ted Vale is. However given the discrepancy in price, it is easy for me to go with Ted Vale here.
Ted Vale @ 3/1 Bet365 – 10pts Win