French Racing Tips – Best Bets at Longchamp on Monday

Sottsass wins the French Derby at ChantillySottsass wins the French Derby at Chantilly


And we’re back. While Germany led the way with a return to racing last week, business really picks up now France comes back online.

Big names familiar to British racegoers return at Longchamp on Monday with Christophe Soumillon, Mickael Barzalona, Andre Fabre and Jean -Claude Rouget all in action on a bumper ten-race card. 

Our experts have studied the form and videos, focusing on the four Group races and one Listed contest on the race.

So sit back, take a look at our previews and and French Racing Tips and click on the odds below to place your bets

SESTILIO JET (5f Group 3, 9.55 Longchamp)

The first five home from last year’s Prix St Georges reappear in the same race and it’s well worth backing Sestilio Jet to confirm that form in 2020. He was ridden to victory by Frankie Dettori in this race last year and a quick glance at the video of that race reveals he was clearly the best on merit on that occasion.

The five-year-old went on to finish second at Group 2 level before getting no luck in running when fourth behind the Kevin Ryan-trained Glass Slippers in the Group 3 Petit Couvert in September.

A quick glance at the Prix de L’Abbaye on Arc weekend, when he finished eighth (again behind Glass Slippers), reveals an interesting Dettori ride with the horse being pulled back to last and then switched up the inside in an attempt to negate a poor draw. That run can be upgraded and he looks good value to record a repeat success.

HELTER SKELTER (1m Group 3, 11.55 Longchamp)

All eyes will be on the Andre Fabre-trained Victor Ludorum who finished his juvenile season unbeaten and with a Group 1 success in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere to his name. He is a best-priced 20/1 for the 2,000 Guineas (anybody have a clue when that will be run?) but could find it difficult to confirm the Lagadere form with Helter Skelter.

The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained runner was not given the best ride by Japanese jockey Yutaka Take on Arc weekend and was caught flat-footed when the pace picked up in the home straight, but he stayed on in eyecatching fashion and was doing all his best work without being heavily ridden in the closing stages.

Available to back at 9/2, Helter Skelter looks a cracking each-way bet against the likely odds-on favourite.

KHAYZARAAN (1m Group 3, 12.25 Longchamp)

A host of potentially top-class three-year-old fillies do battle in this Prix de la Grotte and Tropbeau clearly brings the best form into this race after winning at Group 3 and Group 2 level before being badly hampered when third in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in September.

It’s perhaps surprising that she is not a shorter price here given her form but that owes a lot to the presence of the Freddy Head-trained Khayzaraan who has been seriously impressive, albeit at a lower level, when winning her final two starts last season. 

And it might be worth taking a chance on her improving still further given that her breeding suggests she could make up into a top-class miler this year.

At a bigger price Quiet Times put in a remarkable late run on only her third career start to come from last to win a Listed race on the all-weather track at Chantilly last time. She deserves to take her chance at this level and do not be put off backing her each-way as part of your French Racing Tips on Monday.

SHAMAN each-way (1m2f Group 2, 1.05 Longchamp)

French trainers will probably be quietly pleased that no foriegn raiders can take their chance here with Charlie Appleby, Roger Charlton and Ralph Beckett all successful in the Group 2 Prix Hocquart in the last five years.

With the race confined to just domestic challengers, Sottsass will deservedly be long odds-on to win this on his first start since finishing third behind Waldgeist and the superstar Enable in last year’s Prix de L’arc de Triomphe. That was a huge run from last year’s French Derby runner and he is clearly the best horse in the race, but at his likely prohibitive odds it could well be taking him on, especially as he’s been beaten on his seasonal debut for the last two seasons. 

In 2019, he finished fifth behind Shaman and that colt could again be the one to take advantage if Sottsass is lacking for fitness. The Freddy head-trained Shaman has run a string of fine races and finished second in the French Guineas, fifth in the St James’ Palace at Royal Ascot and runner-up in the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois last season.

He looks a particularly good each-way bet and could even bring home the jackpot if the favourite underperforms.

ALZIRE (7f Listed, 1.35 Longchamp)

The last Pattern race of the day at Longchamp can go to the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Alzire, who won at this level when beating British raider Audarya at Saint-Cloud in September.

She got first run from the front on that occasion but had earlier pulled too hard and got no luck in running when finishing fourth at Group 3 level over 1m2f in June. Still lightly raced, this four-year-old is open to plenty of improvement and can take this race before resuming her efforts at Group level.

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