France and Ireland
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My first post in my new home and I thought I’d take a look at French racing for the first time. There’s no flat racing in France today, at least not on the PMU tracks but trotting from Vincennes featuring the valuable Prix de Paris over the marathon distance of 4125 metres at 14.45 CET, and N.H. racing from Pau (4 hurdles races, 3 steeplechases and one cross-country). If anybody has an interest in French racing please let me know and I’ll do a regular feature.
Easily the best racing today comes at the Irish N.H. fixture at Navan, featuring three Grade Two races with several Irish hopes for Cheltenham taking part. The 2 mile novice chase at 15.10 could go to Edward O´Grady´s Clopf (Andrew McNamara), who did not quite come up to expectations as a hurdler, but could still make the grade over fences. Willie Mullins´ Scotsirish (Ruby Walsh), who fell last time out, looks the danger. With Noel Meade´s stable still out of form, one must be cautious about the chances of German-bred Aitmatov in the Boyle Hurdle over 2 miles 5 furlongs at 15.40. On his best form he would win this, but under the circumstances the Bowe family´s tough Earth Magic (Tom Doyle), who has won 3 of his last 4 races and is still improving, might be preferred.
The other novice chase, this time over 3 miles at 17.10, looks booked for Pomme Tiepy (Mullins/ Walsh), a most impressive winner of all her 3 starts in Ireland. She should confirm her latest Leopardstown form with runner-up Kilcrea Castle (Peter Doyle/ Davy Russell) on 3 lbs worse terms.
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