Progressive Skalleti worth a punt off top-weight
Skalleti did nothing progress last season, so appeals most for the 1m Group 3 Prix Bertrand du Breuil for older horses at Chantilly on Monday (11:01).
Trained by Jerome Reynier, this five-year-old won seven of his eight starts in 2019. After winning conditions contests at Chantilly, Longchamp and Marseille, Skaletti stepped up into Listed company at Vichy.
The Kendargent gelding improved again when beating the re-opposing Stunning Spirit by a length in a Deauville Group 3. Skatllei was always doing enough to win, and then stepped up in trip and grade.
A big Group 2 victory in the Prix Dollar over 1m 2f at Longchamp on Arc weekend followed. The grey was ridden with his usual hold-up tactics by jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot.
Skalleti gave his rider real confidence, as he progressed from last to first, making headway up the far rail. He led inside the final furlong and kept on for a three-quarters of a length victory.
As Skalleti then followed up in another Group 2 in Italy, he enjoyed a terrific campaign. Although penalised for those successes in a higher grade here, if continuing the progress from last term he should be able to give 4lb away.
The bookies certainly believe in Skalleti. Regular jockey Boudot has been in fine form since French horse racing resumed and boasts a 33 per cent strike rate at the time of writing.
If Skalleti wants a crack at the top mile races, then he needs to win the Prix Bertrand du Breuil. He appeals most after winning on all types of going.
Plumatic and Nature’s Colors the dangers
As Plumatic has also won at a higher level but doesn’t carry a penalty, he rates a danger.
This six-year-old debuts for the Francis-Henri Graffard stable here after leaving Andre Fabre’s yard. Plumatic is better on a sounder surface and gets that in the Prix Bertrand du Breuil.
Although only one from four at Chantilly, that does not tell the whole story. This horse is by Dubawi and has often ran over longer trips than this without staying.
A mile is exactly what Plumatic wants. He progressed in 2018 by landing a Group 3 at Salisbury beating Oh This Is Us by a length.
Plumatic ran well fresh on reappearance last season with a Group 2 neck victory over Olmedo at Saint-Cloud. As he then had 178 days off the track, he can be forgiven a 1 1/4 lengths third when giving Miss O Connor 9lb.
This is easier and on better ground, so Plumatic must be respected here with Christophe Soumillon taking the ride.
Fabre has two runners in the Prix Bertrand du Breuil, meanwhile, and the lightly-raced Nature’s Colors has more to offer.
The four-year-old Poet’s Voice colt won his final two starts of last season in minor events. Owned by Godolphin, Nature’s Colors then ran on strongly for a Listed success over 7f on reappearance.
With another step up required, this horse has the most further progress in him. Nature’s Colors could have a say in the finish if improving again.
Impulsif the each-way value in Prix Bertrand du Breuil
Godolphin and Fabre also have Impulsif in the eight-runner field. This five-year-old New Approach gelding is a Group 3 winner over the trip and in the ground.
He beat Stunning Spirit by three lengths at Maisons-Laffitte last season before completing a hat-trick at Deauville.
Impulsif was far from disgraced when fourth on very soft going in the Group 1 Prix Daniel Waldenstein at Longchamp. Although beaten 6 1/2 lengths, he wasn’t far behind Shaman in third.
That horse came out and won the Prix d’Harcourt in this grade last week. Better going which Impulsif gets in this should suit him better.
There was nothing wrong with his return to action when a two-length third to the re-opposing Silver Quartz either.
That was on the all-weather track here in March and Impulsif gave the winner 2lb. Meeting again off level weights and switching back to turf, that gives him every chance of reversing form.
The only slight worry is the form of Fabre’s stable. Unlike other runners for the yard, however, Impulsif has the benefit of a run under his belt.
He should strip fitter for that in the Prix Bertrand du Breuil. Impulsif this appeals most from an each-way perspective.