Three of the races at Dieppe are worth a close look.
The first of the two 12-furlong maidens at 15:42 is for fillies, none of which are in form. Karlarina is rated 88 on her two-year-old form but appears to have lost her way. She can not be trusted despite the opposition being weak.
The one for colts and geldings at 16:17, on the other hand, has two decent maidens that met on their racecourse debuts at Longchamp soon after the Arc. On that occasion, over nine furlongs, Darkot set off in front with Reventador two lengths off the pace in third. Darkot kept the lead until a furlong and a half out and weakened to finish fifth. Reventador was the last of the four to go past him, close home.
Both have plenty of scope, but as Reventador has the benefit of a recent run at Strasbourg, and is out of a Group 2 winner that was fourth to Treve in a 2015 Arc trial, he is my tip.
Horses in form appeal in their claimer
Three of the 11 runners In the claimer for three-year-olds at 19:00 won last time out. Broken Land got off the mark at the eight attempt. That was in a similar race at Compiegne on her first stab at 10 furlongs. She set a slow pace and got home by a short head.
Ambre Molins has been on top for Eversweet's claimer wins at Compiegne and Vichy over a mile. You would have to be concerned about her being able to stay an extra furlong, but she has got a good attitude and came from a long way back to get up close home last time.
Jacques Coeur will try to trump them both. He got off the mark on his seventh start, the first time he ran in a claimer. That was over a mile on soft at Angers where he was running on well at the finish having sat behind the leading group for the first half of the race. His rider, Soufiane Saadi, was confident throughout and Eversweet will need to be at her best to prevent Jacques Coeur following up.
Jitinga is the joker in the pack. She is dropping in class, stepping up a furlong and wearing blinkers for the first time, so is very much an unknown quantity.
Orangefield can make up for Vichy defeat
The closing sprint at 20:00 is for horses rated 0-80, so the three that have handicap marks of 79 or 80 should fight out out the finish. They also happen to be ridden by three of the top jocks riding: Pierre-Charles Boudot, Christophe Soumillon and Eddy Hardouin.
Orangefield ran well in defeat in a tough handicap at Vichy on Wednesday. He was never closer than at the finish and the extra half furlong should help him. Take into account his third of 16 over course and distance last June and he looks the pick of the trio.
Capla Gilda started out in Newmarket with Marco Botti and had a spell with Archie Watson after that. She came to France last year on a mark of 72 and having won £30,000 from her three victories last year is now rated 80. With Boudot on board she is understandably favourite. The two negatives are her six-month absence from the track and all her wins in France have been over a furlong further.
On The Sea got the better of Shams Brazilero and Parigote in a finish of heads on good to soft at Chantilly last time. Soumillon was the difference between winning and losing. His mount had failed to make the first four in his previous 15 races. Maybe his trainer has at last found the key to this Juddmonte reject that he bought at the Sales as a three-year-old.
Well worth the Risk
Two novice hurdles kick off the start of the jumps card at Clairefontaine. I would not rush to back a previous winner of this type of event that has a 7lb penalty in England. In France, though, the penalties are based on prizemoney won to distinguish between winning a valuable novice race and a more modest one.
First up is the one for fillies at 12:25. There is no knowing the quality of the fillies Risk d'Aimer beat at Moulins where her task was made easier by the fall of Shannon Marigold, who was alongside her at the last. She drew away on the run-in, though, and quickly went four lengths clear.
Ginga's earnings from her second and fourth at Compiegne means she has to give her market rival 2lb. The fact that a maiden concedes weight to a winner indicates, at least in theory, that the Compiegne races were better than the one at Moulins. I will go with Risk d'Aimer but it was a toss-up between the two.
Le Listrac is preferred to Yes Indeed in the one for three-year-old colts and geldings at 13:00.
Le Listrac was beaten 10 lengths by Magneto at Compiegne where, back in March, Yes Indeed came home 12 lengths behind Quilixios. Yes Indeed has since finished well beaten at Auteuil in a stronger race. Le Listrac has looked the more willing of the pair and the 4lb he gets from James Reveley's mount could make the difference between winning and losing.
Time for Sa Carlex to Rev up over fences
Reveley shouldn't leave Clairefontaine without a winner, though, as he has a solid chance in the closing novice chase at 17:45.
His mount Sa Carlex won three of her five hurdle races, but ran indifferently on her first start over fences at Fontainebleau. She finished behind fellow four-year-olds rated 10-12lb lower than her over hurdles. Her trainer, Guillaume Macaire, is keeping her to fences so must feel there is better to come.
The two at the top that stand between her and victory are Bal Express and High King. The former was last seen coming second to Galant Du Chenet over more demanding fences at Auteuil six months ago. High King has a winnings-based 4lb penalty for scoring on his chasing debut at Toulouse.
It will, no doubt, come down to who jumps the cleanest and sharpest but in receipt of 11lb from one and 9lb from the other, Sa Carlex really ought to come out on top.