Horse Racing Tips

French Racing Tips: Fab Feu Follet to strike gold for home team

There is over €1.75million on offer at Auteuil
Auteuil hosts a cracking card with three Grade 1s and raiders from Ireland and England

"Screaming Colours is at the top of his game. He may lack class but definitely not stamina."

Patrick Weaver looks at Sunday's Auteuil card with three Grade 1s including the French Gold Cup...

The Grand Steeplechase de Paris at 15:00 is an annual conundrum that defies logic.

The French runners take each other on with different results every time. It seems the longer the race - and the race is three miles, six - the more inconsistent horses are. That's the only apparent correlation.

English trainers other than Richard Hobson know better than to have runners while anything the Irish send over has faltered through inexperience of the idiosyncratic fences.

Screaming Colours has each-way appeal given the soft ground

Willie Mullins is hoping to put that right, saddling Al Boum Photo, Franco De Port and Burrows Saint.

Al Boum Photo would be the classiest of the trio, and should he win this weekend he would be the first horse in many a year to win both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand Steep. He has fallen off his perch a bit, though, as he is rated 165 - down from 175 14 months ago.

Burrows Saint's last success over fences came in the 2019 Irish National. Mullins then targeted this race and he was fifth, having held a prominent position until fading in the home straight. Fourth in last year's Grand National he unseated Paul Townend at Aintree on his return to Aintree last month.

The further Franco De Port went in last month's Irish Grand National the worse his jumping got. He only beat one home. Why he is 11.010/1 rather than 51.050/1 I can't fathom.

He was way behind William Durkan's Screaming Colours 17.016/1 who wasn't beaten far in fourth having previously won the Midlands Grand National by 10 lengths. Second in the Paddy Power Cork Grand National in the autumn, Screaming Colours is at the top of his game. He may lack class but definitely not stamina.

Richard Hobson saddles Lord Du Mesnil 41.040/1 who unseated his rider 12 months ago. He was tailed off in his prep race here last month and seems best at Haydock and Cheltenham.

Back the French to repel UK and Irish challenge

And so to the 11 French runners and their interwoven form lines. Long story short, the handicapper has the Guillaume Macaire-trained pair Feu Follet on 170 and Sel Jem on 168. Gex on 167.

Feu Follet gets my vote as he was third in 2020 and comes here on a hat-trick having beaten Sel Jem in the Prix Ingre last month. His stablemate was odds-on that day - Feu Follet was 7.8/1 - so my selection exceeded market expectations.

Sel Jem,/strong> has finished first or second in all his races but, like Gex, has not run beyond two miles, six over fences. Realistically we don't know how they will cope with the extra mile.

I will add last year's fourth and sixth, General En Chef and Eddy De Balme, to Feu Follet to make a short list of three in what looks as tricky a renewal as ever.

Turn on to Tap in the Prix Wild Risk

Sophie Leech runs two in the Prix Wild Risk at 15:40.

Tiger Tap Tap was third to Feu Follet and Brexit at Compiegne last month, never nearer than at the winning post, having made steady progress from four out. Danny Mullins takes over from Nathan Howle who is on Clondaw Clan.

The veteran has only been placed once in 12 starts since winning over course and distance 18 months ago, so if you want to back one or other I suggest Tiger Tap Tap each-way, as he may have to settle for a place behind Brexit.

La Manigance can prove too strong

There's a difference of opinion between the Racing Post Ratings and the French handicapper for the novices chase over two miles, six at 16:15.

The Post has Altesse Du Berlais and Latino Des Isles, both on the same mark and as the former gets 5lb, she should win.

France Galop has Latino Des Isles 8lb clear of La Manigance which is 4lb clear of Altesse Du Berlais.

Having watched the trial for today's race twice yesterday - the Prix Jean Stern over course and distance - I was most impressed with the way La Manigance drew away from Sans Bruit and Latino Des Isles. Tonguetted and Saint Paris were fourth and fifth.

The weights are in the third's favour in the Prix Ferdinand Dufaure but I still fancy La Manigance to keep her unbeaten record over fences intact.

Hawai to follow up her Prix Amadou trial victory

The Prix Alain Du Breil at 16:50 is the equivalent of our Triumph Hurdle. It has been won by some hotshots in the past, including yesterday's Champion Hurdle winner Hernes Baie.

Eight of the last 10 winners have started at under 4/1, the other two were between 5/1 and 9/1.

Kyrov and Hawai Du Berlais are different class to their rivals, though Kyrov's lapse in last month's Prix Amadou would suggest otherwise.

That day the 4/5 favourite came in sixth behind Hawai Du Berlais, West End Girl, Norville, You're The Boss and Imprenable. I've no idea why Kyrov failed to accelerate in his usual style, so I'll go with Hawai Du Berlais 2.3811/8 to follow up with West End Girl 7.513/2 looking the best each-way bet.

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