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Guarato, Allaire face off in Critérium de Vitesse

09 March 2018

It would have been thrilling had four-times Critérium de Vitesse winner, Timoko, had an opportunity to take on arch-nemesis Bold Eagle on Sunday at Cagnes-sur-Mer, but alas, having turned eleven, he no longer qualifies. Hence the presence of Pierre Pilarski’s champion. 
Covering a mile, the Critérium is the only Group 1 of its kind in France and has frequently proved a propitious moment for Scandinavian prospects to pick up some of the generous French prizemoney on offer. This year, however, it looks a duel between Bold Eagle and the Philippe Allaire-trained Bird Parker who beat the champion on no fewer than three occasions over the winter.
After six successive second places, this could be the moment for Franck Nivard to get his charge back in the winners’ circle, having been drawn No.1 on the inside, while Jean-Philippe Monclin starts from the unfavourable 8-spot. The break will be crucial.
Others in contention include the speedy Billie De Montfort (5), who has just once disappointed in ten starts over the distance, and Anna Mix who has landed the plum No.4 behind the car. Timone Ek is a Group 1 winner over the distance and is well-placed to finish in the money. Dreammoko and Dijon can also get a look in.
Picture: Bird Parker (inside) edging Bold Eagle in Prix de Belgique last January