Prix du Bourbonnais runners
04 December 2016
The G.II Prix du Bourbonnais has seen changes this year with the first three horses being awarded an automatic berth for the Prix d’Amérique. In another innovative move, the 25m distance handicap has been eliminated for those with superior earnings. In spite of these modifications the race has drawn a large number of runners, whose prospects are considered below.
The sole four year-old in the field. He acquitted himself very well to finish sixth in the Prix de Bretagne after a solid effort behind Traders in the G.II Prix Marcel Laurent. While he should put in another honest effort, he is unlikely to trouble the principal protagonists.
Call Me Keeper
Six year-old with considerable ability. He won a G.II in Sweden over the summer and a G.III at Meslay during the autumn but has been struggling with stride problems and in this company appears to have a mountain to climb.
Alienor De Godrel
A very useful mare that has a solid record over course and distance. She has been at the top of her game since the summer and her latest fourth place in the G.II GNT final did not go unnoticed. Up against better this time but should nonetheless give a good account.
Viking De Val
He finished fifth in 2014 on his only start in the race but has endured two very lean years since. He was found wanting in the Prix de Bretagne and once again offers little hope.
A hardy mare that always gives her best. She was a surprise third in the famous Bold Eagle-Lionel edition of the Grand Prix de Paris earlier in the year but has done nothing noteworthy since and cannot expect to influence the outcome.
Fifth in the Prix de Bretagne at a massive 149/1 when racing fully shod, he provided one of the best performances of the race. Still going strong aged nine, he is sure to attract substantially more attention this time around.
As consistent as they come, he most recently finished third behind Traders and Bold Eagle in the Prix Marcel Laurent over 2100m. Sunday’s 2700m event will answer some questions about his staying ability but he should not be underestimated at any cost.
One of the best five year-old mares in the country, she was a valiant runner-up to Bold Eagle in the G.I Critérium des 5 Ans during the autumn. She did not have the best of luck in the Prix de Bretagne when heavily backed but with better fortune this time she looks a major player.
A decent dual-purpose mare that has failed to recapture her 2015 form. She made no impact in the Prix de Bretagne three weeks ago and should once again find this a stiff challenge.
As was the case for a number of others, he made a respectable return to competition in the Prix de Bretagne while fully shod. He can be expected to put in a more competitive effort on Sunday and, if close to his best, should play an important part in the outcome.
He made a promising comeback in the G.II Grand Prix de Bretagne three weeks ago. He will be considerably better honed for this contest and looks a solid place prospect this time around.
She earned her ticket to the Prix d’Amérique when finishing third to Anna Mix in the Prix de Bretagne. She can now enjoy a less arduous preparation and will avoid any major ordeals. She is still a serious mare and can make her presence felt
Another of Philippe Allaire’s talented young horses. He finished runner-up to Timoko in the G.II Grand Prix du Sud-Ouest at Agen mid-October before just missing out on a frame finish in the Prix de Bretagne. He is a courageous sort and will not be far off the mark.
Voltigeur De Myrt
Unlucky in the Prix de Bretagne when still on the bit, he will be worth watching as he bids to qualify for a spot in the big race, in which he finished runner-up to Up And Quick in 2015.
Prix de Bretagne winner of 2014, he made no impression in last month’s edition when making his seasonal return. He will need to make serious progress in order to have any impact in what looks like a high-class field.
There are hardly any words left to describe this horse. One of the few blots on his copybook was the recent defeat to Traders in the G.II Prix Marcel Laurent. He is unlikely to go down again and will be the one to follow.
The highest ever earner in French trotting, he has not taken in the Bourbonnais since 2013. He has been on flying form this year and has acquitted himself particularly well on both of his starts since the summer break. He vies for an automatic berth in the Prix d’Amérique and with shoes off can be expected to figure prominently.
Picture: The first three home in the Prix du Bourbonnais will be taking part in the Prix d'Amérique
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