Eyes on Idao as confirmation anticipated

10 February 2024

Prix de France star attraction, Idao De Tillard

Second leg of the Triple Crown, Sunday’s 2100m Gr.1 Prix de France is very much viewed as a revenge-match for the Prix d’Amérique run 2 weeks earlier. Some greats have won this race, horses like Bold Eagle and Face Time Bourbon in recent years, and in 2022 it was Vivid Wise As who broke the race record in a time of 1’09”7. At the weekend, commanding Amérique winner, Idao De Tillard will attempt to succeed the transalpine sensation, Ampia Mede Sm.

Before landing the big prize a fortnight back, there were questions about Idao De Tillard’s supremacy but on 28 January, despite not enjoying the best of trips, he put all of those fears to rest. Clément Duvaldestin nonetheless managed to get his charge around the first 2500m unscathed and, soon into the straight, the pair were never going to be caught. For all the naysayers, that X-factor was clear to see.

Had he not faulted in the final stages of the Gr.1 Prix René BallièreThierry Duvaldestin’s 6 year-old would boast a perfect record of 5 from 5 over 2100m. It is hard to see him being beaten but there is no shortage of challengers to the Prix de France throne. 

Amérique runner-up, Hokkaido Jiel looks thoroughly capable of confirming. Even though he was ‘handed’ René Ballière victory, he is a high-class trotter in his own right and will be no soft touch if he stays in stride. Swedish Derby winner, Joviality was a terrific 3rd two weeks ago and will again be competitive. Romain Derieux’s barefoot gamble paid dividends as Go On Boy finished 4th, and the speedy 8 year-old will similarly be in with a decent shout.

Winner in 2022 and second last year, Vivid Wise As has been unable to follow his scheduled preparation this term but is still not to be underestimated. Ampia Mede Sm can redeem himself, while Hooker Berry and Hail Mary are not to be neglected.

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