World Racing Guide: Tips at Longchamp and Will Rogers Downs

There's racing at Longchamp this afternoon.
There's racing at Longchamp this afternoon.

With British and Irish action suspended for the foreseeable future, Nick Seddon has taken a look at the racing taking place from around the world on Monday, and picked out his best bets in France and the United States...

Longchamp (France)

French racing returns with a stellar card at Longchamp today, which features no less than four Group contests. The Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau is a recognised trial for the French Guineas (11:55), and Victor Ludorum will be very tough to beat on the form he showed as a two-year-old - defeating each of Helter Skelter, Ecrivain and Kenway when winning the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere over course and distance last October. However, bearing in mind that the majority of the field will be returning from a long absence in very soft conditions, it could be worth chancing the improving Pisanello each-way. He's already won once so far this season, having both The Summit and Kenway in behind when winning a listed contest at Saint-Cloud in March. This is a big step up in class, but that victory came on heavy, and it would be no surprise to see him hit the frame at a double figure price with the benefit of race fitness on his side. 

Race six is the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte, which is a Guineas trial for the fillies (12:25). Tropbeau is the clear one to beat on form having signed off with a fine third in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket last September, though it could be worth taking her on with the progressive Khayzaraan. This is a big step up on anything she's contested in three starts so far, though she couldn't have been more impressive when signing off with a clear-cut success in a conditions race over this trip at Chantilly last September, and there could be any manner of improvement to come from this Kingman filly. 

The feature race is the Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt over 10 furlongs (13:05), for which Sottsass is impossible to oppose after a fine campaign which saw him win the French Derby and place a fine third in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. However, he's too short to justify backing on reappearance, and instead it could be worth siding with a race fit rival each-way, namely Simona. She has raced twice already this season and has looked an improved model, making a winning reappearance at Compiegne at the beginning of March before winning a Group 3 contest at Saint-Cloud later this month. Both of those starts came in heavy conditions, and while this represents another sharp rise in class, it isn't out of the realms of possibility that she could improve further. With the benefit of fitness on her side it would be no surprise to see her hit the frame. 

Longchamp Tips

Longchamp Race 5 (11:55) - back Pisanello each-way at 20/1

Longchamp Race 6 (12:25) - back Khayzaraan at 7/4

Longchamp Race 7 (13:05) - back Simona each-way at 9/1

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Will Rogers Downs (United States)

We're back for a 10-race card at Will Rogers Downs this evening, and Sweet Idi can complete a double in race one (19:15). The five-year-old picked up a third career success when winning over nine furlongs at Turf Paradise at the beginning of March, winning in really good style. That form reads pretty well in the context of this race, as he's lining up against a field of largely exposed types, and the drop back to a mile should hold no fears. From the plum draw in stall one, it would be disappointing if he can't go close at the very least.

In race five, Kipper looks to have been found an excellent opportunity to belatedly get off the mark (21:15). Admittedly, the six-year-old rather stands out like a sore thumb in a field full of three-year-old debutants, and while he's five starts without a success thus far, he's shown a good level of form in those outings - finishing second on four occasions. Indeed, one of those runs came over course and distance, and while he has to overcome a 543-day absence here, he really ought to be putting his experience to good use.  

Lastly, Buck Duane can get back to winning ways in the finale (23:45). Admittedly, the five-year-old has struggled over this trip at Oaklawn Park the last twice, though both of those outings came at a higher level. Indeed, the form he showed to win over six furlongs at Del Mar in November is the strongest on offer, and dropped in class here, he can take an open-looking curtain-closer.

Will Rogers Downs Tips

Will Rogers Race 1 (19:15) - back Sweet Idi at 8/1

Will Rogers Race 5 (21:15) - back Kipper at 2/1

Will Rogers Race 10 (23:45) - back Buck Duane at 11/4

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