2017 Auteuil French Champion Hurdle Preview
2.45 Auteuil: Grande Course d'Auteuil
This French Champion hurdle over 3 miles and 1 furlong sees L’Ami Serge, Shaneshill and last year’s winner of the race, Ptit Zig cross the channel to take on the leading French star Blue Dragon.
Shaneshill and L’Ami Serge fought out the finish of the trial for this race on the 20th of May, the Prix la Barka hurdle over 2 miles and 5 furlongs. Shaneshill got up in the final strides to reel in L’Ami Serge on the line with the favourite, Device in third. Shaneshill was favoured by the weights in that race and while he races off level weights here, he will appreciate the step up in distance while it will be against L’Ami Serge, so there should be very little between them.
Last year’s winner Ptit Zig could beat them both having shown a clear liking for this type of test. Last year he beat Blue Dragon in to third, but he could well reverse placings this time around.
Last year, Blue Dragon and Un De Sceaux took each other on from the start and while Willie Mullins’ charge dropped away in the straight, Blue Dragon looked to have the race in the bag, going clear before tiring rapidly in the final 100 yards.
Blue Dragon lost his way early this season but turned in a devastating front running performance last time out in the in the Prix Leon Rambaud Hurdle, conceding lumps of weight away to his rivals. He has learned to settle in the lead, which is essential to him seeing out this trip today and should get an easy time in the lead with no out-and-out front-runners in the field. He is currently hovering around 2.60 on the PMU, but is 7/2 with the UK bookies, which is well worth taking.
4.05 Auteuil: Alain du Breil Hurdle
Willie Mullins sends over the talented Bapaume and Dandy Mag, but it’s likely they will struggle to get the better of De Bon Coeur, especially as he gets weight from the entire field.
While I’m not keen on backing short priced horses, he does look outstanding, having barely come off the bridle in reeling off 6 consecutive victories. He currently hovers around 1.3 on the PMU, but is available at 5/6 with Sky Bet thanks to the presence of the two Irish runners that skew the UK market.
2.45 Auteuil, Blue Dragon, 7/2 widely available
4.05 Auteuil, De Bon Coeur 5/6, Sky Bet