4.10 Maisons-Laffitte: Prix Messidor
Andre Fabre’s Al Wukair makes his return to the track after finishing third in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. While he sets the standard here, he is returning after a 71 day layoff and he may not be fully wound up for this group 3 race so it could pay to side with Taareef today.
Taareef faces a tough task trying to concede 8lbs to the classic placed Al Wukair but he has found a new level of form this of late and is looking to register his third win on the bounce. His win last time out at Chantilly was by far his best where he raced prominently and was always holding his better fancied stable-mate Zelzal. He ran a similar race in the group 2 Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein, racing prominently, he wound it up from a quarter of a mile out to come home a comfortable winner.
With only 6 runners, a tactical race could suit horses that are placed forward like Taareef. If Al Wukair is 100% for today then he should win, but he has bigger targets like the Irish Champion Stakes in September (he also holds an Arc de Triomphe entry) on his agenda and he looks to have been given a traditional French summer break for an autumn campaign.
It’s hard to see the winner coming outside of either Al Wukair or Taareef on the ratings. Al Wukair is currently available at a best priced 8/13 while Taareef is 4/1 and that looks the bet here. Interestingly Al Wukair is currently odds against on the PMU with Taareef much shorter and has also being tipped up by the French media against Andre Fabre’s better fancied runner.
Taareef, 4/1 with Paddy Power, Coral and Betfair