Outsider Araaja Can Go Close at Maisons-Laffitte
The third place finisher in this year’s Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, Heuristique is the standout in this race and she will like the desperate ground too. There has to be a big doubt about her fitness after a 108 day absence and it could pay to take her on today.
Araaja knows how to win races, having won four of her eight races to date and her last run behind Sobetsu is better than the bare form suggests. She travelled in behind but as they quickened in the straight, she found herself stuck behind a wall of horses. By the time her jockey manoeuvred her out it was too late and despite making late headway she was beaten just over 6 lengths. Though she wouldn’t have beaten the winner, she would have probably finished in the company of horses like Onthemoonagain, Senga and Strathspey, who are genuine group 1 performers.
She is available at 16/1 with Paddy Power which looks a great each way bet, especially with market leaders in Heuristique and Dallas Affair returning after a break.
Charlie Appleby sends Sound And Silence over to France again after finishing second behind Rimini at Chantilly 17 days ago. His juveniles have been in great form and he just failed to reel in the favourite in that race, for which he was the 4/5 favourite. Arecibo finished fifth in that race and unless the worse ground helps him then he has little chance on turning the tables with the favourite. The heavy ground here at Maisons-Laffitte is not what his trainer would have wanted, having pulled him out of the Molecomb stakes at Goodwood because of the soft ground, and it will be much worse here. All his wins have come over 5 furlongs on quick ground but stepping up to 6 furlongs in heavy ground is going to be a big question.
River Cannes comes here on the back of a single run, and a win in a decent looking maiden at Deauville. She quickened up nicely and was doing all her best work at the end to wear down the leader who was having her third race. This is a huge step up for her from a maiden to a group 3, but if she handles the ground she could be the one to trouble the favourite. She is a best priced 14/1 for today’s 5-runner race, which is worth chancing against this field.
River Cannes, 14/1