Zonza and Sacred Life Leading Contenders For the Guineas Trials
1.20 Deauville, Prix Imprudence
The betting suggests this year’s Prix Imprudence is wide open, with very little between Tantheem, Zonza and Moisson Precoce. Moisson Precoce finally got her head in front in a Deauville maiden on the 2nd of March. While she has the benefit of a run, her form looks short of what is required to take a race like this.
Tantheem and Zonza are clear top rated according to the French handicapper, even though Zonza finished 4 lengths in front of Tantheem when the met for the only time in the group 1 Prix Morny, just 1 ½ lengths behind the winner Unfortunately in fourth. Tantheem went in to that race as the 13/5 favourite on the back of two wins, including a group 3 event at Deauville. Tantheem has never run on ground worse than good so it’s hard to gauge how she will handle today’s heavy ground, but for Zonza this won’t be a problem.
Of the others, Fou Rire has shown small glimpses of form and with a run under her belt she could run in to a place at 25/1. The once raced Talbath who scrambled home in a race for unraced fillies doesn’t look good enough based on that form, but it can often pay to stay on the right side of unbeaten horses in these types of races.
Zonza at 7/2 is a tentative choice, her trainer Didier Guillemin’s horses are running well, with a winner on 3rd of April and she will have no problem with the testing conditions.
1.50 Deauville, Prix Djebel
France’s joint top rated 2-year-old Sacred Life looks head and shoulders above these, apart from the English raider Cardsharp.
The English raiders have been dominating the French group races and while Cardsharp has some great form in Britain, being a group 2 winner at Newmarket, today’s conditions could really hamper his chances. His final start as a 2-year-old saw his step up to 7 furlongs for the first time in the Dewhurst, which saw him being beaten nearly 7 lengths in to 5th behind US Navy Flag. While that group one form isn’t terrible, he finished less than 3 lengths behind that opponent the time before over 6 furlongs and he’s not looked so effective with cut in the ground. This 7 furlongs on desperate ground could find him out.
If Sacred Life is anywhere near his peak for this then he should win this comfortably, especially on this type of ground. With either a tilt at the French or English 2000 Guineas just under 4 weeks away he may not be fully wound up, but with an unblemished race record of 3 wins, trainer Stephane Wattel must be keen on him keeping a clean sheet and he’s in decent form himself.
The only other horses of interest is the Andre Fabre trained Drummore and Infernal Magic, Drummore with a run under his belt he could place at 14/1, though Fabre is hardly on fire at the moment. Sacred Life’s stable mate Infernal Magic has won his last two, but he could be in here as pace-maker.
Sacred Life, 7/5