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FRENCH RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Saturday's racing

"Tonja Lumpkins" (2020-07-17) -

National Hunt fans are well catered for in France on Saturday when Clairefontaine host a bumper 10-race programme with a staggering €418,000 on offer in prize money.

The Prix Trinidad is the most valuable race on the programme and VIA MARESCA (2.15) is likely to prove popular on the Pari Mutuel following her emphatic comeback victory at Compiegne earlier this month.

Ridden by conditional Florent Bayle, who is closing on a half century of career winners, the Poliglote mare travelled well in the first half dozen throughout, but appeared booked for a place at best once the main protagonists swung for home.

National Hunt fans are well catered when Clairefontaine host a bumper 10-race programme


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However, she gained good momentum from a good jump at the second last before producing a terrific finishing kick to lengthen away from runner-up Raster with another of Saturday's rivals, Famille Formidable, left trailing in fourth, beaten 12 lengths.

The conditions of the Prix Quomodo and a truly-run affair certainly seemed to suit Via Maresca given she finished so powerfully and the prospect of tackling another big field with some cut in the ground should hold no terrors as she looks to land a third career success for trainer Marc Rolland.

Connections of Famille Formidable will be hopeful their five-year-old can narrow the gap with Via Maresca, but she will have to step forward considerably fitness wise given the way her old adversary ran away from her after the last.

Heaven's Knight could perhaps pose more of a threat to the selection as she has finished runner-up and third in two 18-runner hurdles at this venue so the requirements of this race should suit ideally.

The Mickael Suror-trained mare finished an honourable sixth in an Auteuil Listed event (Katy Love 9th) on her first start in more than four months earlier in May and, given she looked a little ring-rusty that day, there could be more to come now she returns to handicap company. 


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