Not on the radar for most British punters, Angers gets top billing on Monday. A city in western France of just 150,000 inhabitants, the racecourse itself plays host to all types of racing, flat jumps and even trot. For this Monday’s fixture though racing fans will have to settle for three chases and followed by four hurdle races.
A chase restricted to four year olds and the first one to look at is Furax with a name known to UK fans on board in James Reveley. Owned by one of French jumps racings biggest names Magalen Bryant, Furax is making his 2nd chase start after finishing fourth last time at Auteuil where previous to that he was a victor over hurdles. Making his first start for trainer Phillippe Peltier he comes into this after a small break and in what should be a weaker race. Of the likely dangers, Flavius is likely to provide the biggest threat though needs to step up on his last run at Pau where only one finished behind him. Feret has been running will in his short career with 2 runs over Hurdles where he has finished 2nd and 3rd. He tackles the chasing for the first time which is a slight worry. The final one to note is Fautildenuo who finished second on the course in December before a tame effort over hurdles.
A chase race restricted to five year olds where Tino Roli has probably shown the most so far with a decent third place over hurdles last time and expectation is an improvement for a first try over the larger obstacles. Comme Maman finished third in a chase at Pau in January which on ratings puts him just behind Tino Roli. The only horse in here that has winning chase form is En Temps Voulu though 2 subsequent pulled up efforts who make backing her a big risk.
Ardesmar, Curley D’Authie and Grandgarde have all been running well through January and it looks like this could be where to concentrate on. Sacha Green ran well in December when finishing 2nd in a race where Asdermar finished a place behind but ran no race next time when pulling up. Brin De Cotte at his best is probably the class horse in the race but has been off the track since October 2017. Similar can be said for Ahquecoucou who won last time out but again comes here off a mega lay off having not been seen since 2017.
The first hurdle race on the card and it’s not an easy one with 16 taking their chance. The colours of Authority will be recognized by some UK fans from the 2015 Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival where the owner had the favourite Toutancarmout who ran out when still holding a chance 2 out. Making his debut today, money for him shouldn’t be ignored. Of the runners who have run previously, only Kapios has placed though since then his form figures read P6FF. Golden Dario and Shaktiman have winning form but on the flat with Shaktiman having the better hurdle form of the two.
Tresse gets the vote off the back of two fourth places in Pau in January. Ad Acta brings similar form with a pair of forth place finishes from Cagnes before pulling up last time. Holy Ruler twice refused to race when on the flat and didn’t show too much when making his hurdle debut in November. Lost Paradsie makes his first run over hurdles after winning on the flat in November so can’t be discounted. Of the remainder Ever Love, makes most appeal wining two on the flat.
Edylan brings good form with a 2nd in December. Eris third in Autiel in November would put her in the mix to take this but was soundly beaten finishing way down the field last time in a chase.
A handicap hurdle for five year olds and above ends the card and as such has attracted a fair few of older horses who have shown some very good form down the years. Chief amongst them is Ultra Lucky has already earned almost 430,000 euros. He was placed in Pau in December but was not so good next time. Over 200,000 euros have been earned by Sistadenn, Ultranet and Badoudal, all of which have run with credit this year. Remarkably the 2012 Group One Prix Royal-Oak winner is in the line-up, Les Beaufs in a race Brown Panther was eighth but is obviously a lot below that sort of form nowadays.