Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Thursday’s racing coming your way from Le Lion D’Angers and Gulfstream Park.
Le Lion D’Angers Best Bets
Race 3: No6 – JOLY RISK
Trainer: Gab Leenders – Jockey: Clement Lefebvre
If his costly error at Auteuil in March was just a temporary blip, JOLY RISK can bounce back. He had previously landed some good bets as a 2-1 favourite at this course and looks like being better over fences than he was a hurdler. Furthermore, he has scope for improvement as this is just an eighth career start for the five-year-old. Last season’s consistency of Edward could see him take a slice of the pie, assuming his comeback outing when he pulled up has brought him forward. Bess was an impressive scorer at Maure de Bretagne, and if fit from the enforced break could further bolster her tally.
Race 5: No2 – CYCLONE D’ALLEN
Trainer: D Berra – Jockey: P Lotout
The grey CYCLONE D’ALLEN has improved from race to race in three starts since joining his trainer. On two of those occasions, at Pau, he took home a cheque in better company than he faces today. The visored selection needs to step carefully to avoid trouble in this big field, but if getting a good sight of his fences can definitely make an impact. Another grey to take stock of is Camelion. He won at Saumur last autumn and in just five outings troubled the judge on two other occasions. He’s lightly-raced, with room for manoeuvre. If there’s a joker in the pack then it could be King De Teillee. Sandwiched between some jumping issues there’s a smart win, but that was two years ago, leaving him with a fitness question mark to answer.
Race 7: No1 – AMAZING COMEDY
Trainer: David Cottin – Jockey: James Reveley
Representing powerful connections, AMAZING COMEDY is of serious interest in this cross-country chase. He’s spent his last two starts chasing the shadow of Easyland and his second to that champion at Cheltenham last December is easily the best form on offer. While no match for the latter it proves he is on the up and up……….he just needs to show that he’s fit after five months off. Twirling automatically goes in as the prolific winner of his last three starts. He reacted positively to a first-time visor when last seen, but as that was almost 18 months ago he has an even bigger question mark hanging over his fitness level. Courtesy of his fourth to Easyland in the Glenfarclas at the Cheltenham Festival in March, Diesel D’Allier has to be respected, especially as he was a winner at that course in November last year and has rubbed shoulders with the best in his field.
Race 8: No1 – GENY DES AIRS
Trainer: Gab Leenders – Jockey: T Gaullier
A double penalty shouldn’t prevent GENY DES AIRS from completing a hat-trick in this four-year-olds only chase. The grey filly delivered a 30 lengths annihilation to her foes at Saint Brieuc in March, and while this is clearly tougher, she could only prevail doing handstands and is going to prove very hard to beat. The unexposed Funky De La Barre commands respect and especially if proving popular in the betting, but with more pressing claims is Galop Du Large, who though seeking a first win is definitely inching closer with every run.
Gulfstream Park Best Bets
Race 1 (Maiden Special Weight): No4 – WINDFALL PROFIT (Each Way)
Trainer: Shug McGaughey – Jockey: Nik Juarez
WINDFALL PROFIT looks like a filly that’s improved from two to three, as her first run in FLA brought about a near-miss at Tampa last month. She’s in the hands of a man that can elevate his distaffers as well as anyone, and with Setting The Mood and Ocean Air sure to attract the majority of the betting handle on the contest, is going to represent value. Setting The Mood performed above what her price suggested when second here on debut, and from the rail looks a worthy favourite. Ocean Air can only improve on a similarly encouraging first foray into the track, but has the widest post to overcome.
Race 2 (Maiden Special Weight): No3 – LIME
Trainer: Wesley Ward – Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr
As the only filly with previous experience and hailing from the top barn for juveniles, LIME can lead these home. The daughter of Iqbal represents top UK owners for whom Ward will be itching to put points on the board and money in the bank. She’s going to improve for that defeat at 4-11 over the slightly longer trip and should make no mistake in the hands of Ortiz. At the time of writing, that jockey is also carded for the Tiznow debutant Flying Aletha, who has pleased in her work and would be the choice should her stablemate scratch. Add to that a third Warn hopeful in Royal Approval, forbwhom Edgard Zayas is booked to ride, and this adds up to a warm heat. Great Warrior is also part of an entry for Mark Casse and has shown promise.
Race 6 (Maiden Claiming): No11 – MOUNTAIN BREEZE
Trainer: John Kimmel – Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr
Ortiz has a strong book of rides on an interesting day and MOUNTAIN BREEZE can be another to break his maiden in the hands of the Puerto Rican. The First Dude gelding seemed to improve for his move to this barn when second to Jeeker Joe after a near 300-day break and with only his wide post adding slight cause for concern he’s in a good spot to go one better. Nothin But Net was turned over as a warm favourite on debut for her trainer here a month back, but from the rail appeals as the one Mountain Breeze has to beat. Big Treasure hasn’t quite rediscovered the form shown last season, but if showing improvement can earn.
Race 9 (Allowance Optional Claiming): No5 – ADMIRAL LYNCH
Trainer: Mike Maker – Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr
ADMIRAL LYNCH gets the vote on his first run for Maker, having shipped to the place he started out following a four-race spell racing on the Eastern Seaboard. He’s proved a model of consistency and if able to attain the same level of form he showed under Ortiz here back in February, will be a tough nut for the others to crack. Fast Pass takes a step up the class ladder, but as a smooth operator here has claims to add to four Gulfstream successes within the past year. The one that can cause the main pick more problems however is Mucho, as this son of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame will be sharper for a run back at Tampa, and won on his only previous visit here for Bill Mott.