Wednesday 29 March 2017

Casamento to prove class at chantilly

Recent 2,000 Guineas hero Roderic O'Connor is the sole Irish challenger in tomorrow's French Derby at Chantilly.

A Group One winner in France as a juvenile, the Galileo colt left behind his dismal effort in the Newmarket Guineas when bouncing back to form at The Curragh.

Having made all then, he should have no trouble seeing out the extra two furlongs today, and justifiably heads the market to secure Aidan O'Brien a first success in the Group One.

At around 7/2, his price looks right. Tin Horse, a surprise winner of the French Guineas three weeks ago, is next in the betting, but that form doesn't convince.

Third favourite at up to 7/1 is Casamento, and that may be where the real value lies. During a two-year-old campaign with Mick Halford last term, the Godolphin representative was beaten only once, going down fighting by a head to Pathfork in the National Stakes on just his second start.

The Shamardal colt confirmed that promise by landing his next two outings, culminating in a game triumph over Seville, Master Of Hounds and Native Khan in a Group One. That is top-class form.

The reason for Casamento's generous price is his poor show behind Frankel at Newmarket.

However, that can partially be explained his racing close to the blistering pace, and Roderic O'Connor has already proved that the form cannot be taken literally.

Over a trip that is likely to suit, Casamento is expected to return to his best.

At Perth tomorrow, Gordon Elliot is typically busy. The Co Meath-based handler saddles five at the Scottish venue, the pick of which may be Chino Valdes in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle.

A winner at Fairyhouse in January, Chino Valdes generally struggled in heavy going through the winter. When he reappeared on better going at Cork last week, he scored in impressive fashion, so a 19lb higher rating in Britain may not stop him now.

Irish Independent

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