Villeroi has found depths to compete with the best

03:28 AM 22 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Villeroi, harness racing
Villeroi and Jean-Etienne Dubois hold on in Prix Ovide Moulinet
Paris Turf Photo
Jean Ettiene Dubois' Villeroi seems finally to have found the depths to his stamina needed to compete at the very top level in France.

His last start victory was his first in twelve starts at group level and his sixth overall in 34 race attempts.

While he has accrued a respectable 309,590 euros, the son of Oisau de Feux and top broodmare Pocahontas was prone to step roughly when the pressure went on, and was we know in France galloping is an instant DQ, while more than a couple of skips from either front or back pairings will have a race taken off the offender.

He will face a field of 5YOs in the Prix Robert Auvray, a 120,000 euro group two over 2850m which is absent of the money leaders of the V-generation, the likes of Vanika du Ruel, Victoire and Village Mystic.

Indeed Villeroi is only just in the top 20 of his generation's richest although of course a good many of those will be under saddle specialists.

The highest earner in the field is Criterium des 4 Ans winner Voltigeur de Myrt who looks to be coming back into form after recording his fastest time ever last start, 1.11.1 (under a 25m handicap) which was the equal fastest in the race but only good enough for sixth in the Prix des Selection, with the front markers from the A-generation taking four of the top places with their advantage.

Eric Raffin will be in the bike on Roberto Donati 's son of Opus Viervil, and he is at generous odds (5/1) in the early market on the French PMU.

Viking de Val has the early favouritism despite a gallop in the Prix de Selection and a third placing behind Villeroi in the Prix Ovide Moulinet in mid February. Trainer Eric Lambertz will as usual pilot the son of Baccarat du Pont who is a newcomer to group racing, and while he has yet to win a black type race he has been highly competitive with a third placing in the group one Criterium Continental, being his career highlight so far.

Jean Michel Bazire is in the bike on Varade d'Hermine which has the daughter of Legs du Clos prominent in the market but although she is a multiple group two winner, she hasn't greeted the judge in nearly a year.

Franck Nivard's Vulcan De Vandel and Michael-Jean Ruault's Vicomte Boufarcaux are the others to garne somer early support.

Jean-Phillipe Dubois has a trio of runners in Volcan d'Urzy, Voyage de Reve and Visite Royal but all are considered outsiders on form.

PRIX ROBERT AUVRAY Vincennes

22/03/14 FR Group 22850 5YO 120,000 euros

1 Victoria du Jouan (m Insert Gede - Jirondelle) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Jean Luc Bigeon 2850

2 Vulcain de Vandel (h Jag de Bellouet - Ophelia de Vandel) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Nivard 2850

3 Visite Royale (m Love You - Imagine d'Odyssee) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2850

4 Varade d'Hermine (m Legs du Clos - Hotesse des Champs) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Baudouin 2850

5 Vicomte Boufarcaux (h Oh James - Olympe du Boufard) Dr: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Michael Jean Ruault 2850

6 Voyage de Reve (h Password - Kiocalba) Dr: Etienne Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2850

7 Volcan d'Urzy (h Password - Jabotte d'Urzy) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2850

8 Villeroi (h Oiseau de Feux - Pocahontas) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 2850

9 Viking de Val (h Baccarat du Pont - La Forge de Val) Dr: Eric Lambertz Tr: Eric Lambertz 2850

10 Voltigeur de Myrt (h Opus Viervil - Myrtille des Bois) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Roberto Donati 2850

by David Sanders, for Harnesslink

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