The Group two Prix Abel Bassigny at Vincennes today is the first of two preparations for colts on the path to the Criterium des 3 Ans on December 8.
The race is something of a commentator’s nightmare with Artiste du Jour, Artiste de Joudes and Atlas de Joudes all in the race, and all having some chance to add another Group two to their CVs in what looks a far more open race than the fillies race earlier in the day.
Of the favoured runners, Akim du Cap Vert has been a very consistent performer, although he has had to play second fiddle to the fillies in all the Group one races he has contested this season, with a second place in the Criterium des Jeunes, a very close third in the Prix Albert Viel and a fourth in the Prix de l’Etoile.
He is currently the leading colt on the money-earnings table, in third place overall behind Ready Cash fillies Axelle Dark and Avila.
But Franck Anne’s colt by First de Retz has two group twos among five wins, and he has been in the top three in all but five of his 18 starts, with a fourth in a group one the only other time he has completed a race – the other four races were breaks.
Mathieu Abrivard’s Aldo des Champs is a late bloomer, but has recently made some very impressive strides, being nosed out for second in the Group one Prix Albert Viel splitting two wins, including the Prix Kalmia at Vincennes in July where he beat five of the horses he meets here – including Akim du Cap Vert. He may even start favourite.
Then we have the three tongue twisters, headed by Ready Cash colt Atlas de Joudes who was third in the Prix de l’Etoile at his last start. This was the first good run he had put in since February, after a promising start to his career. If Philippe Allaire has him in that sort of form again he could figure.
Allaire’s second horse is Atlas de Joudes, who is by rising star sire Prodigious, a son of Goetmals Wood. He has been placed second and twice third in his last four starts, though he failed in his last start in August. He will need to improve on that to be in this.
Artiste du Jour was second in the Prix Kalmia against most of these horses in May, and he was fourth in the group one Criterium des Jeunes. Frederic Prat’s Chef du Chalet colt ran second in a minor warm-up race in Chartes a fortnight ago in preparation for this.
Franck Nivard will be on Vincent Collard’s Africain (Oardo) whose last start was a win at Vincennes, one of three in 14 outings, and he may be the dark horse.
PRIX ABEL BASSIGNY
04/11/13 FR (G2) 2175m 3H €120,000
1 Ausone du Kastel (h Gros Grain - Lancee) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard
2 Africain (h Oardo - Kamine) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Vincent Collard
3 Alberic (h Goetmals Wood - Oublies Moi) Dr: Pierre Levesque Tr: Fabrice Souloy
4 Aladin d'Ecajeul (h Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato
5 Artiste de Joudes (h Prodigious - Memory de Joudes) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Philippe Allaire
6 Aldo des Champs (h Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Mathieu Abrivard
7 Artiste du Jour (h Chef du Chatelet - Ondine du Fournet) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Frederic Prat
8 Atlas de Joudes (h Ready Cash - Queschua Love) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire
9 Akim du Cap Vert (h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne