Sunday, 11 June 2017

Willie Mullins star juvenile Bapaume targets French Grade One glory after Festival failure

Willie Mullins’ promising juvenile Bapaume is searching for his second Grade One victory in Auteuil’s Prix Alain du Breil (4:05).

The four-year-old enjoyed a good campaign over the winter, winning a pattern race at Leopardstown before just losing out to Mega Fortune in his first attempt for Grade One success.

He was fancied in the Cheltenham Festival’s Triumph Hurdle, but Mega Fortune and Defi Du Seuil were too good for the French-born challenger.

He finally gained top level success at the Punchestown a month later, defeating the well-regarded Landofhopeandglory late on to win the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle.

"On his Irish and English form Bapaume is a Grade 1 horse and better than Dandy Mag," said Mullins to the Racing Post.

Dandy Mag finishing second in Fairyhouse's G2 Juvenile Hurdle in April

Mullins is also represented by Dandy Mag who won easily at Ballinrobe last time out, but faces a steep rise in class this afternoon.

"Dandy Mag ran well at Punchestown, better than his finishing position suggests. I don’t think he's good enough to win but the extra three furlongs will help, and he's improving."

He will have to overcome De Bon Coeur, the French raider who is unbeaten in all six starts.

Francois Nicholle’s star four-year-old has won once at the top level, and was last seen destroying the 
field in a nine length romp in the Grade Two Prix Amadou.

The leading juvenile in France gets her ideal conditions, and may take some stopping even in her hardest race yet.

"De Bon Coeur is in fantastic shape as I gave her a bit of time after her last race to recharge her batteries," Nicolle told the Racing Post.

"The others can do what they like but if they try to follow her, they will be in trouble. Even I have no idea of her limits.”

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