Past Winners » Giofra


I think the betting is wrong here. I think that the top two in the market are too short. Golden Lilac is obviously top class, she won the French Guineas and the French Oaks last year and was unbeaten until she went to Deauville in August, and she looked really good in showing her trademark turn of foot to go and beat Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix d’Ispahan on her only run this term to date.

However, she had the run of the race that day. They didn’t go quickly, which suited Golden Lilac with her turn of foot, and she had the perfect sit through the race just behind the leader. More than that, however, genuinely soft ground is an unknown for her, and her odds haven’t altered a jot since it became obvious that the ground was going to be soft (they had another 18mm of rain last night). On top of that, this will be her first time to race outside France, and, while she could win easily, there are easily enough unknowns to justify taking her on at odds-on.

Maybe is more difficult to take on at 15/2, but it is still a leap of faith. She will handle the ground, but she has been disappointing in two runs this term, admittedly in the Guineas and the Oaks. Her strength in the market suggests that she has been working well at home, but she may be a 10-furlong horse this season as a three-year-old, and if you are backing her you are doing so in the belief that she will bounce back to her juvenile form. That is usually an expensive strategy. As well as that, Aidan O’Brien’s horses are just not zinging at the moment, and I am happy enough to be against Maybe. I am backing Giofra and Joviality …

Some of the value has gone out of Giofra this morning, but she is still worth backing at 7/1 or 15/2 (guaranteed). She was beaten by a peak-form Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay on her most recent run, but there was no disgrace in that, and she was still able to stick on to finish second in front of the high-class Reliable Man. Also, the ground was heavy that day, very testing, probably a fair bit more testing that today’s will be, and the 10 and a half furlong trip on that ground wasn’t ideal.

Alain de Royer-Dupre’s filly didn’t make her racecourse debut until last September, but she rounded off the season by landing a listed race at Longchamp over nine furlongs, and she looked really impressive on her debut this term, when she easily beat the highly talented Vadamar in the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt. She gets further than a mile, but the testing ground should bring her stamina into play, and it is easy to see her out-run her odds by a fair way.