Horses To Follow » French Claim

French Claim

French Claim ran out an impressive winner of the one-mile-six-furlong race at Navan on Wednesday. He was a long odds-on shot, and the defection of Okita Soushi made his task easier than it might have been, but he couldn’t have been much more impressive than he was in winning, and, Paddy Twomey’s first runner of the season, it could set him up for a good season ahead.

He was a progressive stayer last season. He ran a big race to finish third in the Irish Derby, and he didn’t run badly in the St Leger, he was only beaten a total of five lengths in a race that appeared to be an insufficient test of stamina for him on good to soft ground. He goes well on soft ground, and he is a horse who should appreciate a thorough test of stamina. The Vintage Crop Stakes back at Navan could be next for him, according to his trainer, and, if all goes well there, he could move on to the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown, and on from there. He could be a Cup horse. The two and a half miles of the Ascot Gold Cup could suit him well and, although he isn’t quoted in the betting for that race, as long as the ground didn’t come up too fast, he could be a lively outsider at Royal Ascot.
Navan, 29th March 2023