Carriacou for G2 Prix Murat

Carriacou for G2 Prix Murat


Carriacou hit the headlines this time last year when helping Davy Russell secure a memorable Grand National double and he is one to follow at Auteuil on Saturday.

Isabelle Pacault’s charge landed the Grand Steeplechase de Paris by nine lengths for Russell, who had triumphed the previous month aboard Tiger Roll at Aintree and was becoming the first rider to take both races in the same year since Fred Winter in 1962.

Russell is obviously precluded from riding in France at present, but that should not dampen enthusiasm for Carriacou’s chance in the Grade 2 Prix Murat.

The eight-year-old was out of luck in two subsequent starts last year, but ran a nice enough race on his return in a Listed event over hurdles in March, just getting run out of it at the finish.

Nick Williams’ multiple graded winner Agrapart was second on that occasion, which gives a solid feel to the form, and it would be fair to expect Carriacou to come on a bit for the run.

Clearly the coronavirus shutdown will have hampered Pacault’s plans a bit, as the Grand Steeplechase de Paris was originally scheduled for this weekend, but this race can prove a nice stepping stone on the way to his title defence next month.

Raffles Sainte showed plenty of grit to triumph by a short head at Compiegne in March and could put the experience to use in the Prix le Guales de Mezaubran.

Having just her second run for Francois Nicolle, Raffles Sainte battled back to edge out Gitane Des Bordes, who ran well enough back at Compiegne on Monday.

Raffles Sainte should have learnt a bit more for that and can again give a good account.

Nimes should be followed for Guillaume Macaire in the Prix Go Ahead. Macaire saddles two in the Listed affair, but Nimes is the pick of James Reveley.

The three-year-old only needed to be pushed out to score on his debut at Compiegne and could be a youngster to follow.

Macaire can also get on the scoresheet with Arbarok in the Prix Jean de la Rochefoucauld. – Press Association

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