Book Review: Robert Braithwaite's Places Reversed

Every novelist that engages the subject of horse racing is facing an odds-on favorite in Dick Francis. The all-time master, Francis effectively conjured racetrack heroes within the friendly confines of his umpteen mystery novels. With his passing, son Felix continues the family trade by employing the same tried-and-true formula. Francis always presented the reader with protagonists like a chef with high culinary morals or a noble former jump jockey-turned-P.I. or a smart-looking specialist in kidnapping who moonlights as a philosopher-psychologist. The author had us at "Hullo, how are you?" In...

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Observations: Sea Of Class Brother Set for Kempton Bow

14.25 Saint-Cloud, Mdn, €27,000, unraced 2yo, f, 7 1/2fT Christoph Berglar's homebred NIGHT OASIS (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) is kin to two black-type performers out of a stakes-placed half-sister to MG1SW sire Novellist (Ire) (Monsun {Ger}) and this term's G1 Irish Oaks heroine Magical Lagoon (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Waldemar Hickst's representative is confronted by nine in this debutantes' contest, including Haras d'Etreham's 200,000gns Tattersalls December foal Sea Salinas (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who is a Francis Graffard-conditioned half-sister to G1 Premio Lydia Tesio winner Sortilege (Ire) (Tiger Hill {Ire});...

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Proud And Regal Edges Criterium International Battle Of The Galileos

It was a case of heads up, heads down at the conclusion of Saint-Cloud's G1 Criterium International on Saturday, with Coolmore's homebred Galileo duo Proud And Regal (Ire) and Espionage (Ire) engaged in a thrilling tussle in which the former ultimately prevailed. Last seen finishing runner-up in the Sept. 11 G1 Vincent O'Brien National S., the Donnacha O'Brien-trained son of the G1 Fillies' Mile and G1 Falmouth S. heroine Simply Perfect (GB) (Danehill) who captured the July 21 G3 Tyros S. at Leopardstown was asked to keep close tabs on...

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Reach For The Moon Returns At Saint-Cloud

One-time Derby favourite Reach For The Moon (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) will return to action at Saint-Cloud on Saturday. Connections of the John and Thady Gosden-trained colt opted to sidestep the Derby after he picked up a mid-season setback. Instead, Reach For The Moon was aimed at Royal Ascot, where he was beaten as a 2-5 favourite behind Claymore (Fr) (New Bay {GB}) in the Hampton Court S. Now owned by the King, he is back in action over a mile in Paris for the Group 3 Prix Perth,...

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Daughter Of Daddys Lil Darling Starts At Thurles

Observations on the European Racing Scene turns the spotlight on the best European races of the day, highlighting well-pedigreed horses early in their careers, horses of note returning to action and young runners that achieved notable results in the sales ring. Thursday's Observations features a daughter of Grade I winner Daddys Lil Darling.   2.00 Thurles, Mdn, €15,000, 2yo, f, 8fT SAVETHELASTDANCE (IRE) (Galileo {Ire}) is the first foal out of the GI American Oaks heroine Daddys Lil Darling (Scat Daddy), who was purchased by M V Magnier for $3.5...

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Quality At A Premium For Saturday's Arqana Arc Sale

After a frenetic Saturday of racing on opening day of Arc weekend at ParisLongchamp, the curtain rises on Arqana's Arc Sale at Saint-Cloud Racecourse at 6:30 p.m., Paris time. Thirty-five lots will go through the ring. One of the highlights is Schwarzer Peter (Ger) (Neatico {Ger}) (lot 17), second in the 2022 G1 German Derby, who has been placed in the G3 Preis der Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe in August since his Classic near miss. Consigned by trainer Markus Klug, the 112-rated bay is out of the listed-placed Sovalla (GB) (Pomellato {Ger}), and...

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Soumillon Handed Two-Month Ban After Elbowing Ryan Out Of Saddle  

Christophe Soumillon, one of the most decorated riders in the world, has been handed a two-month ban after elbowing fellow jockey Rossa Ryan out of the saddle at Saint-Cloud on Friday. The Belgian native was riding Syros (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) for Francis Graffard in the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon Jockey Club de Turquie when making contact with Ryan, who was aboard the Ralph Beckett-trained Captain Wierzba (GB) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}). In what looked a deliberate elbow, Soumillon edged Ryan out of the saddle and, while he denied any...

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More Wild Cards Added To Arc Sale

Officials at Arqana have announced the addition of three wild-card entries for the auction house's upcoming Arc Sale, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Saint-Cloud. Rocchigiani (GB) (Time Test {GB}) will go under the hammer as lot 43 next weekend. The Peter Schiergen trainee took out the G3 Zukunfts-Rennen at Baden last year and has retained winning form this term, with a runner-up effort to Maljoom (Ire) (Caravaggio) in the G2 Mehl-Muhlens Rennen (German 2000 Guineas) at Cologne before posting a 3/4-length success in the G3 Thoroughbred S....

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France Galop And QREC Extend Arc Weekend Sponsorship Through 2027

France Galop and the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC) confirmed they have extended their sponsorship agreement of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe weekend for five more years, from 2023-2027. Originally inked in 2008 for a five-year deal through 2012, an extension was agreed upon in 2010 through 2022's edition. Held from Friday, Sept. 30 (Saint-Cloud) and Saturday/Sunday Oct. 1-2 at ParisLongchamp, there will be 16 group races carded-eight Group 1s, three Group 2s, one Group 3 and another four top-level races dedicated to Arabians. Total prize-money on...

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Iffraaj's My Prospero Takes The Eugene Adam

Boasting the best form heading into Saturday's G2 Prix Eugene Adam at Saint-Cloud, Sunderland Holdings' My Prospero (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}) was there to be shot at on the front end but proved as game as he is talented to make his class tell under a no-nonsense ride from Tom Marquand. Sent forward from his outside stall to take up the running after the first two furlongs, the William Haggas-trained 3-5 favourite who had been a battling third in Royal Ascot's G1 St James's Palace S. June 14 was soon in...

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Observations: Arqana September Topper Debuts At Newmarket

Observations on the European Racing Scene turns the spotlight on the best European races of the day, highlighting well-pedigreed horses early in their careers, horses of note returning to action and young runners that achieved notable results in the sales ring. Friday's Insights features half-sister to top-shelf performers Sottsass (Fr) and Sistercharlie (Ire) at Newmarket Friday. 3.20 Doncaster, Novice, £7,300, 3yo/up, f/m, 10f 43yT ROYAL SCANDAL (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) looks to underline the striking impression she made on debut at Newcastle last month under a seven-pound penalty facing a trio...

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Observations: Aga Khan Royalty Graces Saint-Cloud

2.25 Saint-Cloud, Debutantes, €27,000, 3yo, c/g, 10fT DOLAYLI (FR) (Siyouni {Fr}) is the latest progeny of the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic heroine Dolniya (Fr) (Azamour {Ire}) to hit the track, with Christophe Soumillon on The Aga Khan's half-brother to last year's G3 Prix Quincey winner Dilawar (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). Francis-Henri Graffard also saddles Edzel (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}), a son of the G3 Give Thanks S. scorer Edelmira (Ire) (Peintre Celebre). 3.35 Saint-Cloud, Debutantes, €27,000, 3yo, f, 10fT ZARKA (FR) (Dubawi {Ire}) is a standout on the day as the 10th...

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