Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe 1m4f Longchamp preview


Dancing Brave swoops to the victory of all victories in 86 under Pat Eddery

Worth £2,528,319. to the winner, the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe is the most valuable race on turf run anywhere on the planet, and the most successful trainer, by a country mile, in this fantastic contest, is the French Maestro, Andre Fabre. With seven victories to his credit, he is four clear of his nearest pursuer, Aidan O’Brien, and represented this time by the upwardly mobile, 4yo, Waldgeist, and the talented 5yo Talismanic, has to have decent prospects of landing an eighth.

Waldgeist, a son of the great stallion, Galileo, has won 6 of his 13 starts but, it was only two outings ago, at the beginning of July, that he struck at the highest level.


The Oddsguru fancies Waldgeist to make a bold charge this weekend


Sent off the 4/5 favourite for the Group1 Grand Prix de St Cloud (1m4f Gd-Sft) he only got the better of the Gosden filly, Coronet, in the shadow of the post, but 77 days later was much more impressive when easily beating stable companion, Talismanic by 2 1/2L, over Saturday’s course and distance in the good “Arc” Trial, The Prix Foy, and to give further weight to the form, he had last year’s St Leger winner, Capri, a further 4L back in 5th. Talismanic, having won last year’s Breeders Cup Turf at Del Mar, and finished 2nd to the excellent Highland Reel in The Group1 Hong Kong Vase, is no slouch, so this looks a serious step up by the Fabre 4yo. He is out of the Monsanto mare Walderche, who was a Group3 winner on soft and won on heavy, so the weekend forecast for rain in the Paris region shouldn’t present any problems.

Since it’s inception nearly 100 years ago 7 horses have managed to win the great race a second time, but in the last 60 renewals, only two have managed the double, Alleged in 1978, and the fantastic filly Treve 4 years ago, which helps to put into some perspective, the challenge facing John Gosden’s super filly, Enable, on Sunday.


The great race returns to its rightful place in the Bois de Boulogne this year

The injury she sustained to her knee last May and kept her off the course for 342 days, can’t have helped her cause either, but that said, she was pretty impressive when making her belated reappearance on the Kempton AW (1m4f) 29 days ago. In a 4 runner affair, she made all, and running on strongly, easily got the better of the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes runner up, Crystal Ocean, (gave 8lbs). This
5 times Group1 winner, including last year’s renewal at Chantilly, (has never run at Longchamp) deserves her position at the top of the market, and if successful, would give Mr Gosden a third winner in the race, and enable (forgive the pun) her owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, to equal the longstanding record held by Marcel Boussac since 1949 of 6 victories in the contest. However her current odds, in a heat with it’s fair share of hard luck stories, look decidedly skinny.

Unraced as a 2yo, the Willie Haggas trained filly, Sea Of Class, has done nothing but improve in her 4 races since making her debut in a 1mile Maiden at Headquarters in April. Showing her inexperience, the 3yo was beaten a neck in that Newmarket heat, but stepped up in trip, this stoutly bred filly, (by Sea The Stars, who was runner up in the 2009 Arc, out of the Hernando mare, Holy Moon) has remained unbeaten in her subsequent 4 races, and was particularly impressive the last twice, winning the Irish Oaks under a hands and heels ride from the Epsom Oaks Victor, Forever Together, and 5 week’s ago running away with The Group1 Yorkshire Equivalent. Held up at the back at York, she made smooth progress at the 2f marker, led inside the final furlong, and left the Gosden trained Coronet, trailing in her wake. The 2 1/4L margin of her victory could easily have been considerably more, and she had the useful Irish filly, Eziyra, (won a Curragh Group2 easily next time out) a further 1L back in 3rd. She has never run on anything worse than good but her dam was a winner on heavy, and her three most successful siblings, Charity Line, Final Score and Thierry Collect, all thrived on plenty of give, so the forecast for rain isn’t a worry, and indeed, if it does come up soft on Sunday, it may enhance her prospects.

We have to rewind 60 years to 1958 to find the last winner of the St Leger to win
“The Arc” when the great Ballymoss prevailed for Vincent O’Brien, and while Nijinsky was an unlucky loser in 1970, and many think that Alleged should have won The St Leger in 1977 prior to his “Arc” success, none of the above, speaks terribly strongly in favour of the chances of this year’s Doncaster Hero, Kew Gardens. However on the plus side, he won The Group1 Grand Prix de Paris over course and distance in July, in a time nearly 2 seconds faster than standard, and there was no fluke about his win over the talented Iah Ti Dar in the St Leger.

Roger Varian’s old boss, the sadly deceased, Michael Jarvis, won with the unconsidered, Carroll House in 1989, and Roger will be hoping for a similar outcome with his 50/1 shot Defoe. The son of Dalakhani won the Group2 Jockey Club Stakes at Headquarters in May and following a 98 days break the 4yo put up a career best performance last time, going down by a neck to Best Solution in Germany’s Top all aged contest, The Group1 Grosser Preis Von Baden, a contest incidentally, the above mentioned Carroll House won in 1988. Clearly progressing nicely, Defoe stays well, and could play a prominent role at the weekend.

Selection : Waldgeist
E.W.          Kew Gardens


Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe Racing Tips

Found can win the Arc

Aidan O’Brien has a live contender in this years renewal with his 3yo Galileo filly Found.

I hope you were on our e.w selection, Third Time Lucky, in last weeks Cambridgeshire, who thanks to a never say die ride from Adam Beschizza, got back up in the shadow of the post to win at the rewarding odds of 14/1. The big question come Sunday is whether the amazing mare Treve can pull off a record breaking third win in the Longchamp showpiece, The Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe under her pilot Thierry Jarnet.

The superb 5yo mare, trained by Criquette Head-Maarek, having won her only race as a 2yo went from strength to strength in her 3yo campaign winning all four of her races, including the Prix de Diane, the Prix Vermeille, and culminating in a scintillating win in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. Things didn’t look so rosy the following year, when having failed to hit the back of the net in her first two races, she was very disappointing when only a poor 4th in the Prix Vermeille. However she was a revelation in the Arc itself when confounding her odds of 14/1, she showed great acceleration from the final bend and won with her head in her chest from Flintshire and Taghrooda, with the St Leger winner Kingston Hill, back in fourth. This year has been much more straightforward, with her winning all three starts, culminating in a sparkling display in the Vermeille three weeks ago. She goes to post a worthy favourite, but one wonders if that fabulous performance three weeks ago can be repeated on Sunday. Nevertheless if in the same form as last year, she will be extremely hard to beat.

On the figures the one with the best chance of doing so would seem to be John Gosden’s Golden Horn. Having won the Dante, the Derby, and the Eclipse he was sent off at 4/9 to win the Juddmonte International only to lose his unbeaten record to the filly Arabian Queen, in a muddling race. He retrieved his somewhat tarnished reputation in the Irish Champion Stakes when winning, but in controversial circumstances. Having been joined by FreeEagle, (also runs Sunday) 2f out, the Gosden horse was probably getting the better of the argument when jinking violently right a hundred and fifty yards from the finish and gave Free Eagle a severe thump which at the very least cost him the runner up spot, as Found, away from the trouble, ran on well up the rails to capture second place. After a stewards inquiry the placings remained unaltered, but it has to be said that if adjudicated in France, Golden Horn would undoubtedly have lost the race. Having been on the go all season the Gosden Colt can’t be described as having had an ideal Arc preparation, but with the ground likely to be in his favour, and bullish noises emanating from Newmarket he has to be on the shortlist.

One who has travelled a more traditional route is the Andre Fabre (seeking his eighth win in the race) trained Dubawi Colt New Bay. Having won the Prix du Jockey Club at the end of May he enjoyed a nice summer holiday before returning eleven weeks later to win a Gp2 at Deauville. In his next race, The Prix Neil, a tried and trusted route for previous Fabre winners, and New Bay’s first attempt at 1m4f, he stormed home winning easily from three of Sunday’s opponents, Silverware, Migwar, and Erupt. This fast improving animal is of the highest class and must have a great chance of adding to his amazing trainers c.v.

While the great Vincent O’Brien sent out the winner of the Arc from the famous Ballydoyle stables on three occasions, (Ballymoss1958, Alleged 1977 and 1978) his successor, Aidan, somewhat surprisingly has only managed a single win, (Dylan Thomas 2007). The current tenant however has a live contender in this years renewal with his 3yo Galileo filly Found. She won on her debut as a 2yo, and having finished third in the Gp1 Moyglare, won the Prix Marcel Boussac here at Lonchamp, finishing her two year old campaign rated equal best European 2yo filly. Her 3yo career got off to a bad start when a training set back led to her withdrawal from the 1000gns at Newmarket and she reappeared in the Athasi Stakes, finishing second. She didn’t have the rub of the green next time when slightly unlucky in the Irish 1000gns going down by1/2L to Pleascach. Another second followed when going down by a hard fought neck in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Stepped up to 1m2f in the Royal Whip at the Curragh, she impressed when putting the year older Answered firmly in his place. Her second in the Irish Champion Stakes was full of merit, and being by Galileo, she may well improve further for Sunday’s step up in trip. She has always been very highly regarded at Ballydoyle, and sources close to the connections suggest that the cash is down.

Selection: New Bay

E.W. : Found