Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe tips – Ante-post Group One preview
We give our early Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe tips as we take an ante-post look at some of the key protagonists that are likely to line up in France’s premier Group One next month.
One of the biggest races globally comes our way at the beginning of October with the Group One Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe going to post for the latest renewal of the top-class contest that will see superstar mare Enable bid for a history-making third win in the race having been thwarted in her attempt twelve months ago.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is one of the richest flat races to be run on turf around the world and boasts an impressive roll-call of winners since it was first run in 1920; we’ve taken an ante-post look over some of the key contenders that are likely to roll into Longchamp for one of the biggest races of the year.
While recent rains and the impending weather forecast for the weekend has seen Aidan O’Brien pull his Epsom Oaks heroine Love out of the Arc picture, Sunday’s big Group One race promises to be one not to be missed.
PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE TIPS – ANTE-POST GROUP ONE PREVIEW
John Gosden’s superstar mare has been down this road three times already, taking top honours in 2017 and 2018 before being beaten in her historic hat-trick bid twelve months ago.
That reversal is one of just three defeats suffered by the Nathaniel mare in her career and might have been down to the very soft ground she encountered that day. She then suffered a second straight defeat on her return in the Coral Eclipse Stakes behind Ghaiyyath although she might have needed the outing over a trip short of her best.
She has bounced back this term though and looked as good as ever in registering a couple of bloodless victories at Ascot and Kempton although the competition in both wasn’t particularly testing and she had little more than an exercise canter when sweeping aside rivals to win the Kempton September Stakes last time.
This latest renewal of the Arc looks every bit as strong as the one she was beaten in twelve months ago and with several progressive younger rivals likely lining up to take her on there’s a suspicion she might just be a shade more vulnerable although she’s sure to run her usual game race.
John Gosden is likely to be well-represented in this year’s Arc with several top starts from the Clarehaven yard potentially lining up including this son of Make Believe who has progressed with every run this term and would line up at Longchamp on the back of a hat-trick of wins which include two in France at Chantilly and Deauville.
Last seen readily beating The Summit to take a Group Two prize, also beating Victor Ludorum in the contest, he has proven himself to be a very versatile performer where ground is no problem with wins on both fast and heavy ground.
However, he’s yet to try a trip this far and given the typical nature of the Arc may find the trip too much for him given he’s not obviously bred to get the longer distance. But he’s certainly a progressive sort who can make his mark assuming the greater emphasis on stamina doesn’t prove a negative.
He’s far from certain to make the final line-up for though and he may well swerve Longchamp in favour of a tilt at the Champion Stakes at Ascot on British Champions Day.
Another powerful string to the Gosden bow, it would be some story for the superstar stayer if he were to win this premier prize.
The top-class stayer has carried all before him in that division, winning the Stayers’ Triple Crown last campaign and successfully defending both his Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup crowns this season. However, he’s also been beaten twice this term – both times over the distance of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – and he’s likely vulnerable at this trip unless the the race develops into a test of stamina.
The Sea The Stars entire hasn’t won over the exact Arc trip in his career and he was latterly beaten by Anthony Van Dyck in his warm-up for an Arc tilt when denied in the recent Prix Foy over course and distance.
While tough and consistent and likely to run his race again, he might again prove vulnerable at this intermediate trip unless the race develops into a slog.
Unbeaten in six starts, the Frankel colt adds some further spice to the potential John Gosden Arc battalion and last season’s St Leger champion shouldn’t be underestimated if lining up despite his big price.
Nursed back to full health following a potential life-threatening illness, the four-year old was understandably rusty although made short work of one other rival on his reappearance back at Doncaster in September where he ran out a seven lengths’ victor over Mythical Magic.
He’s proven himself over a range of trips in his six career runs, as well as winning on quick and softer ground although he’s unproven in proper soft conditions which often crops up at the French track in October. There’s plenty of time for him however and he’s still very low mileage so may well have more to offer.
As tough and consistent as they come, the Galileo mare has only twice finished out of the first four with the last of those occasions coming in this race twelve months ago where she finished a very creditable fifth where her stamina was possibly stretched by the trip in what was very soft ground.
Since that defeat she has won four of her next five starts with her sole reversal coming behind Ghaiyyath in the Yorkshire Oaks where she was beaten three lengths. However she gained revenge on that rival next time when taking another Irish Champion Stakes crown, beating the Godolphin contender by three-parts of a length.
She’s yet to beat Enable in any of their encounters to date and she’s arguably at her best over ten furlongs so is likely to prove vulnerable again back over a longer trip especially if the conditions turn up testing again.
However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her deliver yet another bold run and she has to be respected if conditions underfoot were to be in her favour.
Defeats in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and Epsom Derby suggested that the Galileo colt may not have trained on as hoped following a successful juvenile campaign; but he’s since put doubters to rights with two wins from his next three outings including a breakthrough Group One success over the Arc course and distance when beating In Swoop to land the Grand Prix de Paris.
He won a shade cosily that day, beating the likes of Epsom Derby winner and stablemate Serpentine and English King amongst others.
That performance puts him in the frame here given he’s open to further improvement although he’d probably have to step up again; while his wins have all come on better ground so it remains to be seen if he’d be effective on softer conditions should the ground come up worse.
Benefitted from an enterprising front-running ride to score in the Epsom Derby back in July, adding to an earlier success at the Curragh in June.
However the Galileo colt was readily put in his place behind Mogul when only finishing fourth in the Grand Prix de Paris although he might just have been a shade rusty following a couple of months off the track.
He took a lead in that latest French contest which possibly didn’t show him in best light given both his earlier wins came when making all; he might well try to return to forcing tactics but this is no easy assignment and he’ll surely find things much tougher trying to dominate such a strong field from the front assuming connections supplement him for the race.
ANTHONY VAN DYCK
Was winning for the first time since taking the 2019 Epsom Derby when successful over Stradivarius in the Prix Fox in September but the Galileo colt isn’t certain to back up that success and has a bit to find with Enable, Magical and Ghaiyyath from previous starts against those rivals.
A change of tactics for the former Derby winner seemed to work well as he made most of the running and held off the sustained challenge of Stradivarius who couldn’t or wouldn’t go past the eventual winner.
But he had disappointed the time before at Royal Ascot when only fifth in the Hardwicke Stakes and Ghaiyyath proved too good for him at Newmarket in the Coronation Cup. The ground may also be key to him and he likely wouldn’t want the conditions to come up soft.
Has really developed into a top-class performer this term, scoring at Meydan in February and then reeling off a Group One hat-trick with wins in the Coronation Cup, Coral Eclipse Stakes and Juddmonte International Stakes before being outgunned by Magical in the recent Irish Champion Stakes.
Charlie Appleby’s charge could only finish tenth in the Arc twelve months ago, another who possibly found the conditions against him and that again has to be a slight worry ahead of the latest renewal given his best performances have come on better ground that might be the case at Longchamp in October.
He does go well at this venue with two wins from four starts, but the trailblazing Dubawi entire is likely to face plenty of competition for the lead.
Arguably the pick of the French horses, Jean-Claude Rouget’s charge won at Deauville earlier in the campaign, taking a Group Three prize prior to tackling this course and distance in the Prix Vermeille where the Sea The Stars filly was beaten three lengths behind Tarnawa.
Lightly races still she’s sure to continue improving but to take on such a hot renewal of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will demand significantly more from her although she could well prove equal to the task.
Hails from the same yard as Raabihah and the Siyouni colt has plenty of class, finishing third in the Arc twelve months ago having won the Prix Niel and French Derby.
Turned over at odds-on on his reappearance here in May he got back on the winning trail in the Prix Ganay prior to suffering a surprise defeat at Deauville in a Group Three. He again met with defeat when last seen in the Irish Champion Stakes, finishing fourth behind Magical and he’ll have some work to do with that rival here.
Unlike a few of his likely rivals however, he won’t mind any softening of the conditions and he could be a value each-way player if bidding to better last season’s third-place finish.
PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE TIPS – ANTE-POST VERDICT
The ground could prove key with several of the main protagonists having to prove themselves on what is likely to be very testing ground.
Enable has proven herself very versatile with regards underfoot conditions although her defeat in the race twelve months ago might have been on account of the ground; while the conditions have seen the race robbed of Aidan O’Brien’s Epsom Oaks winner Love who has been withdrawn.
Magical is possibly at her best over ten furlongs as is Ghaiyyath and Stradivarius might find things just happening a shade too quickly for him over this trip although she comes into the reckoning given the likelihood of a stamina-sapping slog in the mud. At a big price then it might be worth having an interest in French star SOTTSASS who finished third in last year’s renewal and ran better than the bare result when last seen finishing fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes.
The prospect of softer ground would hold no fears for the son of Siyouni given her performance twelve months ago in similar ground and he is thoroughly unexposed at this longer trip with a win and place from two attempts.
While his bare form possibly just leaves him with a bit more to find he can give a good account having been down this road before and he can get involved.