2017 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Antepost Betting
Arc Trials Completed and a week to the Arc
After the Arc trials, very little has emerged to threaten Enable’s dominance in the market. With a week to go there are only 12 horses trading below 100 and with horses like Cracksman, Capri and Winter not certain to run it is looking like it could be a smaller field than in recent years.
Cracksman won the Prix Niel comfortably in the end, after looking a little flat footed as Finche travelled in to the home straight seemingly going well. Apart from the winner, it was a mediocre field of unexposed horses coming in to the race off breaks. It is unlikely he will run in the Arc but if he did he would be a contender and the main threat to Enable.
Michael Stout doesn’t have many runners in the Arc but his runners generally perform well. If this race was over 10 furlongs then Ulysses would be a major contender, but the 1m4f is going to stretch him; he will be hoping the rain keeps away.
Dschingis Secret was a good winner of the Prix Foy, though he did have fitness on his side and the soft ground he performs best on. With a week to go there is very little rain forecast at Chantilly so this would be a worry. Cloth Of Stars, with a run under his belt could reverse form with Dschingis Secret as he was only beaten 1.5 lengths after a 4 month break; he looks Fabre’s main contender for the Arc. Satono Diamond flopped as favourite, but he was coming off a big break and the ground will not have been to his liking; he is a more realistic price now, around 23.0 on Betfair and should get much better ground come the Arc.
Silverwave also ran in the Prix Foy, a race he won last year but he ran well below par after a break. He is entered in the Arqana Arc sale on 30th September. It’s possible he could be purchased as a last minute runner for some rich owner, but he’s run well below last year’s form so far
Bateel won the fillies’ race, the Prix Vermeille. She was an easy winner but she will not be going to the big race, instead favouring one of the supporting races at the meeting.
Recoletos returned to form in the Prix du Prince d’Orange, he just managed to hold off the fast finishing Plumatic by a nose after looking an easy winner a furlong out. First impressions were that he wouldn’t be good enough for the Arc, but he probably found himself in front too early after travelling smoothly in to the lead early in the straight. Plumatic had a big reputation early in the season but had failed to live up to it; he could finally be showing what he is capable of. Carlos Laffon-Parais has stated that Recoletos is a good ground horse, but his best performances have come on soft ground; he is currently trading over 500 on Betfair but is not certain to run.
One Foot In Heaven returned from a 4 month break to finish second to Garlingari. His trainer, Alain de Royer-Dupre put up Maxime Guyon on board for the first time as he has secured his services for the Arc should he take his place. It was a pleasing run for One Foot In Heaven who would have needed the run badly and over an inadequate trip. He has had a quiet season so far but he could step up on that in the Arc with some cut in the ground; he finished sixth in last year’s Arc after an interrupted preparation. Royer-Dupre has stated that One Foot In Heaven isn’t a definite starter; he also has Zarak in the race.
Aiden O’Brien could field Order Of St George, Winter, Capri and Highland Reel; if the ground did come up with an hint of firmess, it could be there for Highland Reel. The general forecast is for a dry week with the possiblility of a small amount of rain on Saturday and Sunday which should see good ground. Brametot flopped on his return to racing in August and it was later reported that he had been suffering from a back problem. He won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains on soft ground and the Prix du Jockey Club on ground nearer good; the quicker ground forecast in this year’s Arc will really help him see out the extra 1.5 furlongs, he looks France’s best chance of keeping the Arc at home.
24th September 2017
Enable Strengthens Her Hand While Almanzor is Retired
The last week of racing action has seen John Gosden’s filly, Enable strengthen her grip at the head of the market, to go odds on with another impressive display in the Yorkshire Oaks at York. Back in against her own sex she lead from the start and won with ease, with her stable mate Coronet coming home second. Though this form may not be on the level of her King George victory, she could not have won any easier.
The King George form received a boost, with second place finisher Ulyssees taking the Juddmonte International at York. Ulyssees travelled well in behind before cruising in to the lead for an impressive win. The better ground and the drop down to 10 furlongs was more to his liking, but it clearly shows how good Enable is and with a few challengers on the other side of the Channel dropping away it’s looking more like it could go her way.
Almanzor finally made his belated reappearance but it was a no show from Jean-Claude Rouget’s champion of 2016 and he now goes in to retirement. The trainer is also responsible for this year’s leading 3-year-old, Brametot, but he failed to show his usual finishing kick and finished nearly 10 lengths behind Eminent. Having had a traditional summer break he could find the required improvement to figure in the big race and it would be foolish to write him off after one poor race.
Brametot has an entry in the Prix Niel, along with Waldgeist whom he beat in the Prix du Jockey Club; he looks like being Fabre’s main contender from the classic generation. Alain de Royer Dupre’s Shakeel also has an entry after a hard-fought win over Permian in the Grand Prix de Paris.
The Prix Foy is looking a really great race if many of the pre-entries turn up. Satono Diamond and Satono Noblese both have entries, along with recent Hoppergarten winner, Dschingis Secret. Silverwave, the winner of last year’s race is also entered, along with Fabre’s Cloth Of Stars and One Foot In Heaven. Four Ballydoyle runners are also in the picture, including Highland Reel, Idaho, US Army Ranger and Seventh Heaven.
With this year’s stand out filly, Enable swerving the Prix Vermielle and Terrakova not entered (would require supplementing) then it looks Winter’s for the taking if stable mate Seventh Heaven doesn’t come over for it. Last year’s winner Left Hand is entered but she has looked well below her best in several outings this year without any improvement.
28th August 2017
Enable The Horse to Beat in the 2017 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
With nearly 2 months until the big race, Enable stands out as the leading contender after her impressive 4.5 length win in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. That win was on good to soft ground though it did look worse than the declared going, which stands her in good stead come the race in October which is often run on desperate ground.
There has to be a little caution about the form, with the main contenders failing to produce anywhere near their best. Highland Reel as predicted found the rain softened ground totally unsuitable and Jack Hobbs flopped badly. Ulysses came home runner-up, having previously won the Eclipse at Sandown. He is probably more suited to 10 furlongs and would have liked better ground.
The stats are on the side of Enable, with fillies winning 6 of the last 9 renewals, with Epsom Derby winners taking the other 3 renewals and with this year's derby winner retired that stat looks even better for Enable.
Enable is a worthy favourite having looked so impressive at Ascot but I wouldn't be tempted by the 2/1, especially so far away from the race.
There is usually a lot of interest around the Japanese runners, but this year it looks like it could be minimal. Kitasan Black, Satono Diamond and Satono Noblese all hold entries, with last year's Sha Tin winner Satono Diamond the stand-out, having beaten Highland Reel in the Hong Kong Vase.
Prior to Enable taking favouritism, it was last year's champion 3-year-old Almanzor that stood at the head of the market. He may make his seasonal debut in the Juddmonte International at York on the 23rd August. He is a fascinating contender but he has yet to race over further than 10.5 furlongs. Jean-Claude Rouget also trains this year champion 3-year-old in France in Brametot. He has won both the colt's classics in France, both by just a short-head and it looks very likely the extra furlong and a half of the Arc could really suit, though bad ground may not be ideal.
Andre Fabre has won the Arc 7 times, but hasn't won this race since Rail Link in 2006. He has many entries in the race but it is guess work to work out who could be his main contenders this time around. The Arc trials in early September should shed some light on who he thinks are his best chances. Waldgeist was his best 2-year-old last year, who came close to winning the Prix du Jockey Club this year. An entry for him in the Prix Niel would be a clear sign of intention and he revels in desperate ground if we do get an heavy ground Arc. Cloth Of Stars has emerged as one of his leading older horses, winning the Prix Ganay this year but he looks to lack the ability at the highest level for the Arc.
Other horses that are below the radar that could play apart in this year's Arc include the recent Hoppegarten winner Dschingis Secret who comfortably beat Hawkbill in the Grosser Preis Von Berlin. Alain de-royer Dupre's One Foot In Heaven could improve on last year's 6th place finish; he suffered an interrupted preparation last year and went in to last year's race under a slight cloud. He's had a few below par runs this season but he's probably been trained with this year's Arc in mind.
Freddy Head's Terrakova, the daughter of Goldikova finished third in the Prix de Diane on only her third career start and could improve further, if her trainer decides to take her down this route.
14th August 2017