Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (4 October 2020)

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There is every chance that recent domination by fillies and mares is set to continue in Sunday’s edition of the Paris showpiece (winning 7 of the last 9), but because of the ground conditions is there a fly in the ointment?

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Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Betting Trends

17/18: Won Group 1 race before (94%)
16/18: Won over 1m4f before (89%)
14/18: Raced 4 or more times that season (78%)
14/18: Stall 8 or lower (78%)
13/18: Priced 10/1 or shorter (72%)
13/18: Stall 6 or lower (72%)
13/18: Won at least 5 times before (72%)
18/26: Aged 3yo (69%)
12/18: Won last time out (67%)
12/18: Ran at Longchamp before (67%)
11/18: Won at Longchamp previously (61%)
11/18: Aged 3yo (61%)
....3/5: Won by John Gosden (60%)
10/18: Placed favourites (56%)
..9/18: Won by a French-based yard (50%)
..8/18: Ran at Longchamp last time out (44%)
..8/18: Female winners (44%)
..5/18: Winning favourites (28%)
..5/18: Won by UK-based yard (28%)
..3/11: Epsom Derby winners (27%)
..3/18: Trained by Andre Fabre (8 times in all) (17%)
..2/18: Trained by Aidan O’Brien (2016, 2007) (11%)
..3/43: Aged 5yo or older (7%)

  • The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 15/2
  • Jockey Olivier Peslier has won the race 4 times
  • Jockey Frankie Dettori has won the race 6 times
  • 13 of the last 18 recorded a last time out victory

RECENT WINNERS

2019: Waldgeist (131/10)
2018: Enable (Evs)
2017: Enable (10/11f)
2016: Found (6/1)
2015: Golden Horn (9/2)
2014: Treve (11/1)
2013: Treve (9/2)
2012: Solemia (33/1)
2011: Danedream (20/1)
2010: Workforce (6/1)
2009: Sea The Stars (4/6f)
2008: Zarkava (13/8f)
2007: Dylan Thomas (11/2)
2006: Rail Link (4/7f)
2005: Hurricane Run (11/4)
2004: Bago (10/1)
2003: Dalakhani (9/4)
2002: Marienbard (158/10)

LOVE

Aidan O'Brien is obviously excited about his 3yo filly Love and repeatedly calls her special, and this age group have an excellent record in the race. She has impressed with each run against her own sex but how will she fare against the boys or the likely soft ground? He reminded us the dam Pikaboo was sired by Pivotal but in 5 races she showed absolutely nothing. Of her 6 offspring only Flattering has won once on ground soft and this is from a total of 73 races, though they have collectively won 19 races and well over a £1m in prize money. We are reminded Love is 6-7 on good ground or faster but 0-3 with anything softer than good! Surely she cannot beat the best with this biography?

ENABLE

But there is another special horse in the race! Enable (winner in 2017 & 2018) has reportedly been trained to the minute for her date with destiny. Her age is a negative as well as the ground (but less so than Love). She has been kept in training just to win this race so measuring her runs this season is largely irrelevant John Gosden is satisfied and now confident Enable is “ready to put in a big, bold effort” as she bids again for a historic third win. There is now a feeling that her age might not count against her compensated by the fact she is stronger and her build up strategy ideal. Last Saturday Dettor breezed her on the round gallop on the Limekilns on Saturday and he was very pleased with her. 

STRADIVARIUS

Stradivarius is a fascinating contender especially after his run in the Prix Foy. Since he has been in fine form at home and these days the soft ground is not a concern. This fabulous 6yo Sea The Stars horse has won a Group 1 over 2m4f on soft ground then had the nerve to run a huge race with no pace early on fast ground over a distance too short. Also it was his first time racing abroad so it was a trial that was as much about travel and getting a feel for the track and seeing how he handled it all. He handled it brilliantly and is now a huge player in this race! 

So we have a race where none of the top 3 want soft ground but that is what they have got to race on. There has never been a better line up for the Arc and if only the going conditions had been a little kinder. French racing is famous for its tactical nature but in this race there is always pace on up front so we need to address two character references in strength and courage. With this in mind we filter Love from the 1-2 and believe John Gosden will train the winner to give him 4 winner from the last 6 runnings.

We cannot enjoy the race in the true sense - our emotional involvement with Enable will not allow it. A year ago I argued with a best friend and walked out of my local after he had commented 'the best horse won' referring to Waldgeist. The insult to Enable was too much for me so soon after the race. Initially it will be heart-breaking for this author if she does not create history, we know this is foolish and the wrong approach to this great race!

The Racing Horse is not an ante-post bettor generally but we have secured 5/2 and 11/4 about Enable and now considering some form of stake saving probably with Stradivarius at 15/2 (Betfair). Irrespective of the class or ground conditions within this great race we are not looking anywhere else for the winner.

THE RACING HORSE VERDICT:

1 ENABLE 5/2  2 STRADIVARIUS 15/2  3 LOVE 11/4 

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