GIRL power has been to the fore in the past 18 months on the flat. The lofty exploits of Enable last season were unlikely to be bettered during this campaign but Alpha Centauri, Laurens and Sea Of Class have all earned huge plaudits. So it is no great surprise that two of these fillies dominate the market for Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Enable is the best priced 5/4 favourite to retain her crown at Longchamp. After missing most of this season due to injury, she showed on her comeback in the September Stakes that she retains her ability. She beat Crystal Ocean comfortably that day although she was in receipt of 8lb. The latter will be 5lb better off in the Arc but it is hard to see him reversing that form, although he should run a solid race and looks decent each-way value at 12/1.
Sea Of Class looks the biggest threat to Enable and 9/2 seems a fair price. William Haggas has campaigned her perfectly this season and his decision to miss Epsom was vindicated with victories in the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks. Her victory at York marked her down as the season’s outstanding three-year-old middle distance filly.
Interestingly, the fairer sex have a terrific recent record in this wonderful race, winning six of the last seven runnings: Treve twice, Solemia, Danedream, Found and Enable.
Cracksman the conundrum
Enable’s trainer, John Gosden, also has the conundrum that is Cracksman to consider. The trainer says the horse is back to his best and will run one more time before being retired to stud. The problem is that Cracksman needs some juice in the ground and the forecast for the coming week is for dry, breezy weather in Paris. So it’s much more likely the horse will wait for Champions Day at Ascot.
The French challenge is led by Andre Fabre’s Waldgeist, who is a 15/2 shot in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe market but based on the hard form of his successes, he looks short enough in the betting. Fabre also has Prix Vermeille winner Kitesurf, who looks to be Godolphin’s strongest contender.
Those seeking each-way value could do worse than look at Kew Gardens. The St Leger winner has done nothing but improve since flopping in the Epsom Derby and the rough and tumble of the Arc may suit this 12/1 shot. The trip, however, may just be on the short side for this hardy stayer. O’Brien also has Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together who is another worth an each-way poke at 18/1, while Capri will have to improve massively on what he has shown this campaign. O’Brien also has Magic Wand (33/1) as a possible runner, while son Joseph’s Latrobe looks a bit overpriced at 40/1.
The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes place on Sunday October 7 at Longchamp. The race time is 3.00.