ONE of the greatest performances by a racehorse came in 1986 when the marvellous Dancing Brave, under a bucking and kicking Pat Eddery, came about seven horses wide to scythe down a top quality field at Longchamp in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The race had already captured my imagination when Alleged and Lester Piggott doubled up in the late 70s and it has continued to transfix: who can forget the pulsating victories of Lammtarra, Montjeu, Hurricane Run and, of course, the incomparable Sea The Stars.
This year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has really got the juices flowing. A glance at the ante-post Arc market is astonishing. Al Kazeem, who looked unbeatable in early summer, is as big as 14/1; you can get 12s for Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World and 20/1 for the progressive St Leger winner Leading Light.
But the reason the British and Irish challengers offer such value is down to the quality of the continental opposition, led by the Japanese favourite Orfevre, who conspired to throw away victory last year. He is unpredictable but if he suppresses his quirks he could gain handsome compensation in Sunday’s race. Treve is fascinating. An easy winner of the Prix de Diane, she followed up under Frankie Dettori in the Prix Vermeilles recently and could give the Italian his fourth win in the race following Lammtarra, Sakhee and Marienbard.
Throw in German King George winner Novellist, Japan Derby and Prix Niel winner Kizuna and Andre Fabre’s pair Intello (French Derby victor) and Flintshire and the race is overflowing with class and quality.
For me, I always love to see a British or Irish winner and I may just take a little each-way on Ruler Of The World. But this really is race for the purists, so sit back and enjoy.
Who do you fancy in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe? Leave a comment below.