Europe’s richest horse race, the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, takes centre stage on the racing calendar this weekend with an international line-up set to participate in the event.
Cards for both Saturday and Sunday feature several Group 1 races at the Paris Longchamp racecourse with forecasted heavy rain later in the week raising the possibility of testing underfoot conditions.
A field of 20 runners have been declared to date for the ‘Arc’ with Japanese colt Orfevre currently heading the market. Having won the 1m 3f Prix Foy in soft ground on the same course just three weeks previously, the five year old is entitled to be respected and Paddy Power are offering 5/2 for his chances on Sunday. He has undergone the same preparation as when second in last year’s race won by Solemia.
French challenger Treve is offered at 9/2 by Bet365 and the unbeaten filly won her prep race in the Prix Vermeille on the same day as Orfevre was victorious. Frankie Dettori was aboard that day but suffered a season ending injury at Nottingham on Wednesday. Thierry Jarnet will deputise.
‘King George’ winner Novellist will attempt to repeat the performance of Danedream in 2011 by becoming a German ‘Arc’ winner. His five length win at Ascot during the summer was on firm ground but he has proved adaptable on any surface, in winning five of his six races, and is expected to improve significantly on his recent narrow win at Baden-Baden. Coral quote him at 11/2.
Sunday’s feature race should also include both the French and English Derby winners of 2013 with Intello and Ruler of the World expected to start. This will be Intello’s first attempt at the 1m 4f distance after performing over shorter trips throughout the current campaign. The Galileo colt has proved his versatility on any ground but has experienced a busy campaign with six races so far and is offered at 12/1 by Boylesports.
English Derby winner Ruler Of The World looked a useful colt when winning at Epsom but failed to enhance his reputation when only fifth of nine in the Irish equivalent when firm ground may have been a factor. He reappeared recently after a break to lose very narrowly to Japanese Derby winner Kizuna at Longchamp and the two horses look set to renew rivalry on Sunday. Kizuna is 8/1 with Paddy Power whereas Aidan O’Brien’s horse is 14/1 at William Hill.
O’Brien may also supplement St Leger winner Leading Light with forecasted soft ground conditions suggesting a test of stamina for the race. This may impair the chances of The Fugue who prefers a sound surface and while Al Kazeem prefers good to soft, this will be his first attempt over the trip on the back of a busy season with William Hill offering him
On the same day as the ‘Arc’, the 5f Prix de L’Abbaye is contested with Jwala attempting a Nunthorpe / Abbaye double. He is 6/1 favourite with Betfred but Sole Power finished strongly that day on his favoured easier surface and could reverse placings in what is always a difficult race to predict.
Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe
10pts Novellist @ 11/2 Coral
5pts EW Leading Light @ 16/1 Skybet
Prix de L’Abbaye
5pts Sole Power @ 8/1 Betfred