With just over a month to go to the biggest prize European flat racing has to offer- the Arc, it is safe to say that all of the potential big hitters will have revealed themselves by now. And with last year’s contest finishing with a Ballydoyle 1-2-3 it is always a fair assumption that Ireland will have some key contenders With some large ante post prices being offered on some very talented horses it is perhaps worth evaluating the potential runners and more specifically those from Ireland.
Of the current 27 horses which are considered most likely to run, 10 hail from the Emerald Isle. Aidan O’Brien will be looking to continue his unbelievable success from the previous running of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with a current 9 entries. The bookmakers currently estimate the dual Guineas Winner Winter as the best contender for Ballydoyle at 10-1.
However, with Winter not taking on the bookies favourite of Enable in the Yorkshire Oaks there remains serious question marks over whether this champion over a mile will be able to succeed when faced with an extra 4 furlongs. That said Winter is obviously a very capable horse but when put against the best horse in Europe in the form of Enable who will be running over her chosen distance, Winter may come up short. Because of this I doubt we will see this grey line up at Chantilly.
Another big hope for the Coolmore contingent will be Highland Reel who the bookmakers are currently giving a 12/1 price for. This is a colt who since a disappointing run at the Dubai World Cup has gone from strength to strength winning both the Coronation Cup at Epsom and then the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot beating the likes of Jack Hobbs and Ulysses. Thus 12/1 seems like a long price for such a horse, this is in a large part due to his last time out where he could only manage 4th in the King George. However, with the going at Ascot being far too soft on the day this son of Galileo could be a real threat for the Arc if the going suits.
The other Ballydoyle entrants come in the form of Capri, Churchill, Cliffs of Moher, Idaho, Order of St George, Rhododendron and Seventh Heaven. All of which have group success to their names. It is very doubtful that Aidan O’Brien will send all of these to France but he will certainly have a strong line-up whatever happens. The other Irish hopeful comes from Dermot Weld’s yard in the form of Zhukova. This is a mare which has been given a slightly longer price by the bookmakers with Will Hill currently offering 25/1. However, with a Group 1 and two Group 3 victories to her palmarès she certainly cannot be discounted.
This years running of the Arc will be certainly be a highly anticipated one. With the high flying Enable being the hands down ante post favourite at even money. But if she is indeed going to be beaten then well there’s a high chance that the Irish will do it.
ARTICLE BY @GBACROSSTHEUSA