Note: All of Aidan O’Brien, Joseph O’Brien & Donnacha O’Brien’s horses were declared non-runners on Saturday night.
Punters will be frantically on the look out for a new challenger to Enable’s triple Arc bid, with the surprising news the her biggest threat Love was not declared for the €3,000,000 race.
Extremely testing conditions in ParisLongchamp this weekend makes the task no easier but luckily we have Jason Kiely on board.
The Chantilly-based Irishman gives us a runner by runner guide for the big one and thinks he may have found one to scare Enable.
Persian King’s trainer Andre Fabre already knows what it takes to get the better of Enable in the biggest race of the year, having trained Waldgeist to success in 2019.
Triple Group 1 scorer Persian King encounters some new challenges here as the four-year-old steps up to a mile and a half for the first time and is not sure to enjoy the testing conditions.
One of the highest rated in the field, Persian King will have the assistance of Pierre-Charles Boudot and could get into a good rhythm from stall seven, but I struggle to see him troubling the judge. Rating: 3/5
A model of consistency throughout his career, but at a much lower grade than this, Royal Julius is the rank outsider of the field. Shane Foley comes in for the ride and may get a look at the leaders from stall eight but ultimately this is an impossible task for a horse that has not won in France in over three years.
On a positive note, the conditions will suit and his trainer Jerome Reynier is starting to build a strong team at his southern base and could have some live contenders in this race in the coming years. Rating: 0/5
Way To Paris earned a well deserved Group 1 success during the summer and has been teak tough all season. More effective on good ground and may not be able to produce his trademark turn of foot here.
Sure to give his all from a rather nice draw in stall six and will be ridden by this years ‘super sub’ jockey Ioritz Mendizabel. Probably not good enough to get involved but could outrun his big odds here. Rating: 2/5
Japan was an outstanding three-year-old and ran a huge race in this last year when finishing fourth. A return to softer ground will suit although his performances this year have been rather disappointing.
Yutaka Take takes the ride this time round and if he can recapture his form of last season the he could challenge for a place. That’s a lot of ‘ifs’ and this remains a tough task. Rating: 2/5
Although only the third choice of the Aidan O’ Brien trained runners according to the market, I would be very surprised if Sovereign didn’t put up a better performance than stablemate Japan at more than double the odds.
The Irish Derby winner gave a great front-running performance that day and if he managed to do the same here it wouldn’t be the first time a big priced O’Brien runner slipped the field. Rating: 3/5
The first real threat to Enable here, her stable companion Stradivarius has been a tough stayer all his life and the more rainfall the better for him as this really is the minimum trip for him.
Produced a fine effort in defeat last time out and although he has a terrible draw in 14 and Frankie has abandoned him, replacement jockey Olivier Peslier has won this race five times and can make that experience count. Big player Rating: 4/5
Sottsass is the main French hope according to the markets and was the one to take away from last year’s race when finishing a fine third. Now a four-year-old, Sottsass has been finding the competition tougher this season but his trainer Jean-Claude Rouget has been pleased with the colt’s homework this week and has openly expressed his expectation of a huge result.
Stable jockey Cristian Demuro has chosen Sottsass over the highly-touted Raabihah. He comes from stall four and is extremely versatile in terms of tactics which is perfect in this type of race. Looks the each-way ‘good thing’ and could go a few places better than 2019 now back at Longchamp. Rating: 4/5
Enable is the star of the show, but it won’t be easy! A strong threat from the young generation, coupled with the stats of the race may prove too strong for the mare.
History could be made and for racing it would be fantastic, but we may need one or two of the youngsters to underperform. Rating: 4/5
Never tends to run a bad race and could get a nice tow into the race with the strong pace expected but conditions may not help and Deidre can’t really be fancied here. Rating: 1/5
One of the six three-year-old’s in the field, Gold Trip redeemed himself last time out when putting up a fine performance to stay on strongly for third place behind Mogul in the Grand Prix de Paris.
This looks like a form line that could play a huge part in this year’s race and trainer Fabrice Chappet is adamant that Gold Trip will handle the conditions.
If that is to believed, then at the prices Gold Trip becomes a very interesting prospect, especially as he will be coming with a strong challenge from off the pace in these ground conditions and has quite a decent draw in stall nine. Rating: 3/5
Just like Royal Julius, Chachnak is very consistent but at a much lower grade. Distance, ground, draw and class are all against him and he is expected to finish in the rear. Impossible task and cannot be fancied. Rating: 0/5
In my opinion, its down here where the fun begins! The most inexperienced horse in the field having had only four lifetime starts but really does have the profile for a race like this (especially with this year’s conditions). In Swoop took the German Derby with a strong charge from off the pace on his penultimate start and was the eyecatcher of the race last time out behind Mogul.
He was caught a bit flat-footed that day and struggled to go the early pace on the fast ground, but his ability to handle tough conditions can be exploited here and its highly unlikely that his talented trainer Francis Graffard would have declared In Swoop if he didn’t believe he was ready. A very strong threat in the race this year and could be the first French home. Rating: 4/5
Produced something special the last day when winning over course and if turning in the same performance then that could be good enough to win. He is the first choice of the O’Brien army and has a good draw in three.
Although he doesn’t ride the horse this weekend, shortly after that win Pierre-Charles Boudot was quoted in the French media as saying ‘he’s good enough to win the Arc and If I was riding him I would be very excited.’
The only query may be the extreme conditions but Mogul looks incredible value and simply cannot be ignored. Rating: 5/5
Has been for a long time touted as a candidate for the Arc and was duly supplemented by connections on Thursday morning. With a strong pace likely it is unlikely that Serpentine will get the same lead as when winning the Epsom Derby.
The master of tactics around Longchamp Christophe Soumillon takes the ride and he cannot be dismissed for a place. Rating: 3/5
Raabihah was talked up for the Arc for quite a long time over the summer but ultimately she has been beaten twice at Group 1 level and may just fall short here.
Stable jockey Cristian Demuro has abandoned her for Sottsass and it is hard to see her beating a few of these, despite the weight for age allowance. A good performance is to be expected and she is a classy filly who should run her race and could pick up some prize money. Rating: 3/5
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