Frank Hickey has poured cold water over Stradivarius’ chances of winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday.
The superstar stayer is trying his luck in the showpiece sprint but our tipping expert believes punters should steer clear of the John Gosden-trained runner.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Frank also cast doubt over the chances of favourite Enable and instead tipped up one of Jean-Claude Rouget’s challengers.
I’m not sure that this is the best renewal, I think it’s fair to say, but I couldn’t have Stradivarius on my mind at all.
I think if you’re backing him at 13/2, and some firms are offering 9/2, people have been locked up for less! I just think it’s crazy.
He’s a top class stayer, and some stayers have run well in the Arc before, but I just can’t have him.
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 18, 2020
The ‘soft ground’ angle that people are latching onto is based on the fact that he won so impressively at Ascot, but Nayef Road was the horse he beat. He’s a good horse, but he would be 1,000,000/1 in this. He’s not anywhere near top class.
Stradivarius was done tactically the last day in the prep – the Prix Foy – by Anthony Van Dyck. It was a crawl, and run at a stronger pace he might have won, but I just can’t have him here.
I’m not sure the ground is ideal for him and I would be shocked if he won – genuinely.
Enable deserves to be favourite, and everyone is on about the hat-trick, but you have to remember that when she beat Sea Of Class she was so lucky. Sea Of Class was the best horse in the race, and Enable was beaten fair and square last year by Waldgeist.
This year, I know that the Eclipse was a prep, she had nothing to beat in the King George and she won at Kempton. She sets the standard, but I couldn’t back her at 5/4.
I can see why people are latching on to Sottsass but he did disappoint in the Irish Champion Stakes. I thought he was going to run a much bigger race, and I thought he had a chance of turning over Ghaiyyath [and Magical] and I was disappointed that he came fourth.
I’ve been backing one – not very shrewdly – from before the trials and that is RAABIHAH for Jean-Claude Rouget. He’s in great form with five winners from his last eight runners. This horse won her first two starts and then went to the Prix de Diane. She went off at about 4/1 but was really done by the tactics that day. It wasn’t as strongly-run race at all, and I think if it had been a stronger run I think she would have won.
She then went to Deauville and absolutely bolted up in a Group 3, and the last day at Longchamp it wasn’t the strongest run race. While she was coming from a relatively similar position as Tarnawa, it just seemed to inconvenience her.
The question mark with her is the ground but she is bred for the job, being by Sea The Stars. There’s a couple of Oaks winners in the pedigree, and obviously Sea The Stars was a champion. I started backing her at 8/1, and she’s now 12/1 and 14/1. I’m backing her at the bigger prices as well, as I think if she handles the ground then she has a massive chance.
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