Horse Racing: Why Sottsass is good – but not a great Arc winner

Timeform review Sunday's Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe outcome.


Sottsass is good but not a great Arc winner

Enable was very much the one to beat on Timeform ratings as she attempted to become the first three-time winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but her below-par effort left the way clear for Sottsass to emerge from the pack and take the spoils, in the process going two places better than when third 12 months earlier.

Sottsass had been trained all year to peak for the Arc, but he didn’t actually have to improve on his previous efforts to record his biggest success yet. Indeed, the Timeform performance rating (127) he earned on Sunday is one he had already achieved on three other occasions during his career, including when only narrowly failing to give 7 lb to the very smart Skalleti in the Prix Gontaut-Biron at Deauville in August.

A Timeform rating of 127 identifies Sottsass as a high-class performer, but it also points to this being a lesser renewal of the Arc in terms of quality. For context, only Solemia (123 in 2012) and Enable (126 in 2018) have achieved a lower rating in winning the race this century.

Sottsass Chantilly 2019

Mogul’s form receives a big boost

With In Swoop (runner-up) and Gold Trip (fourth) both finishing in the frame in the Arc, connections of Mogul are entitled to be thinking of what might have been after he and three of his stablemates were ruled out of the race on Saturday evening.

Mogul took a while to find his stride this season, but his most recent appearance had seen him produce a very smart effort to win the Grand Prix de Paris over the Arc course and distance, notably beating In Swoop by two and a half lengths, with Gold Trip just a short head further back in third.

Admittedly, Sunday’s race was staged under very different circumstances, the ground being much softer than it been for the Grand Prix de Paris and the pace only steady, both factors resulting in the slowest time for the Arc since 1976.

Whether Mogul would have been as effective in those conditions is open to question – he would still have needed to improve to be involved in the shake-up – but it certainly would have been interesting to find out given how In Swoop and Gold Trip fared.

It will be no surprise if Mogul is now targeted at the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

*Odds quoted on the widget are Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules.

Princess Zoe continues her relentless progress

Princess Zoe has been one of the stories of the season for Tony Mullins, and it’s well worth recounting her remarkable rise on Timeform ratings, all the way from her first handicap win at the Curragh to her Group 1 success at Longchamp on Saturday.

That victory at the Curragh saw her Timeform master rating go up from 76+ to 90, while her two wins in the space of five days at the Galway Festival saw her rating go up to 101 and then 108.

She didn’t need to improve much more to complete the four-timer in a listed event back at Galway in September, but a Timeform rating of 109+ suggested she wouldn’t be out of place when stepping up to Group 1 company for the first time in the Prix du Cadran.

In the event, Princess Zoe proved well up to the task, digging deep to peg back the enterprisingly-ridden Alkuin in a real slog. She is credited with another jolt of improvement, taking her Timeform rating to 114, and it remains to be seen just how far she can go for her popular connections, with a campaign over hurdles reportedly on the agenda this winter.

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