Horse Racing Tips: Matt Chapman’s picks for Longchamp on Sunday

McYeeehaaa has his say for Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

13:15 – Tigrais

I’ve taken a look at the big French races Sunday starting with this Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere for juvenile colts and fillies over 7f. Stamina is going to be at a premium here and I’ll hope this could be a huge win for Christopher Head with the only filly TIGRAIS just as his old man Freddie has retired. The Group 3 winner at Longchamp last time seems to get this distance very well in soft ground. Gets 4lb from her rivals.


13:50 – Habana

The Group 1 Marcel Boussac for juvenile fillies over 1m. German raider HABANA looks full of stamina and is proven in soft ground. The daughter of Kingman was far from cheap at 140,000gns and powered away to land a Baden Baden Group 3 last time. That will have been much easier than scoring here but she could be useful for Andreas Wohler and Eduardo Pedroza.

15:05 – Al Hakeem

Now one of the great races of the year in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe over 1m4f. Likely favourite is Luxembourg, the one-time ante-post Derby bigshot who missed Epsom and showed everyone what he can do by landing the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last time. He finally goes over the trip connections have always thought he’s been gagging for since the start of his three-year-old campaign.

Other major players include Alpinista, looking for a sixth Group 1 on the trot for Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris, and last year’s mud-loving hero hero Torquator Tasso, the mount of superstar Frankie Dettori. Titleholder goes for Japan and is no mug, while Rob Hornby is back on his Derby third Westover who went on to land the Irish equivalent under Colin Keane.

With Coral Eclipse victor Vadeni going under Christophe Soumillon, the Irish Champion second Onesto and huge money-earner Mishriff taking his chance it’s a deep Arc.

But I have a feeling AL HAKEEM will shock them all for Jean-Claude Rouget and a home side that, before racing in Paris on Saturday, had only banged in three of their sixteen Group 1 races this term. That’s pathetic for any racing nation.

So why might Al Hakeem pull off a shock in the sponsor’s colours of former heroine Treve and follow in the hoofprints of Ribot, Ballymoss, Sea Bird, Mill Reef, Rheingold, All Along, Dancing Brave, Urban Sea, Lammtarra, Montjeu, Sinndar, Sea the Stars, Golden Horn and Enable?

For a start, everything about Al Hakeem suggests the son of Siyouni has been crying out for this distance. Just take a look at his fourth in the Prix du Jockey Club when he ran on strongly and his rallying success at Deauville last time.

Now history dictates most Arc winners are proven stayers, but there are plenty in this renewal that step up for the first time and Al Hakeem is one of them. As a horse likely to be dropped out stall four is ideal, and Rouget knows the time of day having landed the prize with Sottsass under Al Hakeem’s jockey Cristian Demuro in 2020.

15:50 Tuesday

    Another Group 1 here in the L’Opera over 1m2f for fillies and mares. I’ve always thought this is the perfect trip for Oaks heroine TUESDAY and suspect she will take all the beating for Wayne Lordan and Aidan O’Brien. The latter sticks Ryan Moore on Above the Curve, but I’m a huge fan of Tuesday who of course had Nashwa beaten off for her Classic success.



    16:25 Berneuil

    Sprinters now in the Group 1 Abbaye over 5f. BERNEUIL started 7-2 for this last year and finished last after a dreadful start. The five-year-old is of course much better than that and was a good winner at Longchamp when last seen in September. The gelding’s great asset is loving soft ground so he should at least have each way claims for the Lerner family.

    17:00 – Tenebrism

    The Group 1 Foret over 7f. Not the most competitive renewal of a race I love. This should be a good chance for TENEBRISM to get back to winning ways for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. The Jean Prat heroine was a fine third in the Matron when last seen and this trip is absolutely perfect. Ground is no issue.

    So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?

    Matt Chapman’s Sunday Racing Tips

    13:15 Tigrais
    13:50 Habana
    15:05 Al Hakeem
    15:50 Tuesday
    16:25 Berneuil
    17:00 Tenebrism

    *All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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