Racing UK unbeatable guide to the Arc
Saturday 6 October 2012
By Matt Gregory
Welcome to Racing UK's gateway to everything that you need to know about the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday.
Our website team have pulled together all of our video interviews and analysis, as well as the best stories to present you with a crystal clear picture of what might unfold in Paris.
We take you through all the big players, from Camelot and Orfevre to outsiders such as Sea Moon and Masterstroke, who have been well-backed this week.
Japan have never won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but have come mighty close in recent times courtesy of Deep Impact, Nakayama Festa and El Condor Pasa and Angus and Graham believe he has the form to win.
The racing-mad nation have learnt their lessons and in place of a Japanese jockey Orfevre will be ridden by dual-Arc winner Christophe Soumillon, who described Orfevre’s final piece of work this week as "vivacious".
Orfevre won the Japanese Triple Crown last season but the hopes of a nation appeared to be dashed earlier this week when the raider was handed gate 18.
Website editor Geoffrey Riddle tipped up Orfevre at 10-1 ahead of the St Leger and if you have seen the four-year-old’s win in the Hanshin Daishoten backers will have no worries with the former favourite emerging from the widest stall of all.
Is this weekend’s Arc the final chance of superstardom for Camelot? Angus and Graham contest the hype surrounding the Coolmore three-year-old and what’s left in his tank after a disappointing run at Doncaster.
Frankie Dettori’s appointment to the ride created waves in the press and the Italian rider gave his first interview this week on the subject to Racing UK, while trainer Aidan O’Brien expressed “delight” at having the Godolphin rider on board.
Shareta was second last year to Danedream but having accumulated two Group One races this season it is clear that she is a better filly.
Jockey Christophe Lemaire clearly thinks so, and he told Racing UK that he has no worries should the rain arrive on the Bois du Bologne - it has.
Can late-comer and Prix Du Jockey Club winner Saonois continue this season’s improvement and go on to win the Arc? Winning Sunday’s race, the most valuable turf contest in the world, would seem unthinkable given that last autumn he was winning a claiming race.
Geoffrey Riddle also takes a look at the extraordinary story behind the colt, after a French village baker bought a half-share for just €4,000 and turned down offers of €3million last month.
Sister to Nathaniel, the Irish Oaks winner was the market springer on Saturday night after rain fell heavily at Longchamp.
John Gosden's charge was backed in from 12-1 down in to as short as 13-2 on account of the going.
The Rothschild family stumped up €100,000 to supplement her on Thursday and with ground in her favour, connections believe she has a leading chance on account of her freshness.
Sea Moon has been heavily backed all week on account of Ryan Moore being available to ride and further rain falling in Paris on Saturday.
Sir Michael Stoute’s charge has enjoyed the perfect preparation in the build-up to the Arc and Angus and Graham look into whether Sea Moon has the requisite class, having failed against top-level opponents before.
Andre Fabre currently has seven victories in the Arc to his name, can he make it eight victories with Masterstroke? Graham and Angus discuss the factors that they believe will have to play out for the well-bred outsider to stand a chance in the race. They also consider whether the three-year-old is on the upgrade after his Grand Prix de Deauville victory ahead of John Gosden’s improving Gatewood.
St Nicholas Abbey
Last year St Nicholas Abbey, stablemate of this year’s favourite Camelot, surprised many when he discarded his pacemaker tag to finish a credible fifth. Graham and Angus weigh up his chances after going on to take victory in the Breeder’s Cup in America, a promising encounter with Frankel and finally, bolting up at Epsom in the Coronation Cup.
Yellow And Green:
Sea Moon and Great Heavens were not the only horses to be well backed on Saturday night. Yellow And Green from the Nicolas Clement yard was slashed from 33-1 into 22-1 with Coral.
Clement told Racing UK that the daughter of Monsun would relish the soft conditions and he believes that she has stacks of improvement after chasing home Saonois in the Prix Niel.
Clement won his only Arc when in his 20s with Saumarez in 1990 and has said that if he wins the race for a second time he would retire!