Racing UK columnist Paul Mulrennan highlights why he wants Sea Of Class to win the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp on Sunday, looks at the Prix L'Abbaye and zeroes in on two at Redcar on Saturday.
I’ll be hoping Sea Of Class can do the business in Sunday’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
I’ve referenced a couple of times in this column about just how highly I regard James Doyle. He’s riding out of his skin and deserves all the success that comes his way.
James is having to get down to 8st 9lb but he is the ultimate professional and will make sure he gets to that weight in a way which won’t affect him from riding at his peak. The fact he is so determined to get down to that weight tells you all you need to know about how seriously he rates Sea Of Class’s chance.
And I think he’s got a serious chance of winning, too. Fillies have a got a great record in the race, especially ones who are reasonably unexposed and improving, which she certainly is. She’s gone through the ranks this season and ended up winning the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks. She beat a top-class field last time at York and wasn’t really asked too much in the process.
It sounds boring but I think it’s between the two fillies, Enable and her, and James will have to be at his very best, given they are drawn in stall 15, whereas the favourite and last year’s winner is in the perfect slot in six.
If these two fail to perform, for whatever reason, then Kew Gardens could pick up the pieces, and looks a solid each-way proposition. Odds of 10-1 look quite big for a Classic winner and the race will be run to suit him. And remember, it was only two years ago, when Aidan O’Brien trained the one-two-three and his horses are in red-hot form right now, as we saw at Newmarket last week, when he mopped up the big two-year-old races.
Mabs Cross, who I would have ridden but for my injury, lines up for the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye. She is in A1 condition at Michael Dods’s and they couldn’t be happier with her.
Gerald Mosse takes the ride for the first time and is obviously a world-class substitute. He is the ideal type for a warm-up filly like this who gradually goes through the gears. She looks to have a great chance of notching her first Group One.
She, of course, came agonisingly close to doing just that in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, when losing out by a nose to Alpha Delphini. For some reason that horse is 20-1, and you should take note that she represents the same ownership group and trainer in Bryan Smart who won the Abbaye with Tangerine Trees in 2011.
In England, I can’t see beyond Laurens in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, and I think the bookmakers have once again underestimated her chances at 11-4.
Red Balloons and Rathbone have solid chances in the Racing UK Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar. Red Balloons won the big sales race at York and could be a class act, while Rathbone might not have won before, but is very consistent and only has 8st 6lb on his back.