Having enjoyed a little break in the sun over the last ten days far away from rainy Ireland today couldn’t be a better day to be back: it’s Arc day!
Enable goes for her historic third triumph in Europe’s premier race. The mare embodies everything I love about flat racing. She is all class, she is versatile and she has proven it time and time again, regardless of race track, country or continent.
There is no bet in the Arc for me today. I don’t need one. I’ll cheer as loud as possible for Enable. She’ll win. Zero doubts.
The rain is in her favour. Her best performances came with cut in the ground. She won an Arc on soft ground two years ago. She ran a 115 topspeed rating this season as well, proving she’s not slowing down whatsoever.
No other horse in this esteemed field comes close to her class. Enable will win. History will be made. Go girl!
3.55 Longchamp: G1 Prix de l’Opera, 1m 2f
The appeal of Mehdaayih is obvious after her strong runner-up performance at Goodwood. She seems to continue an upward trend and may progress again. Make no mistake, she will have to find more, if she’s ever to win a proper Group 1 contest. So far the filly has yet to run beyond a 98 topspeed rating, which is pretty damn low for a true top class horse.
Her smart trainer has found an excellent opportunity to get a Group 1 on her CV, though, given she may never find a better one ever again. This is a rather weak field for a race of the highest order. In fact only one horse has run to a speed rating of 100 or higher: Pink Dogwood.
At given odds the Epsom Oaks runner-up is an obvious choice. True, she hasn’t exactly kicked on from that excellent effort, that saw her achieve a 101 TS rating. But the Oaks form is a rather strong piece of form, certainly rock solid, so is Pink Dogwood’s Navan win from April, as well as her Pretty Polly staked 3rd place in June.
Things didn’t work to plan the next two times, however it is a big positive that she drops down to 1m 2f again, which is her optimum trip, I reckon. The cut in the ground is another bonus, granted she has winning form on yielding to heavy ground.
So I’m backing Pink Dogwood with my money and Enable with all my heart for an almighty Arc day dominated by the ladies!
10pts win – Pink Dogwood @ 16/1 WH
1.50 Longchamp: G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, 1m
I hardly ever venture into juvenile racing, but feel this contest offers value for the Aiden O’Brien trained Armory, who appears to be a rock solid individual, likely to give his running while also having fine form already in the book, which ultimately can be enough to win this contest.
Given what Victor Ludorum has done so far he is a skinny price. Sure, unexposed and open to plenty of improvement, that may well come to the fore today. On the other hand this is more than adequately reflected in the odds.
How much more improvement is to come from Armory? As a January foal with five starts under his belt he may be close to a finished article by now. That’s okay because what is is now can be good enough to win this race.
He won three on the trot between June and August, including the Group 2 Futurity Stakes, proving he’s certainly got talent, albeit those forms are nothing to get too excited about.
Armory found his master in superstar colt Pinatubo when last seen. No surprise, anyone else would have looked like a 50 rated class 6 handicapper that day. However, on the positive side, even though things seemed to move a little bit too quickly for him, he fought on gamely, beaten smart stablemate Arizona on the line.
Leaving the winner, who is in a league of his own, out of the equation, Armory ran a highly credible race, given Arizona is the reigning Coventry Stakes winner and has more strong form to his name.
Having ran to a career highest topspeed rating, progressing nicely from what he showed a few weeks earlier in the Futurity Stakes, plus the likelihood of cut in the ground unlikely to stop him, Armory is a strong chance today.
10pts win – Armory @ 9/2 WH