Tag Archives: France

PREVIEW: Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2018

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It’s Enable’s race….. to lose. Can anyone stop the wonder filly? Or can she follow on from a magical Saturday where Winx thundered home to a 28th consecutive success?

The queen of European racing was so impressive twelve months ago when she landed the big one, she’s blessed with an excellent draw this Sunday – surely, she’s more than justifying her 11/10 price tag.

I’m saying that as I find it hard to see her getting beaten here. Enable has clearly shown on her reappearance at Kempton in the September Stakes that she’s hitting top form right when it’s required. As easily as she let a 129 rated Crystal Ocean look like a one paced plodder, one can’t help but be incredibly impressed.

From a betting perspective I wouldn’t want to put anyone off backing Enable. From my own perspective it’s not a price for me – so I’m looking for a bit of “Each-Way Value” in a race that appears to be pretty open if it comes to the minor placings.

Sea Of Class and Waldgeist both make appeal. Form wise they are a clear standout compared to the rest of the field – bar Enable, of course. Though, the draw is a concern, even more so for the filly who’s likely to need a lot of luck from off the pace. The French colt, on the other hand, is the biggest danger to Enable but may get rolling too late, I feel.

Leger winner Kew Gardens should be okay dropping back in trip. He’s got a fair shout, depending on the start of the race where I’d like to see him ridden positively, which might be detrimental to his chances as he’s got to deal with a wide raw also, but it could also play into his hands, making use of stamina reserves at the backend of the race. If ridden with restraint he’s got even less a chance, most likely. At given prices it’s a pass for me, anyhow.

Stable mate Capri, high class as he is on paper, is hard to fancy after his interrupted season and a rusty return to the track in the Prix Foy.

Last year’s runner-up Cloth Of Stars is an interesting individual at a big price, if quirky and hard to know what to get on the day. If he could find some sort of his best form again he can be a fair place chance. So can be defending Breeder’s Cup Turf champ Talismanic. The ground may turn against him, though.

For my selection I’ll look even further down the packing order, still. 50/1 shot Patascoy, the French Derby runner-up, is the one who appeals most to me given this massive price.

The jury is still out whether he stays the trip. This lightly raced colt hasn’t raced beyond 10.5 furlongs yet, the pedigree isn’t exactly screaming “stayer” but isn’t entirely discouraging either.

Certainly in the Derby – not an overly strong form, it has to be said – he was running hard to the line after hitting a flat spot entering the home straight. His return after a bit of a summer break in the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain was good – although not form you would associate good enough for an Arc winner, to be totally fair.

What I like about Patascoy is the fact he remains open for improvement after only eight career starts and in addition he is pretty straightforward, uncomplicated in the way he can be ridden – from an excellent draw, most likely tracking the pace in the Arc. That should ensure he’s in a good position when it matters most. If I trust him to stay, then he could outrun his price tag to finish in the money, in the end.

Selection:
5pts Each/Way – Patascoy @ 50/1 PP (4 places, 1/5)

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Sunday Selections: Prix Ganay Preview

Territories

Let me be upfront: Cloth Of Stars is a silly price in this afternoon’s Prix Garnay. I totally get why Cracksman is a hot favourite to land the Group 1 prize, and I also understand why he should be a short price to do so – however two to one on? Whereas Cloth Of Stars an unloved 7/2 shot? That’s not right.

We all have still in mind when Cracksman ran away so impressively with the Champion Stakes, smashing excellent opposition, having Poet’s Word chasing in vain seven lengths behind.

He won three on the trot in the second half of the 2017 season. He could hardly have done more. Agreed. However, it is probably fair to say his most impressive performances all came with significant cut in the ground.

Cracksman has proven to run well fresh. So that might not be a concern today. However, being fresh, on good ground, against classy- and race fit opposition with bigger targets on the horizon is a proposition that makes me think he is potentially vulnerable today.

Main threat is going to be Cloth Of Stars. Last year’s runner-up in the Arc behind Enable. He didn’t have things going for himself as a three year old, though stepped up markedly in 2017.

He won the Prix Ganay and ended the year with the excellent second place in the Arc where he got out into the clear too late in order to have a serious crack at Enable. It still was an almighty performance, given he travelled so strongly and picked up instantly once seeing daylight.

Cloth Of Stars has race fitness on his side. A prep run on the All-Weather, before he headed to Dubai for the Sheema Classic. With no pace on, the five year old colt had to sit and suffer behind leader- and eventual winner Hawkbill. Cloth Of Stars needs pace in order to settle – he didn’t get that at Meydan at all and pulled the arms off Mikael Barzelona pretty much until turning for home.

Wasting all that energy, Cloth Of Stars still finished a fine third. Back on home soil, pace will be a question once more today. He’s got a pace maker in the race – a 150/1 shot – but if that one gets ignored because virtually a hopeless chance to win, then it could still turn into a bit of a muddling affair.

Nonetheless, I feel there is not as much between Cracksman and Cloth Of Stars as the betting tries to make us believe. Both are really good Group 1 horses. Cracksman might still turn out to be the one with the bit more class. At given odds I feel comfortable backing Cloth Of Stars, regardless.

Selection:
10pts win – Cloth Of Stars @ 7/2 VC

Blockbuster Monday

Blockbuster Monday: The Group 1 Prix Ganay at St. Cloud is the headline act, but no doubt most eyes will be glued to the action at Naas.

The County Kildare course has picked up another high quality card thanks to the Curragh redevelopment tomorrow with the highlight no doubt the Mooresbridge Stakes where we gonna see wonder mare Minding back in action!

We know how good she is and therefore even more intriguing could be the return of stable mate Johannes Vermeer. Back after a half year long lay-off – he also had only one run last season – the winner of the 2015 Criterium International is an exciting prospect for the class of the older horses.

Betting wise, though, my eyes turn to Beverley in England. Not an overly exciting card there, however I really fancy one horse over there quite a bit….

 

4.50 Beverley: Class 4 Handicap, 8.5f

There is every chance that the top two in the betting are both on marks underestimating their true class, however Carnageo is a better price and I prefer him given I liked his seasonal reappearance at Doncaster earlier this month. allot

Carnageo won three times last season, though he only got up by narrow margins the last two, still it’s fair to say he improved extremely well during his three year old campaign. His final performance at Nottingham over 8.5f given the form delivered five individual winners subsequently and the runner-up is now 8lb higher rated.

Probably stretching his stamina to the max, Carnegeo travelled well at Doncaster three weeks ago and seemingly came with a big challenge from three furlongs out, however he hit a wall inside the final furlong and was eventually eased.

The drop down to 8.5f should suit and with race fitness ensured he might still be able to pull out a bit more. Only the faster than ideal ground is a real question mark for me.

Selection:
10pts win – Carnegeo @ 9/2 William Hill