Darren Goodbody outlines his best bets for one of Europe’s great racing days, the Arc De Triomphe, this year from Chantilly.
1.10 Prix Marcel Boussac
Ballydoyle have landed this race three times in the past six renewals with two of the last winners coming from the Irish champion Stable. Their strong representative here comes in the form of PROMISE TO BE TRUE, who is a beautifully bred filly, by Galileo and half sister to Maybe.
She probably blew up last time when she only managed fifth in the Moyglare, she looks better than that form and deserves her place here in what looks a strong field.
Once more we see another progeny of the mighty Frankel in Rouget’s Toulifaut. She looked to have plenty on the locker when winning the Prix Aumele here at Chantilly. She was on the sales list early in her career when she failed to sell for just under 300k. She is closely related to Ernest Hemingway who preferred a more stiffer test of stamina. 8f looks sharp for her, and will get further than this on pedigree.
John Gosden enters Dabyah who is another like Toulifaut who will appreciate a step up in trip next season. This is a big step up for the daughter of Sepoy after an easy win in a conditions race at Newbury. She probably would have been more effective if the heavens had opened overnight, but has the Frankie factor with Dettori up.
Frankel’s fillies this season have done the sire proud and Toulifaut has to be respected, but there is definitely more to come from Promise To Be True and I give her the narrow verdict.
PROMISE TO BE TRUE : 2pt Win @ 9/2 (check the PLU as prices will vary)
1.45 Jean Luc Lagardere
Over the past three years this race has stayed on home soil.
I am not totally convinced by Kontrastat’s win in the Group 3 La Rochette at Saint-Cloud. He looked like the trip was very sharp and despite winning going away, my question is what did he really best in the race. He looks bred for 10f the way he pulled and then picked up in the closing stakes.
One I do like in this very much is Mme Heads NATIONAL DEFENCE. His three lengths third behind Japanese bred Akihiro in the Prix Chene looks good form. He is related to middle distant winners like Cascading, I feel he deserves his place here and at three times the odds he looks the value each way bet in the race.
Ballydoyle runs Whitecliffsofdover, who will be better at this trip. He has come on gradually for O’Brien and has shown good form already when runner up in the Somerville Stakes and the one I probably fear the most in the race.
This looks a good race with the Ballydoyle entry and the selection looking more progressive, with the slight verdict going to National Service to improve again.
NATIONAL SERVICE : 1pt each way @ 7/1
2.20 Prix De L’Opera
Hugo Palmer broke s three year old strangle hold on this race when Covert Love won the race last year, she had already accomplished landing the Irish Oaks prior.
So Mi Dar returns to action, the unbeaten John Gosden filly had a slight scare when having a setback early this year, she was given an easy win on her return at Yarmouth when landing the John Musker Stakes under her pilot Frankie Dettori. All connected to her have had to be patient and if she settles well she has a live chance of keeping her 100% record intact.
However, I intend to take her on with an out of form horse from Jim Bolger’s yard in PLEASECACH
I think she is far better than her form suggests last year. The Yorkshire Oaks winner went on to only finish fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes, but that was a classy field, with Golden Horn turning out the winner.
She looks the type that runs well fresh and I am not put off by the first run or the fact she had not been seen since the Irish Champion Stakes. Seeing her won the Yorkshire Oaks there was definitely more to come.
German raider and an unconvincing favourite for this is Royal Solitaire. The Group 2 winner is nicely bred being by Shamardal who tend to do well around the continent.She had been beaten twice since and looked very backward when only finished seventh in the Prix Jean Romanet, she will have to step back Into form to land this and looks vulnerable for me
PLEASCACH : 2pt Win (SP)
3.05 Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe
I was somewhat deflated to say the least after HARZAND disappointed in this years Irish Champion Stakes. Having had time to reflect, he had a rough ride during the race, having been struck into, but looking at the re-run more he did look very one pace at the business end and despite the incident he never looked like he was on a going day.
You have to go with your gut feeling and if you forgive that run the Epsom Derby winner brings a good record into this race. He will get an age related allowance and this could bring him heavily into the mix from what I think is a good barrier positionfrom stall 7.
Japan always seek to bring their top horses here, but are still looking for their first success in the race, Makahiki is definitely a live contender despite being drawn out in stall 14. The Japanese Derby winner has the services of Christophe Lemaire who knows the track better than anyone, if getting a sweeping run down the centre he could be on the premises.
The six time unbeaten Roger Varian colt Postponed heads the market and for me he is definitely a big danger. The Coronation Cup and International Stakes winner is definitely the one they all have to step up to beat, stall 7 should not inconvenience him and if in good heart then they will be chasing him home.
If a shock on the cards is going to happen then it might be worth looking at Laffon-Parias’s LEFT HAND. The Morrocco Cup and more recent Prix Vermeille winner has shown that the step up to 12f definitely suits her. The daughter of Dubawi is related to some middle distant winners and may have a big chance with her age and gender allowances. Maxine Guyon knows her well enough. It’s a big step up. but I did have a dabble after her Vermeille win at 33’s and 28’s, she is now half those odds at around 16’s with 14’s in places but is still worth a nibble.
HARZAND : 2pts each way @ 7/1
Left Hand : 1pt each way @ 14/1