David Cormack previews this afternoon’s Arc De Triomphe

David Cormack previews this afternoon’s Arc De Triomphe

A mouth-watering race in prospect at Chantilly this afternoon as the brilliant Enable bids to complete her season by becoming the first ever British trained three year old filly to win the Arc.

On form Enable is clearly the one to beat. If you were looking for chinks in her armour you might point to her busy campaign, she’s been on the go since April and has raced six times. She’s drawn in stall two which could also be a possible difficulty if she doesn’t get out quickly. Apart from those two aspects, both of which are unquantifiable in terms of the effect they may have, there are no question marks. She beat her nearest market rival here, Ulysses, by four and a half lengths in the King George in highly authoritative fashion and has swept all before her without ever looking vulnerable.

Ulysses fans will be hoping that their horse has improved since Ascot and he put up an excellent display at York to take the Juddmonte International from Barney Roy and Churchill. Whether there is evidence he’s actually improving I’m not so sure but he’s certainly not regressing and looks likely to run a big race.  I’m not really in the camp that says he’s better at a mile and a quarter than a mile and a half. By Galileo out of an Oaks winner, he is bred to cope with a mile and a half well and I thought his run at Ascot behind Enable confirmed that he stays well enough. The filly had his measure at Ascot though and Ulysses’ running style and number 1 draw mean he may have to get a bit of luck to avoid trouble through the race.

The horse bringing something new to the table is Winter, who has been dominant over a mile in her sex and age group and who stepped up to a mile and a quarter to win the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. Back at a mile next time in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown she went under to stablemate Hydrangea in what was a muddling sort of race in some ways. Second guessing this stable would be a quick route to the poor house and it is significant that they are letting her take her chance and also that Ryan Moore has selected her. Her form wouldn’t be at the level of Enable’s but this trip is new territory and, rather than being inconvenienced, she could well thrive at the longer distance. The stable don’t make many mistakes when sending horses over a distance and I’d be more concerned about the general level of her form not being quite as good as Enable’s than about the trip.

I like Capri, I think his Irish Derby win was underestimated and he showed last time when winning the St Leger that he is a good horse and that he stays extremely well. My doubt with him is similar to Winter in that the overall level of his form may not be quite good enough. I don’t think he’ll be disgraced and he is well worth his place in the field.

Idaho shouldn’t be discounted and he appeals as the best of the outsiders. He was only three quarters of a length behind Ulysses at Ascot and today’s test will suit home. He is a big price at 33/1 and a big run would be no surprise.

Order Of St George was third last year and has been in good form this campaign. He was impressive last time at the Curragh, ridden in more enterprising fashion he won the Irish St Leger easily. The Arc demands stamina and he gas it in abundance. He looks sure to run well but I’d be surprised if he can improve on last year’s third given the quality of several rivals.

Brametot was disappointing last time and the form of his earlier wins would leave him with a fair bit of improvement to find.
Cloth Of Stars is a horse who has been developing gradually in Fabre’s skilled hands. He has plenty to find but he is one those who may still have a little bit more to offer.

But the main threat to Enable may come from Dschingis Secret. The German trained raider prepped for the Arc in the Prix Foy and he was dominant, readily accounting for the aforementioned Cloth Of Stars. The overall level of his form is hard to assess but he looked value for a bit more than the length and a half last time and is a strong stayer for whom softer ground is no problem.

I think ENABLE (11/10) will be extremely difficult to beat if in anything like the form she was in when romping away with the King George. For those looking for a value alternative I’d recommend an interest in Dschingis Secret at 16/1.

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