A bumper weekend in store and too much to tweet so thoughts for the main races that take my eye over Arc weekend
Hard to escape the claims of Muthmir even at his short price here having skipped a Group 1 race for this. He looked a Group 1 horse last time and should be a level above the opposition here. Justice Day is a nice type at this grade but has a tough ask for a 3yo in not getting any weight from the year older selection
Selection: Muthmir 4pts 5/4 or better
UPDATE * The rains came and Muthmir became a Non Runner* (stakes returned)
Highland Acclaim was always in the wrong place last time at Ayr – having to come from behind away from the stands rail never gave him much chance but he still looked the one to take out of the race for the future. The extra furlong here should suit and he’s just preferred over American Hope who has also been unlucky this season and has run well here twice in defeat.
Selection; Highland Acclaim 1 pt ew 7/1 or better
UPDATE: Softer ground didnt help Highland Acclaim’s chances and he never got very competitive – needs a return to decent ground or that may be his season over (loss 2 pts)
I backed a different horse when Local Time won last time and was surprised how easily she won. Immediate impression was that she was a Group class filly and although it’s a furlong less here and this is not an all weather track, I think she should be vying for favouritism with Godolphin’s other runner Yodelling
She opened at 6/1 earlier today and as I write 4/1 is beginning to disappear so the value is starting to wain
Selection; Local Time 2pts win 4/1 or better if still available
UPDATE: Local Time didn the business but it was a close call and had me sweating until close home. Two withdrawals at the start meant a R4 deuction of 25p in £ – 4/1 becoming 3/1 but still somewhat better than the SP return of 7/4 (profit 6pts)
Limato stands some way ahead of these on form and despite the big field seems a solid fav at 7/4. The only threat I can really see is one he has to give weight to – Mattmu. Some firms offer ¼ odds 1234 here but I will struggle to get on with any of them – or else I would be availing myself of some of their 7/1 with those terms
Selection ; Limato 2pts 7/4 or better (dont ignore Mattmu ew ¼ 1234 7/1 or better if available)
UPDATE; No sweating here as Limato cruised home to get 3.5 pts profit. As high as 9/4 was avaialble in morning with softer ground expected but this didnt really materialise and he was punted heavily on the track to end up with a 6/5 SP return
Prix de l’Abbaye (1.00)
I think some firms have overreacted to the effect of the draw here in the idea that low numbers have a big advantage. That may be true on soft ground but when it’s Good( like it most probably will be on Sunday) the evidence doesn’t support this so much
In the last 10 years when ground has been similar, Desert Lord and Var both made all from stalls 12 and 13 respectively (with similar drawn horses following them home).
With a lot of pace coming from the higher draws again this year I am sticking with old friend Stepper Point (stall 14) who has been pushed out to a nice double figure price because of his perceived disadvantage. Can expect to see him and Cotai Glory forcing it early from the higher numbers and on a course that favours front runners I hope he will stay there. Sole Power and Catcall both have to be covered up to arrive late on the scene – they have to be potent dangers but on this course they will both need that bit of luck in running to get there
With some firms offering ¼ odds 1234 that is the play here
Selection; Stepper Point 1 pt ew 10/1 (Hills ¼ 1234)
RESULT ; Stepper Point got to the front as planned but couldnt maintain it and finished unplaced – possibly went too fast too early LOSS 2pts
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (3.30)
The centrepiece of the weekend and a really difficult conundrum to solve – risking the house is not advised!
Some firms do offer ¼ 1234 and that must be used for ew plays
The draw has again affected prices today with history on the side of a single figure box.
With just one likely front runner in Montviron, tactical awareness could come to the fore, and I think that is against the three Japanese raiders who come here without having run a trial this year and don’t use local jockeys. (Just A Way looked ultra smart earlier in year but stamina here is a big question mark)
I have a feeling that Taghrooda may have left her chances behind after a hard race at York last time when losing here unbeaten record so the shortlist comes down to these 4 in their betting order:
ECTOT. Chosen by Benoist instead of the stamina questionable Avenir Certain. His trial looked the most impressive with a telling bust of pace to go from last to first. Rated as better than his previous Arc winner Helissio by his trainer Elie Lellouche, the one main question mark is will he get into trouble trying to come from the back of the pack here. Draw 10
TREVE. Last year’s impressive winner hasn’t been herself this year but has started to please Criquette Head in the final build up. Thierry Jarnet has won the race 3 times and his experience could be vital. Her win last year is still the best piece of form in the race so she can’t be totally discounted here. Draw 3
RULER OF THE WORLD. Last year’s Derby winner was a bit of a forgotten horse until winning his trial in the Prix Foy. It would be ironic to see him and Frankie Dettori to win after both have been previously discounted from the race. Dettori is the most successful Arc winning jockey in the race and now that Ruler of the World has proved he can perform well from the front of a race, I think Frankie can use his stall 6 to optimum use. If the pace isn’t furious he could have the perfect position to kick on for home early and try to steal it
Beaten by jockeyship in the Prix Foy and the representative of always to be feared Andre Fabre ( 7 wins in this race). He was easily beaten here last year when the ground was too soft but should have the ground to his liking this time. He had looked really good prior to that and would expect his trainer to have him cherry ripe for this. Being beaten in a trial isn’t a handicap to winning the Arc for Fabre runners as Subotica and Peinter Celebre have previously proved. Draw 4
Given their respective prices selections are both with Hills who again offer the necessary ¼ 1234
Ruler of the World 15/1
1pt ew each
Treve recaptured last year’s form so at least the shortlist gave out the winner. Flintshire ran a fine race to claim second and provide some profit. Ruler of the World had ideal positioning early but just wasnt good enough at the business end of the race. Looking forward to next year, Kingston Hill ran a fine race from a really bad draw – given a better draw and softer ground he seems tohe immediate one to take out of the race for 2015!
Profit 3.25 pts
Bonne chance to all over the weekend!
Thanks for reading – comments as always most welcome
Saturday evening update:
One small bet to add to the portfolio tomorrow at Longchamp
2.45 Prix de’ Opera
A Group 1 for fillies only but no obvious star in the line up. Ribbons and Sultanina have already won at this Group 1 level but it has to be said that both races were an even lower level than this (Ribbons also raciong on much softer going)
At a big price I’m taking a chance on LAVENDER LANE who hasnt raced on decent going like this since a rather unlucky run in the French Oaks. She wouldnt have beaten the winner that day but would certainly have been closer but for running into a wall of horses in the final furlong. There certainly wouldnt have been much between her and Shamkala who reopposes here but the prices don’t reflect that. I’m willing to forgive her efforts since on much softer ground with the odds available.
Suggestion 0.5pts ew Lavender Lane 22/1 (Hills, Ladbrokes – both offering 1/4 odds 123 on this race)
RESULT; Again Lavender Lane got behind horses and ran into trouble, otherwise she might well have placed. Unfortunately 1pt loss but one to keep in notebook in hopew one day she gets good ground and a good gallop.
Overall Weekend Performance
17 pts staked
24.75 pts returned
7.75 pts profit