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Victor Chandler on the L'Arc de Triomphe
12:00am Saturday 5th October 2013 in Sport
The Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe is one of the highlights of the Flat racing season and tomorrow's race looks one of the strongest renewals in years.
Last year's unfortunate runner-up, Orfevre, was an impressive winner of The Prix Foy and is 9/4 favourite at BetVictor to win the prize for Japan for the first time, but the nod goes to the unbeaten filly Treve (9/2 at BetVictor), despite her modest draw in stall 15.
The Prix Diane winner showed a smart turn of foot when winning her trial in The Prix Vermeille and receives plenty of weight from many of the principals.
There was a time when the loss of the injured Frankie Dettori, who misses out on his 26th successive Arc, would be a blow - not now.
As well as last year's runner-up Orfevre, Japan is represented by Kizuna, and I was very taken with his win in the Prix Niel. I expect him to frank the form with Derby winner Ruler Of The World, who has the assistance of Ryan Moore.
Arc 1-2-3: 1 Treve; 2 Kizuna; 3 Orfevre.
The Prix Foret looks a cracker, with Good Lord Byron (4.40) taken to win the race for the second successive year, despite the presence of the wonder-mare Moonlight Cloud.
The selection put up a career-best performance at Haydock last time back at six furlongs but is equally effective over this trip and he can take the prize back to Ireland.
Garswood will be more at home over seven furlongs than he was at Haydock last time but it is hard to see him reverse the placings with the selection.
High Jinx and Times Up form a strong British challenge for the Prix Du Cadran but preference is for German raider Altano (5.10), who really ought to have finished much closer in both the Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup but for pilot error.
The hope is the jockey knows where the winning post is at Longchamp and if so he must go close in a cracking finale.
Big Break (2.40) was not herself when beaten at Royal Ascot last time and has been given plenty of time to get over those exertions on ground probably quicker than ideal.
She returns at Tipperary tomorrow in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes and merits nap material for Dermot Weld. She showed she had trained on in the Irish Guineas and some of the Weld horses were running below par in mid-summer. There should be no excuses and I will be desperately disappointed if she does not run very well.
Captain Cee Bee is looking for back-to-back wins in the Grade 2 Tipperary Hurdle but I am looking to oppose the horse, who is now 12, with Midnight Game (3.50), who is half his age and has been freshened up having run poorly in mid-summer for Willie Mullins. Any more significant rain would be a positive for the son of Montjeu, who is bred to be running at Longchamp rather than over hurdles.
Rebel Fitz (5.25) cannot be opposed in the Grade 2 novice chase and indeed is recommended as our first ante-post bet for the Cheltenham Festival at 20/1 for the Arkle Trophy next March.
Gospel Choir (2.40) can maintain his progressive profile in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes today.
The selection is unproven on soft ground but good to soft is ideal and he looked ready for a step in grade when scoring at Goodwood last time.
The unbeaten Ajman Bridge (5.15) was very green at Pontefract last time but won nicely in the end and he can land Newmarket's finale for Luca Cumani, despite an 8lbs rise in the weights.
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