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Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - Form Comments

02/10/2015

G1 - 2400m - Turf

 

Flintshire

Super tough and consistent as he showed again when winning last December's G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase over 2400m at Sha Tin. Another overseas trip paid off when he easily won a G1 in Saratoga this August and, with suitably drying ground, connections have decided to let him have his third run in the Arc, finishing eighth in 2013 and second last year. A win would be a big surprise, a place would not.

 

Eagle Top

Although a very stylish G2 winner over this distance at Ascot last year, he just seems vulnerable against very top opposition as he shown on various occasions since then. Last month he was hot favourite for a five-runner G3 at Newbury but, after leading, he ran out of gas on the sticky ground. Very hard to fancy here.

 

Manatee

No stamina worries as this winner of four of his seven starts has scored over as far as 3000m whilst all his victories - two at G2 level - have come on soft ground. He struggled when tackling quicker ground on his last start - back in June - when beaten 5 1/4L by Treve in a G1 at Saint-Cloud.

 

Meleagros

It would be a huge surprise if Meleagros had the class to make an impact. He has won seven of his 24 starts including a G3 on very soft ground over this course and distance back in May. Neither of his two starts since have suggested that he is about to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

 

Prince Gibraltar

Has not quite lived up to a brilliant two-year-old career and has been a beaten favourite on various occasions including when third in the 2014 French Derby at Chantilly. However he did get back on the winning track last month when winning a relatively weak G1 over this distance at Baden-Baden. Testing ground might help against apparently better qualified rivals.

 

Spiritjim

Twice won over this course and distance earlier in his career, but he was a soundly-beaten outsider in last year's Arc. He ran his best race for some time when a close runner-up in the G2 Arc trial for older horses last month, but it would be amazing if he proved good enough to threaten some brilliant rivals here.

 

Free Eagle

Lightly-raced but with superb acceleration and perhaps unlucky not to win a second consecutive G1 last time when knocked sideways by winner Golden Horn just as he was gathering momentum in the prestigious Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. He moves up to 2400m for the first time but his trainer doesn't seem worried about that, and forecasts of drying conditions are also encouraging.

 

Dolniya

Finished last season when a good 4 1/4L 5th behind Treve in this event. On her second start this season she produced a fantastic career best with a sparking victory in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March. She hasn't been as good in three starts since, including when failing to accelerate up the Longchamp straight in a G2 in September though the rain-drenched ground would not have suited her at all.

 

Treve

This brilliant mare has won nine of her 12 starts including six G1's and, famously, the last two runnings of this, Europe's greatest race. She arrives at this year's Arc in sensational form and her 6 lengths victory in September's G1 Prix Vermeille over this course and distance was devastating, always cruising and shooting clear  of some very accomplished opposition. She is very hard to fault.

 

Frine

Formerly trained in Spain where she was right at the top of the three in the weaker company of that country. However she also managed a G2 victory over Arc weekend last year and, whilst there have been some fair runs this season also, she will surely not have the required class for Europe's greatest race.

 

Siljan’s Saga

Was a 100-1 outsider when 6 1/2L 12th of 20 in last year's Arc and she does come here fresh from two victories on her last two starts, latterly when showing too much persistence and stamina for her rivals in a G2 over 2500m at Deauville in August. However she surely doesn't have much chance here unless the ground turned very soft.

 

Tapestry

A G1 winner last year though she didn't make any impact in the Arc on her final start. Various problems kept her from the track in 2015 until competing in a G2 over this 2000m trip last month. She was closing down the winner Ribbons in the closing stages there but she will need to do much better still if she is to make any Arc impact in 2015.

 

New Bay

A brilliant three-year-old who defied a poor gate to win the G1 French Derby at Chantilly in May in great style. Unbeaten in two starts since and he dismissed lesser rivals with great ease when winning his Arc trial, the G2 Prix Niel over this course and distance last month. That came on extremely testing ground but he's effective on good ground also and looks just one of a few who have serious chances of upsetting Treve.

 

Silverwave

Began his career in modest events at minor tracks in France, but he burst onto the major scene with a runaway victory in a G3 at Longchamp in April. One of the favourites for the French Derby at Chantilly but he had a poor trip that day and has done better on two subsequent starts latterly when staying on to finish 2 1/2L runner-up to New Bay in the G2 Prix Niel over this course and distance last month. He probably needs very soft ground to have any serious place chances.

 

Erupt

He won his first four races, improving his profile rapidly each time and climaxed when beating better fancied rivals with a strong surge up the Longchamp straight in July's G1 Grand Prix de Paris. The bubble burst in his Arc trial - the Prix Niel over this course and distance in September - when he faded quickly beaten 11 1/2L by New Bay. His trainer blamed the rain-drenched ground that day.

 

Golden Horn

The UK's most exciting three-year-old, winning six of his seven starts. Many thought he would be exposed by moving up to this distance but he proved those doubters wrong with a smooth 3 1/2L over subsequent Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs in the G1 Derby at Epsom in June. Although veering dramatically to his right in the closing stages, he won the G1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last month. Winning chances especially on the predicted drying ground.

 

Shahah

Won a G3 over 1600m in 2014 but she has been supplemented into the Arc field as the pacemaker for Treve as connections want to ensure an even pace. Obviously, her winning chances are about nil.

 

Found

Three-year-old fillies trained in Ireland have made a major impact both in Ireland and the UK this season and although Found has only won a three-runner G3, she has finished a close second in three G1's, including when runner-up to Golden Horn in the Irish Champion Stakes over 2000m at Leopardstown last month. She was staying on strongly at the end of that contest so this move up to 2400m could be within her capabilities.

 

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