The first Sunday in October has arrived and so with the flat season in Europe drawing to a close over the next few weeks we have arguably the biggest race of the lot taking place over in France when 15 go to post for the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe.
This famous race has been won by some of the best horses in racing and one of those going to post on Sunday will join an illustrious roll of honour. We have had a good scour of the race card and there is one bet we like.
Arguably the most eagerly anticipated race of the whole season, the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe is the one they all want to win & this year is no exception with a decent sized field of 15 going to post. The winner of the French Derby, Ace Impact, is currently heading the market & the form of this unbeaten 3 year old is hard to knock. However, if there is to be one chink in his armour, it may well be the trip & he comes here previously untried over a mile & a half. With a fast pace almost guaranteed, I’d rather than be on one that will definitely last home. Hukum is the top British hope & arrives here after narrowly outbattling Westover, who reopposes here, in the King George. Hukum’s chances have been somewhat compromised by the drying ground & his wide draw whilst 6 year olds have a really poor record in the race. Westover’s chances are probably more solid, exiting from the inside stall & having run well enough here 12 months ago. There are no ground fears & whilst he isn’t for me, I expect him to run creditably again.
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Continuous has been supplemented for this & comes here after landing the St Leger & bids to become the first horse to complete the double but that seems unlikely especially after the drubbing he got off Ace Impact in the Prix Du Jockey Club earlier in the campaign. Bay Bridge has been well touted for this and he could go very well for Richard Kingscote but I’m just not sure he’ll be quite good enough whilst Frankie Dettori aims to sign off a glittering career by landing the Arc on Free Wind. She’s another just below this call so I’m afraid it won’t be a 7th Arc for the Italian. The Japanese raider, Through Seven Seas, has a massive chance if she can prove that her narrow defeat to Equinox was no fluke whilst, at bigger prices, I was sweet on the chances of both Place Du Carrousel and Simca Mille but the draw has not been kind to either.
One of the German horses, Fantastic Moon, has been well backed after winning the Prix Niel last time out but the horse he beat, FEED THE FLAME, is the one I’m siding with & I fully expect him to exact his revenge here. This 3 year old has been handed a low draw in 2 and has a 3 from 4 record at the track. After opening up with 2 wins here, he headed to the French Derby as second favourite & whilst he ran well in 4th, he had no answer to the burst of speed of the winner, today’s favourite Ace Impact. However, he was staying on at the line & my strong view is that the extra 2 furlongs will suit my selection much more than the winner. Upped in trip on his next start, he had a very troubled run in the Grand Prix de Paris and was around 4 lengths down at the furlong pole but picked up in fine style to land the spoils readily. That marked him down as having a big chance in this so it was disappointing to see him finish behind Fantastic Moon in the Prix Niel but that was another race where he had excuses. A stop start gallop didn’t help and when the pace quickened, he wasn’t best positioned to strike. Whilst he was 2 lengths off the winner, there were some impressive closing fractions mentioned & he was quicker than the winner in each of the last 3 furlongs. His trainer had also said he wasn’t at peak form & would have preferred to get another couple of weeks work into him. I’m sure he’ll be spot on for this & with the bigger field & likely truer pace in his favour, I expect him to be in there pitching at the business end of the race.
Back FEED THE FLAME (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
Back him here: