The most prestigious turf race in Europe, G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is scheduled for 3rd October, and it will be no wonder if the purse of 5,000,000 EUR attracts a high-quality field. The turf gem is run over 1 mile and 4 furlongs at Longchamp in Paris and open for three-year-old and older horses from which the following 10 names currently headline the betting offers.
Thanks to carrying less weight than older horses, three-year-old runners are usually well-regarded for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which is understandable, especially this year. Aidan O’Brien bound filly Snowfall (3-1) has belonged among favorites since her impressive victory in the Cazoo Oaks, where she demolished her rivals. As she repeated the successful effort in the Irish Oaks, there were basically no doubts she has a strong chance in the autumn pinnacle. The three-year-old bay then confirmed her class among older mares in the Yorkshire Oaks, and even though Snowfall is yet to face colts and older horses, she should benefit from the weight advantage.
Moreover, she is not as ground-dependent as O’Brien’s horses usually are. In other words, she should handle the typical French going – heavy, and follow in the footsteps of Enable, Zarkava, or Treve, who all won the race as three-year-old fillies.
Concerning Classic winners, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe might be the place for a clash of two Derby winners – Adayar (9-2) and Hurricane Lane (8-1). Both colts are trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, while the former caused an upset in the Cazoo Derby over a mile and a half in Epsom, where he left his preferred colleague behind. The latter, Hurricane Lane, also became a Derby-winner as he was all heart in Curragh, bagging the Irish Derby, also over a mile and a half. That wasn’t everything a talented couple of colts showed.
Adayar went on to beat older horses in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, again over a mile and a half, where the bay son of Frankel was impressive once more, hinting he should be capable of some more great things. The chestnut son of Frankel, Hurricane Lane, was pointed to France, and as he had no issue with the very soft ground at Parislongchamp, he destroyed his rivals at least by 6 lengths in the Grand Prix de Paris over a mile and a half.
The top 10 candidates for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
In the top 10 of the betting offer according to Jazz Sports, the last three-year-old is St Mark’s Basilica (12-1), currently recovering from a minor setback. This year, the bay colt is unbeaten when succeeding in two French Cassic, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains over a mile at Longchamp and the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly over a mile and 2½ furlongs. After these excellent performances, he confirmed his exceptional class in the Sussex Stakes at Sandown over a mile and a quarter. With his abilities, he should handle 1 mile and 4 furlongs honorably. However, his speed seems to quite clearly outweigh his stamina, so it is a question whether Aidan O’Brien is actually thinking of sending his star to Longchamp for this race in particular.
Looking at the older entries, we see the situation is similar to the one with the three-year-olds – a mare is preferred to colts and horses. The Dermot Weld trained four-year-old chestnut named Tarnawa (6-1) owned and bred by His Highness Aga Khan wasn’t quite the finished article two years ago, but in 2020, proved to be a real star in the making. She remained unbeaten last season, including three triumphs at the G1 scene over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half. Her turn of foot was remarkable in these races; moreover, she is capable of quickening on every surface from good to heavy, which is rather promising for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe; she has just one race under her belt this year, though. On 5th August, she recorded a smooth victory in G3 company at Leopardstown, but as she gives everything is needed when charging for the win, it shouldn’t harm her to race her less.
At this time, Tarnawa is definitely the only older participant of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe who wouldn’t shock us by running down Snowfall and the Derby-winners.
As we already mentioned the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, four-year-old Mishriff (12-1), sprang no chance at catching Adayar. Moreover, he lost also to St Mark’s Basilica. John and Thady Gosden have a brilliant horse in Mishriff regarding his wins in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the G1 Juddmonte International at York last time out; he doesn’t seem like the horse right for the French jewel. He performs well on both good and soft ground; he stays, still, the possible very soft ground should help other participants more than him, for example, the four-year-old filly Wonderful Tonight (12-1). Last autumn, she bagged two G1 wins on soft and heavy ground, on which her class really shows. Otherwise, she is just good and doesn’t have much chance with Adayar or Snowfall.
To complete the list of the top 10 candidates for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2021, we must mention four-year-old Love (20-1) trained by Aidan O’Brien, who excelled last season. Her current form is sort of debatable, though; moreover, she won’t appreciate any softer ground. William Haggas bound Al Aasy (25-1) also deliver some underwhelming efforts.
When bagging easily two G3 races at the start of the season; the four-year-old seemed a promising prospect among the stayers. However, he then got beaten at the G1 Coronation Cup and G2 at Newmarket, while he was expected to strike gold here. Being a gelding now, he might focus more on the races, so a successful comeback is entirely possible. Oddly enough, the top 10 lacks any French horses as all of the mentioned ones are trained either in the United Kingdom or Ireland, but Japan apparently has another solid chance of winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe thanks to Chrono Genesis (16-1).
The five-year-old grey mare managed to win four G1 races in Japan and only by a neck lost to Mishriff in UAE over a mile and a half. She will head for the start without racing in Europe; thus, how she handles the typical and very possible softer track will remain a secret until the 3rd of October.
As much as we adore Adayar and his gutsy performances, Snowfall still looks like the one beat, thanks to the weight advantage she gets. The same applies to Tarnawa, a classy mare, though she needs to be at her best to outrun the younger horses.
Odds to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, courtesy of Jazz Sports.
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