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Johnny Murtagh: Treve will be very hard to beat in the Arc but this Jewel could sparkle on the undercard

by Johnny Murtagh | October 2, 2015

One of the best day’s racing in the Flat calendar with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe the feature race at Longchamp on Sunday.

I won it on Sinndar for John Oxx in 1990 and got a dream run that day, sitting  behind the pacemaker before taking it up in the straight and kicking on. There was only 12 runners then so it was handy enough. But with potentially 18 runners on Sunday, the jockeys will need a bit of look not to get squeezed for room.

You ride to get into a challenging position and take it from there after that.

With this bigger field and Treve’s pacemaker Shahah drawn low in stall two there’s going to be plenty of pace. I’d expect the field to be well strung out by the two-furlong pole – rather than being on top of each other in a sprint for the line.

Thierry Jarnet and Treve have a nice draw in stall eight so should sit about sixth or seventh  just behind the pace. She should then be able to pick up Golden Horn (drawn 14) and New Bay (stall 5) on the run for home.

Any ease in the ground will be a big help in Treve’s quest to win the Arc for a third time and she’s going to be very hard to beat.

Golden Horn’s connections stumped up £120k to run so this could be his swansong. I see the Epsom Derby winner and the French Derby winner New Bay as the biggest dangers.

The Irish challenge is headed by Free Eagle who was a little unlucky at Leopardstown – although I don’t think he would have beaten Golden Horn despite the interference. He’s lightly-raced this term but I just have the feeling Golden Horn may see out the 12f trip better than him.

Aidan O’Brien’s Found is a high-class filly, is progressing and has Ryan Moore up. But she might just fall a little short.

Selection: Treve    Alternative: New Bay

Arc-De-Triomphe

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The undercard

Prix Jean Luc Lagardere 1.35pm

The Irish have some nice two-years and this could be an informative race ahead of next year’s Classics. Herald the Dawn was well beaten by Air Force Blue in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh so a big run here by Jim Bolger’s colt would boost that form again.

But Aidan O’Brien’s JOHANNES VERMEER  was very impressive at Leopardstown on Irish Champion Stakes Day and the horses he beat have franked the form. Dermot Weld’s True Solitaire was second and just got chinned in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes afterwards while Jim Bolger’s Sanus Per Aquam (who started favourite) finished third but subsequently won at Newmarket.

Selection: Johannes Vermeer   Alternative: Herald the Dawn

Prix de L’Opera 2.10pm

Irish Oaks winner Covert Love was second to Pleascach in the Yorkshire Oaks but doesn’t have to contend with her again here. John Gosden’s Jazzi Top has been dining at the top table for most of the season and got her head in front at Deaville last time over 10f in a Group 2.

But QUEEN’S JEWEL was unbeaten until running a shocker behind Star of Seville at Chantilly when 11th of 17. That looks too bad to be true and will be competitive if returning to her form here over course and distance in a Group One last May.

Selection: Johannes Vermeer   Alternative: Herald the Dawn

Prix de l’Abbaye 3.40pm

The ground should be in SOLE POWER’s   favour for once as he attempts to win the one Group One sprint in Europe that has evaded him so far. They’ll go fast and if the race falls into place for him from stall seven he could go very close – especially if the rain stays away.

Mecca’s Angel is the opposite and wants all the rain she can get and was impressive in the Nunthorpe when picking up Acapulco to justify missing all those big sprint contests on fast ground during the summer. Being housed widest of all in box 19 is a worry though.

I’ve liked Muthmir this year but he needs to bounce back after his Nunthorpe run behind Mecca’s Angel. The stall six draw should help. Last year’s winner Move in Time comes into the race in much better form and won his prep race at Longchamp last month on soft ground while Richard Hannon has left his two-year-old Gutaifan in but he’ll want to be very special to beat his elders.

Watch the skies though.

Selection: SOLE POWER   Alternative: Mecca’s Angel

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