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Enable to make Arc history? Get 2019 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe tips

History beckons for Enable as John Gosden's superstar bids for a third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe crown. (credit:Cal Sport Media/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Brian Healy gives his runner-by-runner thoughts on Sunday's big-race field for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

One of the undouted highlights of the international flat racing scene goes to post on Sunday as the latest renewal of the famous Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes centre stage at Longchamp, and history could well be made in the top-class Group One contest where John Gosden’s Enable will bid to win a third successive crown.

Getting underway at 3.05pm, the superstar filly will spearhead a field of twelve runners who each has designs on landing a mammoth prize pot; but all eyes will be on the Gosden filly as she bids to become the first triple-winner of the race in its’ history.

Brian Healy takes a look at her chances of an unprecedented treble, as well as those who will bid to stop her in Sunday’s feature race with a runner-by-runner look at the big-race field for what promises to be a cracking renewal.

Starting with the dual-champion, ENABLE (8/11, Bet365) is very hard to get away from given the Nathaniel mare keeps getting the job done and racking up win after win. She has only tasted defeat once in her stellar career and since then she has gone on a 12-win unbeaten run which includes Group One wins in each of her last five outings and takes her tally of top-table prizes to ten.

Her latest came when readily brushing aside Magical - who reopposes - in the Yorkshire Oaks, and she had earlier beaten the tough Crystal Ocean to strike a second King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes win.

Tough and genuine, she is a class act and already knows how to win this race; she’ll likely to be hard to beat if turning out with her A-game.

Aidan O’Brien saddles two in opposition to John Gosden’s star mare, including Magical (12/1, William Hill) who bounced back to winning ways with a ready success in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Having won her first three starts of the season, which included victory in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup in May, she has twice seen the back-end of Enable this term as well as that of Crystal Ocean and she has a bit to find here if she’s to upset the Enable applecart.

Indeed, Japan (6/1, William Hill) very much looks the Ballydoyle camp’s main hope, and the three-year old has progressed with every start this term to rack up a hat-trick which included Group One wins at this venue in the Grand Prix de Paris, and also at York where he showed his versatility by dropping back to ten furlongs to beat Crystal Ocean in the Juddmonte International.

Sure to relish the return to a stiffer test, and having already won at this venue the Galileo colt is unlikely to go down without a fight. He could prove the main threat to Enable’s dominance of this race and he ought to go well.

Ghaiyyath (12/1, Paddy Power) completes a very strong British challenge for this top prize, and Charlie Appleby’s charge showed his class by bolting home in the Group One Grosser Preis von Baden at the beginning of September with a 14 lengths defeat of Donjah.

The Dubawi colt had earlier won on his reappearance when taking the Group Two Prix d’Harcourt here in April, but he subsequently found Waldgeist too good in the Prix Ganay next time. His latest win was his first try over the Arc trip and he got the yardage well so could easily have considerable improvment still to come given he remains a very lightly raced sort.

That German Group One contest he won last time out may not have been the strongest of contest, but he could do no more than win and he rates a serious each-way player here with the potential for better still to come.

There can be no denying that Waldgeist (16/1, Bet365) is a top-class performer, and Andre Fabre’s star takes another crack at Enable although the Galileo entire has already been beaten three times by John Gosden’s mare, including in this race twelve months ago.

He has been in good form this term, winning twice - both here - and running with plenty of credit behind Crystal Ocean in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, and behind Enable in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

His latest win saw him beat Way To Paris in the Prix Foy last month, only needing pushed out to score a comfortable win, and he is clearly much more at home racing on home soil than on his travels given he has yet to win outside of France.

He is sure to run his race again, and he’ll likely be well involved although Enable may again have his measure and he will likely have to settle for minor honours once more in this contest.

Jean-Claude Rouget saddles two in the race with Soft Light (100/1, Paddy Power) joined in the field by the ever-improving Sottsass, and the first-named looks very much up against it here having failed to win this term in six starts.

The Authorized colt has finished runner-up in four of those six starts, latterly when beaten a half-length behind Ziyad in a Group Two; but he had proven no match for Japan the time before in the Grand Prix de Paris and he has more on his plate back up in class.

SOTTSASS (7/1, William Hill) meanwhile has reeled off a hat-trick of wins this campaign since finishing fifth on his reappearance here back in April.

The Siyouni colt won back-to-back successes at Chantilly over the summer which included a Listed win where he beat Battle Of Toro impressively by six lengths, and he duly followed up in good style with an impressive defeat of Persian King next time to claim the French Derby.

Following a break, he made a winning return when stepped up to the Arc trip for the first time at this venue landing the Group Two Prix Niel from Mutamakina, overcoming trouble in running in the process. 

He is sure to improve further given he is a lightly-raced sort and unexposed over this trip, but he will need to find more if he is to lower the colours of Enable. However, he gets 3lbs from the Gosden runner which he can put to good use, and he looks a solid each-way prospect.

French King (50/1, Bet365) represents Henri-Alex Pantall, and the French Fifteen colt has gone from strength to strength this term, racking up four wins in 2019 which include the Group One Grosser Preis von Berlin when last seen in August where he beat Communique by one length.

He won cosily that day, and he could improve further given the manner in which he travelled through the race before asserting, and he was value for more than the official winning distance. 

This will require more from him taking on the likes of Enable and Waldgeist, but he is open to improvement and may have more to offer; but it is a shade worrying that all his winning form has been outside of his native France.

A three-pronged attack on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe comes from Japan, headed by Takahisa Tezuka’s Fierement (33/1, Bet365) who is a Group One winner in Japan with successes in the Kikuka Sho last October and the Spring Tenno Sho earlier in the year.

The Deep Impact colt then had a four month break before returning to action in the Group Two Sapporo Kinen where he was beaten into third behind Blast Onepiece although he may have found that trip too sharp having won over two miles the time before.

This stiffer test will suit him better, but he could still find things happening too quickly for him and probably needs further than this to show his best.

Blast Onepiece (50/1, Paddy Power) also makes the journey to France, and Masahiro Otake’s Harbinger colt had been been disappointing in a couple of earlier outings prior to that return to winning ways latest which came on the back of a three months’ absence.

The 2018 Arima Kinen winner was beaten subsequntly in both the Osaka Hai at Hanshin, and the Meguro Kinen at Tokyo over this trip in May where he could only finish eighth although he was trying to give weight away all round on that occasion.

His latest neck victory came over shorter than this trip, and two of his four career successes have been struck at ten furlongs; however, he is effective at this distance, and the way he finished off last time showed a return to this trip will hold no fears. 

He has more on his plate in terms of improvement needed however; while Kiseki (100/1, Bet365) is unlikely to end Japan’s wait for an Arc winner having been readily brushed aside by Waldgeist last time out here last month.

TheRulership entire hasn’t won since scoring in the 2017 Kikuka Sho - the Japanese St Leger - and he has since changed hands from Kazuya Nakatake where he has joined Katsuhiko Sumii’s yard.

Runner-up on each of his first two starts for his current handler, he was denied only by a neck behind Al Ain in the Osaka Hai back in March, after which he found only Lys Gracieux too good in the Takarazuka Kinen next time before travelling to France and a clash with Waldgeist latest.

He shaped as if possibly just in need of the run, fading late although he might have been made too much use out of in front. Nevertheless, he was quickly swept aside by Andre Fabre’s charge and this looks a big ask.

Nagano Gold (80/1, William Hill) completes the 2019 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe line-up, and the Sixties Icon horse has shown himself to be a very smart performer although his best form is probably a step below this level.

A Listed winner here earlier in the campaign, he has been beaten in subsequent outings at this venue in a Group Three contest prior to making the resurgent Defoe work for his victory in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Back from a break at Deauville in August, he finished third behind Ziyad in the Grand Prix de Deauville, and he is likely to find this too much of a test.

VERDICT


ENABLE (8/11, Bet365) bids to make history as the only horse to win three Arc crowns, and it would take a brave person to bet against John Gosden’s superstar mare from accomplishing her goal. Given the betting however for this top-class Group One contest it is wide open for places in behind the dual-Arc heroine and the improving SOTTSASS (7/1, William Hill) can make a big impression to snatch a podium place.

Jean-Claude Rouget’s charge arrives here on a hat-trick of wins where he has shown progress with each start, latterly running out an impressive winner of the Prix Niel with a defeat of Mutamakina.

The French Derby winner was making her first start in 105 days since that French Classic success, and she won readily on what was her first attempt at the longer trip. She could have much more to offer over this distance, and with the potential to improve further could be worth an interest to chase home Gosden’s superstar mare in receipt of 3lbs.

He is proven in soft ground, bolting in at Chantilly in testing ground to land a Listed contest earlier in the campaign; and open to further improvement still on the back of just six career outings then it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him posting a big run.

While he may not be - on this occasion at least - good enough to halt Enable’s historic triple-Arc bid, he looks a solid option to make the frame in Sunday’s feature.

2019 PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE TIPS - LONGCHAMP (SUNDAY)


ENABLE (8/11, Bet365), SOTTSASS (7/1, William Hill




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Enable to make Arc history? Get 2019 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe tips

Brian Healy gives his runner-by-runner thoughts on Sunday's big-race field for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

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