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Monday Musings: 72-1 Arc Winner? It was obvious, really… 👀

It was obvious really. It often is after the race and if we had looked deeply enough, we should have found the clue, writes Tony Stafford. Anyway, here we go. Last year Barney Roy won the race in question, one of four Group 1 wins among eight career victories. The previous year Ghaiyyath, the highest-rated horse in the world during the 2020 season, was successful.

Go back then to 2013 when Novellist, already the  King George hero at Ascot two months earlier, picked up the prize, his fifth consecutive victory before heading off to stud in Japan. A son of the great German stamina influence Monsun, the sequence began for him after a fourth behind another German star in Danedream, the 2011 and 2012 winner of our race. She sandwiched in not only her 2011 easy Arc win but also her own King George at the expense of Nathaniel (and Novellist) at Ascot in July 2012.

The Grosser Preis von Baden, run at the spa town of Baden-Baden in South-West Germany has a historic roll-call of celebrated winners, the latest of them a month ago being Torquator Tasso. So little did the betting public, the media, writers on racing and ITV experts – thanks for showing it by the way – give credence to his chance in the race of the season in terms of class, that nobody bothered to mention him.

Well actually ITV did, but only in regard that he shared the same recently deceased German sire as Alenquer, William Haggas’ three-year-old who had beaten Derby winner Adayar, one of yesterday’s favourites for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the Sandown Classic Trial. That stallion was Adlerflug, winner in his racing days of the German Derby at Hamburg and sire additionally of In Swoop, runner-up to Sotsass in the 2020 Arc.

After eight winners in a single day on Saturday the Haggas stable had to be hopeful and that was rider Tom Marquand’s very cheerful pre-race assessment. But his bullish expectation that testing ground would be right up his colt’s autobahn did not materialise, Tom afterwards reporting the horse hated it.

When is heavy ground not heavy? The ITV coverage, enjoyable as it was, compared the time of the opening Group 1 fillies’ race with last year’s and declared it faster ground than in 2020. They repeated the truism after the big race, again a second quicker, when the reality was that it was still desperate going.

They neglected to remind their viewers that the 2020 Arc was the slowest this century. The way this Arc was run, with Adayar refusing to settle and making much of the running, set him up for the stronger stayers coming home. He was the assumed Godolphin number one (although Charlie Appleby suggested that on the ground Hurricane Lane might prove the stronger) and so it proved.

For a while it looked like Hurricane Lane and then Tarnawa would secure the prize but the dogged Torquator Tasso, on the outside of that pair having started his run alongside and soon moving ahead of Snowfall and Ryan Moore, kept plugging away.

It was with a mixture of disbelief and celebration that Richard Hoiles, ITV’s highly accomplished commentator, told us of possibly the biggest shock in Arc history, and the 72-1 Pari-Mutuel return is certainly right up there.

I love watching races right up to the line and at that point the German horse, ridden very calmly by his 34-year-old jockey Rene Piechulek, was actually drawing away from a high-class and tough Irish five-year-old mare and the St Leger winner, a rare feat of stamina. Then there was quite a gap to Adayar, a brave fourth in the circumstances, with Sealiway, runner-up to St Mark’s Basilica in the French Derby in June, next in fifth and Snowfall sixth.

As the exultant female assistant trainer told Matt Chapman, on his best form (and behaviour) in that and several other interviews, Marcel Weiss, who runs the stable of Gestut Auenquelle quite close to Cologne, has held his licence for only two years having been the assistant for the 70-horse string for two decades.

Gestut Auenquelle is a stallion station, standing the highest-priced sire in his country in Soldier Hollow (€30k this year) and also has Best Solution, the first of three consecutive Godolphin winners of the Grosser Preis von Baden in 2018, at the farm.

No doubt Torquator Tasso is destined for that location when he retires. His class has been evident from early as a three-year-old for after winning his maiden at Cologne he stepped up to be a close second to In Swoop in a one-two Adlerflug finish to last year’s German Derby. In 2021 he has progressed rapidly, avenging a narrow defeat by the Camelot filly Sunny Queen in an autumn Group 1 to the tune of five lengths when dominating a Hamburg Group 2 this summer.

After yesterday’s race the very astute Kevin Blake had the answer to the amazing SP, saying it was the defeat by Sir Mark Prescott’s filly Alpinista in the Grosser Preis von Berlin at Hoppegarten which preceded his Baden-Baden success that threw everyone off the scent.

It possibly did, but Sir Mark collected another German Group 1 preis with Alpinista at Cologne last weekend, while third-placed Walton Street was hardly letting the side (or the form) down when making a cakewalk of the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine under Frankie Dettori two weeks ago.

Another easy to check labour I enjoy is trying to find reasons why a horse bred a certain way might do what he does. Before that minor investigation I had never heard of another German runner that enjoyed a lot of success on the track and subsequently became a stallion.

He is called Toylsome and was foaled in 1999. He is a son of the talented UK sprint/mile stallion Cadeaux Genereux and was sold as a yearling at Tatts for 320,000gns to the bid of German International Bloodstock. His daughter Tijuana did nothing on the track but is the mother of Torquator Tasso.

The purchasers could hardly complain as he won 16 of 36 races, so one for every 20k he cost. Crucially, the last of them came on his penultimate start 14 years ago to the day and on the same Parisian racetrack that his grandson chose for his day of greatness. The race was the 2007 Group 1 Prix de la Foret and among the opposition that day were the star French sprinter/miler Marchand D’Or (in third) as well as US Ranger, Dutch Art, Jeremy, Lingari, Arc winner Found’s dam Red Evie, and Red Clubs.

No wonder he started at 100/1 for his only victory at the top level in an unexpected performance that was something of a portent for yesterday’s amazing events.

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There are many other things we could talk about from an exciting couple of days, but I will restrict myself to two. It was satisfying for his owners that Trueshan was able at last to have the shot at Stradivarius in the Prix Du Cadran on Saturday on his terms. He possibly could have been meeting the veteran and multiple champion as that one starts to feel his age, but Trueshan’s penchant for heavy ground was probably the bigger factor. I doubt Alan King would pit Trueshan against Bjorn Neilsen’s valiant performer on firm ground if the Gosden horse stays in training as an eight-year-old.

He is comfortably past £3 million in earnings and even in defeat got a nice top-up on Saturday – easier than topping up the horsebox fuel tank no doubt. As a son of Sea The Stars there is no reason why he would not make a decent stallion.

The other great result on the same afternoon was Saffron Beach’s emphatic all-the-way success in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket where she avenged her 1,000 Guineas defeat by the tough Mother Earth.

This was a top-class renewal and once William Buick decided to make the running there was never a time when the red and white colours of Lucy Sangster and James Wigan, augmented at the end of last year by Lucy’s son Ollie, looked likely to be denied.

Unbeaten at two, Saffron Beach was giving Lucy’s step-sister Jane Chapple-Hyam her first Group 1 win as a trainer almost a decade after Mull of Killough, owned by Invictus, a syndicate headed up by two of the younger Sangster step-nephews won three Group 3 races and a Listed up the same Rowley Mile.

Jane Chapple-Hyam stands on 25 wins for the season and not far short of half a million in prizemoney, a figure which thanks to Saffron Beach’s exploits is almost double her previous highest. She was already looking forward before Saturday’s race to the possible programme for the daughter of New Bay next year. Judged on Saturday, there is plenty more celebrating to come.

There’s also a feast of top-class racing in prospect during the rest of the month with the Future Stars (or is it Champions) meeting at Newmarket next week when the Dewhurst Stakes is the top attraction. Handicap fans will be just as interested in the Cesarewitch the market on which I have been monitoring for any movement in Burning Victory’s price.

I must report though that I heard some alarming news last week. It was that Ruby Walsh, still a big factor in the Mullins yard, reckons M C Muldoon, narrowly denied in the Ascot Stakes by 50-1 shot Reshoun, has improved out of all recognition. If that’s correct, then 6-1 isn’t a bad price. But then it’s not 72-1 is it? Let’s hope we see more of Torquator Tasso, he’s a star!

- TS

Genesis camp have high hopes of famous Arc triumph for Japan

Chrono Genesis will carry the hopes of Japan as she attempts to bring the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe title back to the nation for the first time ever.

The five-year-old is prolific on her home turf, claiming six graded races from 13 runs including the Grade One Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin last time out.

Prior to that the mare was tested overseas for the first time in March, taking on the Dubai Sheema Classic and finishing second to Mishriff by only a neck after being bumped by the third-placed horse a furlong from home.

In Paris Chrono Genesis will again cross paths with rivals from across the globe, with trainer Takashi Saito choosing Oisin Murphy to take the ride on Sunday.

The grey arrived in Paris last week after travelling from the training centre in Ritto from which she is based and has been ridden by Murphy in her preparational work ahead of the race.

“This (Wednesday) morning she was working under Oisin Murphy and appears very quiet and settled in,” Saito said via an interpreter.

“The main part of the preparation has been done in Japan, I find her in very good condition.

“This morning the jockey did exactly what I asked him to do, which was not to force her to go too fast.

“She had very fluid action, I’m not concerned about anything. I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh her, but she looks like she’s in the condition she was in when she was running in Japan.”

Chrono Genesis has been off the track since June 27, the date of her Grade One win at Hanshin, but Kaito does not expect the break to pose any problems come the weekend.

“This is her rhythm, she runs usually every two months,” he said.

“The end of June, which was her last race, until now is three months, which she is used to. It is not a worry that she hasn’t run since because she actually needs that time in between races.

“She had won the Group One race in December already and that was the point when we started to think about the Arc, we chose Dubai to give her some experience to see how she could run after having travelled and also to prepare for the trip to Paris.”

Much of Chrono Genesis’ form comes on good or firm ground, something she is unlikely to encounter this weekend, if forecasts prove correct.

Saito does not expect this to weaken her chances, however, as he feels his mare has the ability to perform even on soft ground.

“I’m not particularly worried about it,” he said.

“It’s an eternal debate about Japanese horses in the Arc and if the ground has something to do with it. Chrono Genesis adapts herself to all different ground. She’s very brave and courageous so I’m not worried about the ground.”

The Japanese mission to lift the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe trophy has fallen just short on several occasions, most recently with Orfevre (2012 and 2013) and Nakayama Festa’s (2010) second-placed efforts, but Saito is confident he has brought his challenger over to France in the best possible condition.

“I know that the opposition is going to be very strong, but for me the most important thing is that I prepare the mare so that she is 100 per cent in form on that day, the rest is up to Oisin,” he said.

“He is the one who has to take her through the race.

“I’m very honoured that she is considered a chance in the Arc, that is a great honour for me. I insist that my work is to get her 100 per cent in form at the Arc, if she could win the Arc I would obviously be very, very happy.”

Arc chance aboard Hurricane Lane has Doyle excited

As opportunities go, the one handed to James Doyle in this weekend’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes some beating.

Not many jockeys have had to discard a triple Group One winner heading into the European middle-distance championship – but that is the situation William Buick faced as he opted for Derby and King George hero Adayar over Hurricane Lane, who will now be partnered by Doyle in Paris as the second jockey to trainer Charlie Appleby.

Hurricane Lane’s sole career defeat came behind Adayar at Epsom and he has subsequently won the Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger.

Doyle knows what is required having gone agonisingly close to denying Enable a second Arc in 2018 aboard Sea Of Class – and is aware his mount ticks a lot of the boxes.

“It can’t have been an easy decision for Will. There’s not much between the two. It’s exciting,” said Doyle.

As is often the case in the days before the Arc, most of the talk is around the weather and plenty of rain is forecast.

“He’s proven on soft ground. It won’t worry him and the trip is fine. Back to a mile and a half should be perfect,” said Doyle.

“He’s won the Grand Prix de Paris round there, so he’s had a good look at the place before.”

Adayar and Snowfall added to Arc field

Classic winners Adayar and Snowfall have, as expected, been supplemented for Sunday’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp.

Connections of Derby and King George hero Adayar, who is trained by Charlie Appleby, and Aidan O’Brien’s Snowfall, winner of the English, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks, stumped up the 120,000 euros fee to be added to what is shaping into a stellar renewal of the autumn showpiece.

Adayar’s stablemate Hurricane Lane, winner of the Irish Derby and St Leger, remains in the reckoning along with the Dermot Weld-trained Tarnawa, a multiple Group One winner who was edged out by St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion Stakes last time.

Tarnawa is among the leading lights
Tarnawa is among the leading lights (Niall Carson/PA)

O’Brien also has last season’s star filly Love and Broome in the Group One highlight, for which 16 remain in contention following Wednesday’s forfeit stage.

Alenquer from William Haggas’ yard, the Richard Hannon-trained Mojo Star and Roger Varian’s Teona also represent British interests while Bubble Gift, Sealiway, Baby Rider and Raabihah form the home defence.

Torquator Tasso is a German hope, with Japan set to be double-handed with the Takashi Saito-trained Chrono Genesis, the mount of Oisin Murphy, and Deep Bond for Ryuji Okubo.

Deep Bond warmed up for the race with victory in the Prix Foy over the course and distance earlier in the month when ridden from the front by Cristian Demuro.

However, he will be ridden by Mickael Barzalona in the Arc and the rider was on board for a gallops spin on Wednesday morning.

Speaking via an interpreter, Okubo said: “Cristian couldn’t ride for various reasons and I was surprised that Mickael Barzalona was free in the race.

“It will depend on the weather (how Deep Bond is ridden). There is rain forecast over the weekend, so the ground is going to be a little bit softer than it was on the day of the Prix Foy.

“Everything will really depend on the pace of the race and also the draw.

“In Japan he doesn’t usually run from the front, he usually drops in behind the leader and obviously on Sunday we will have to think how that will pan out, but we wouldn’t want to have Chrono Genesis just sitting behind.”

Jean-Claude Rouget’s Raabihah had the option of running against fillies in the Prix de Royallieu – but the decision to aim for gold was taken to see if she could better last year’s fifth place behind stablemate Sottsass.

“It is similar to Sottsass in a way as he was third in the Arc and came back to win it. Like him, she appeared not the same horse in the spring as the year before, but it is hard for them to come back after tough races at three. She has been prepared for this race,” said Rouget.

“It was her work last week which convinced us to take the Arc route. She worked with Coeursamba (French 1000 Guineas winner) and that work was decisive.

“I’m not in the habit of talking up my horses, but she deserves her chance. It’s more my decision than the family or Angus Gold (racing manager), but they followed me so I hope I don’t disappoint them. She will go to stud next year, but could have one more race somewhere this year.”

Teona primed for Arc test at ParisLongchamp

Roger Varian is confident Teona is “peaking at the right time” ahead of her bid for glory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

As a daughter of the brilliant Arc hero Sea The Stars and Group One-winning mare Ambivalent, the three-year-old had plenty to live up to from day one – but Varian has never made any secret of the regard in which she is held.

She was no match for Snowfall in either the Musidora Stakes at York or the Oaks at Epsom – but having returned from a break with a Listed success at Windsor last month, Teona turned the tables to inflict a shock defeat on Aidan O’Brien’s filly in the Prix Vermeille.

The pair are set to renew rivalries over the same course and distance at ParisLongchamp this weekend – and while the betting suggests Snowfall is expected to reaffirm her superiority, Varian reports his charge could not be in better form.

“Her credentials are solid – and she has had a fairly light campaign, having had an easy time through the summer,” said the Newmarket handler.

“She’s fresh and has not been over-raced – she seems to be peaking at the right time for a race like this.

“We’ve been very happy with her since the Vermeille.”

Teona will be bidding to become the seventh horse to win the Vermeille and the Arc in the same season, while four-time Arc-winning jockey Olivier Peslier will be in the saddle.

Roger Varian has high hopes for Teona
Roger Varian has high hopes for Teona (Mike Egerton/PA)

Varian is under no illusions about the task that lies ahead in Paris, with Teona a 25-1 shot with William Hill, but he is looking forward to the challenge.

He added: “It’s a great race with serious opposition, but I think she’s deserving of her place in the line-up-  and hopefully her best days are still ahead of her.

“We can only worry about our filly and her condition, and we’re happy she’s going into the race in good shape.

“We want as good a ground as possible. The ground looks fairly safe up until the weekend, when there’s some uncertainty over the forecast.

“We’re obviously hoping the ground is good.”

There were no withdrawals at Tuesday’s second forfeit stage for the Arc, so 14 horses remain in contention before supplementary entries on Wednesday.

[Belated] Monday Musings: Of Arc and Opel

Suddenly the Arc is upon us and Charlie Appleby couldn’t have set a more difficult conundrum, writes Tony Stafford. In the blue corner is the Epsom Derby hero Adayar, ridden by stable jockey and championship contender William Buick.

In the red corner the Irish Derby and St Leger winner Hurricane Lane. Both have added Group 1 races since their Derby triumphs, Adayar collecting the King George at Ascot from Mishriff, later conqueror of Sunday’s rival Alenquer and a possibly regressive Love in the Juddmonte International.

In all the appeal of a tussle between the best of Irish females, Love, her better-fancied stable-companion and successor in a triple of Oaks wins, Snowfall, and the early-in-the-week favourite, Tarnawa, the 2021 Arc is as much a feature of two stars we won’t be seeing.

Mishriff, whose race planning you could hardly gripe at, with more than £10 million safely in owner Sheikh A A Faisal’s pocketbook even before the Flat season started in the UK, waits for the Champion Stakes two weeks later, but you have to think he would have been a prime contender had he turned up.

More obviously, given that Tarnawa is as short as she is, the news that St Mark’s Basilica is drawing stumps on his stellar career so misses all of the Arc, Champion Stakes and even the Breeders’ Cup, makes for another unfortunate absentee.

Aidan O’Brien did his job to perfection, winning the Dewhurst last October to make him the champion 2yo in Europe in 2020; then two French Classics, the Poulains and the Jockey Club, to reinforce his appeal to a French breeding industry that is finding its feet on the back of the exploits of St Mark’s Basilica’s sire, Siyouni.

It needed one more win after a breath-taking dismantling of the older globe-trotting pair of Addeybb and a tiring Mishriff in the Eclipse and, when he was unable to go to the Juddmonte, there were those ready to suggest the Mishriff of that day might have beaten him.

So thence to the Irish Champion Stakes and in another small field it was vital he restored the glamour. He edged into a lead in the straight and dealt decisively with another dangerous duo, Tarnawa and multiple Group 1 winner and new Iron Horse, Poetic Flare.

The Irish race did not result in any rise in his official mark of 127, established after the Eclipse, and in the meantime that figure was afforded Adayar by dint of his comfortable defeat of key horse Mishriff (who was conceding 11lb weight-for-age, let us not forget) and a Love fresh from her fifth Group 1 win in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal meeting.

Adayar was the nominal third string for the Derby, not that you would have known it as his odds tumbled from 40/1 to 16/1 in the closing moments leading up to the race. His near five-length demolition of Mojo Star, with best-fancied Appleby runner Hurricane Lane only third, had Buick wondering how he could have got it so wrong.

Since then the 30-year-old has ridden both colts to four more Group 1 triumphs. Adayar at Ascot did enough to convince Buick he should renew the partnership next weekend even though Hurricane Lane had won the Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger, the last two in imperious wide-margin style since Epsom.

Mojo Star also had to be content with another second place for Richard Hannon and free-spending football agent Kia Joorabchian in the St Leger. Their colt is 66-1 and, with the horse’s penchant for running on well and the stamina shown at Doncaster, he might be the one to pick up the pieces and nick a place in the extra place markets.

Mishriff is undoubtedly the horse that ties in with most of the big horses in this fabulous contest and another who can be gauged with him is the better of the two Japanese entries as far as world form is concerned, Oisin Murphy’s mount, Chrono Genesis.

With career earnings well past £7 million she is almost in the Mishriff class for prize money and she ran a brilliant race when only a neck adrift of Mishriff in the Sheema Classic at Meydan in late February. That followed an easy win at home with a £2 million prize having got to within three quarters of a length of her country’s even more illustrious mare and great champion, Almond Eye.

Chrono Genesis’ only run since Meydan was in a Group 1 race at Hanshin in midsummer when an easy victory was her sixth in 13 career starts. Oisin has a great record riding Japanese horses and it is worth reminding punters that betting on horses from that country on the Pari-Mutuel on the day would be rather foolish if value is your credo.

One big factor in her favour is that her sire, Bago, won the race as a three-year-old for French-based English trainer Jonathan Pease. She is joined in a double Japanese challenge by recent course winner Deep Bond who saw off Broome on Trials Day by a couple of lengths. He is another possible place contender.

I’ve thought Snowfall would win the Arc, seeing as she has all the allowances, ever since her Epsom cakewalk and it would be to her advantage if the rains came. Her latest unexpected reverse has been treated as an irrelevance by the market but dangerously so. It is hard to see why Roger Varian’s filly, Teona, should be four times the price of her Longchamp victim and her trainer has always had a high regard of her talent.

It is no foregone conclusion that either will match Tarnawa after her excellent run over a shorter trip than ideal last time, splitting the winners of a hatful of 2021 Group 1's. Dermot Weld would love another step back into the big time, but I stay with Snowfall and Ryan Moore and take Adayar and Chrono Genesis to fill the places.

Until last weekend the name Westerberg alongside Coolmore runners has not made for a particularly happy association but within ten minutes on Saturday they clicked twice and the winning pair are respectively 8/1 for the 1,000 Guineas and favourite for the Derby.

Throughout the tenure of John Magnier at Coolmore/ Ballydoyle, initially as a 23-year-old with father-in-law Vincent O’Brien on the back of Robert Sangster’s Vernons pools fortune, through the Tabor/Smith heyday in the first two decades of this century and onward, the need is always for new blood and above all new funding to cope with opposition that owns countries, have fortunes within the bottomless pit of cash of the Saudi Royal family, or is a religious leader backed by wealthy adherents.

The Westerberg name disguises the identity of Opel Cars heir Georg Von Opel but until Saturday his appellation on several of the more expensive sales acquisitions of the past two years has been almost a jinx. One source close to the Coolmore action told me the other day: “I feel sorry for George, he’s such a lovely man, but he never seems to get any luck.”

Whether it was out of superstition or business commitments, Herr Von Opel was not at Newmarket on Saturday and missed an explosive last-to-first performance in his maroon and light blue livery (imagine West ham or Aston Villa) by Tenebrism, on her first start since March.

Her win that day six months ago at Naas had been similarly emphatic, prompting favourite quotes for the Queen Mary at Ascot, however she injured her pelvis struggling through the mud. Aidan worried he had not done enough with her to challenge for the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes first time back, but she answered most emphatically drawing away late in a romp.

A daughter of the already repatriated Caravaggio, to Ashford Stud, she carries all the Scat Daddy speed and with Pivotal on the dam’s side, she will be an interesting contender next year.

Just ten minutes later, George’s, or Westerberg’s, colours were to the fore again atop the similarly once-raced Luxembourg, and with even more significance with the 2022 Classics in mind. Started off at Killarney in a midsummer maiden O’Brien often targets with his potential Derby horses, the trainer sent the son of Camelot to the Curragh’s Beresford Stakes and won that Group 2 in a hack canter.

That made it 11 victories in succession in the race and a 21st in all for O’Brien and, given that history, why even 8-13 was available is a mystery. Luxembourg is free of Galileo blood, being by a son of Montjeu out of a mare by Danehill Dancer – entirely Coolmore breeding and ideal as an outcross for all those Galileo mares that will continue to come on stream for a few years yet. How Georg, not to mention John, Michael and Derrick, would love him to put another notch on the Derby Roll of Honour for the team next year.

- TS

Tarnawa heads 14 Arc contenders

Ante-post favourite Tarnawa is one of 14 contenders to stand their ground for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Monday’s initial forfeit stage.

Dermot Weld’s mare heads the market for Sunday’s 12-furlong showpiece, after winning a Group Three on her return this season and then pushing St Mark’s Basilica all the way in the Irish Champion Stakes over an inadequate mile and a quarter last time out.

Paddy Power have the five-year-old as their 5-2 favourite, ahead of Derby and King George hero Adayar – who is due to supplemented for the race on Wednesday.

He is one of two planned contenders for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin along with St Leger victor Hurricane Lane, who is already entered in the race.

Aidan O’Brien has last year’s star filly Love and Group One winner Broome among the 14, although his Oaks winner Snowfall is another who is expected to be added to the contest later this week.

She suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Roger Varian’s Teona in the Prix Vermeille on her latest outing, and the pair could renew their ParisLongchamp rivalry.

St Leger runner-up Mojo Star, who is handled by Richard Hannon, and the William Haggas-trained Alenquer complete a formidable British and Irish line-up at this stage.

Home hopes currently rest with Baby Rider, Sealiway and Bubble Gift – with Raabihah also in the mix, although she holds an alternative entry in the Prix de l’Opera on the same card.

William Haggas' Alenquer is also on course for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
William Haggas’ Alenquer is also on course for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Steven Paston/PA)

Japan’s pair of Chrono Genesis – the mount of Oisin Murphy – and Prix Foy winner Deep Bond add an extra international element, with German runner Torquator Tasso the other possible at this stage.

There is a second forfeit on Tuesday, before supplementary entries on Wednesday – and final declarations for the Group One are on Thursday.

All systems go for Appleby’s Arc challengers

Adayar and Hurricane Lane were both reported in top shape on Sunday by Charlie Appleby, as the Godolphin trainer looks forward to what promises to be a formidable double challenge for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The Frankel colts worked on Saturday – with James Doyle aboard Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger winner Hurricane Lane for the first time as William Buick has sided with Derby and King George hero Adayar.

The only stumbling block to Hurricane Lane’s participation in Paris next weekend would be if the ground threatened to become fast.

Adayar powered to Derby glory at Epsom
Adayar powered to Derby glory at Epsom (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Appleby said: “I’m very pleased with both horses this morning. As we know, Adayar met with that setback before the Arc trials and missed two pieces of work – which we felt was enough to make us not go to the trials, because as we said before he’s a horse that didn’t need to earn his stripes.

“I didn’t want to be pushing a horse into a trial, having missed two pieces of work going in. Since then he’s done very well – we had a very easy piece of work last Saturday, and the first chance William had to sit on him was on Wednesday of this week.

“All the signs were very good, William was pleased with him – he said he felt great and was fresh on the back of having that easy period. He took him through the gallop very well and picked up well. He came out of that gallop in good order and went back into a nice, routine gallop yesterday morning – more of a stronger pace in the gallop, and he drew up it very well, again ridden by William.

“Again I’d emphasise William was very happy with him. He was happy with him on Wednesday, and that’s why after discussions with him he was the horse he felt he would like to ride in the Arc. William is obviously first jockey, and if that is the horse he chooses to ride then I feel that’s positive going into any race.

“We’re very pleased with the way Adayar is – and most importantly how he has come out of both of those gallops, Wednesday and yesterday.”

Hurricane Lane has taken his St Leger victory in his stride
Hurricane Lane has taken his St Leger victory in his stride (Mike Egerton/PA)

While Hurricane Lane went into unchartered waters at Doncaster trip-wise, his trainer feels he has taken his Leger exertions particularly well.

He said: “I felt the St Leger was the easiest of his last three victories. I know the Grand Prix de Paris was very emphatic, but what we’ve seen of him and the figures that we get to see and his general well-being, that’s the race he seems to have come out of the best. He hadn’t done a piece of work until yesterday morning – he’d gone through routine exercise, but that was his first solid piece of work.

“James was in the saddle and couldn’t have been any happier – he moved well and did his usual work. He’s always been a pleasing work horse. He’s not an exciting work horse – neither are really – but it’s just the mannerism in the way they do it, they do it the right way round.

“We’re very pleased with the way he has come out of it this morning as well.”

Charlie Appleby has a huge weekend ahead
Charlie Appleby has a huge weekend ahead in Paris (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Moulton Paddocks handler concluded: “After discussions, we’re very confident if we can have a good week this week that we have two horses going into an Arc in great shape.

“Two exciting horses with two different profiles – and with the way the forecast looks at the moment, it looks as if there’s going to be a bit of rain during the course of the week, and that will suit us.

“The only negative I can give to the participation of Hurricane Lane is if it was to become fast ground. That is a conversation that would have to take place nearer the time.”

Soumillon counting down the hours to Tarnawa

Christophe Soumillon is eager to renew his partnership with Tarnawa in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The brilliant Belgian teamed up with the Dermot Weld-trained mare to win both the Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Opera last term and was due to be aboard Tarnawa at the Breeders’ Cup before a failed Covid-19 test scuppered his participation.

Colin Keane stepped in for Soumillon at Keeneland and steered Taranawa to a length victory, staying in the saddle for her two runs so far this year.

The five-year-old won the Ballyroan Stakes on her reappearance, and lost little in defeat to St Mark’s Basilica in an epic Irish Champion Stakes, beaten three-quarters of a length after the pair came close in the finish.

Soumillon – in Group One-winning form on Saturday with Perfect Power – will be on the daughter of Shamardal at ParisLongchamp, as he is the retained rider in France for owner the Aga Khan. And he can hardly wait.

He said: “Tarnawa is a great filly. I was very lucky to ride her twice last year in Longchamp and won on her twice.

“I was really pleased with her first run this season and last time she ran really great. Unfortunately, she got beat probably by the distance (10 furlongs) and the winner hung a bit towards her.

“Dermot Weld is probably one of the greatest trainers in the world and I’m sure he focussed on that race (the Arc) 200 per cent.

“For the Aga Khan team and His Highness himself, I’d be delighted to bring back another Arc trophy.”

Soumillon won the Arc for the Aga Khan with both Dalakhani (2003) and the magnificent filly Zarkarva (2008), and Tarnawa is the 5-2 favourite to make it a hat-trick for the team.

Buick picks Adayar as intended Arc mount

William Buick will ride Adayar in preference to stablemate Hurricane Lane if both horses take their chance in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Adayar was a surprise winner of the Derby in June, but backed up that performance with a brilliant effort in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

Hurricane Lane, meanwhile, was third at Epsom and has since won the Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger.

Appleby said the Frankel colts will work on Saturday, with a final decision due next week on Hurricane Lane’s participation.

He told the Godolphin website: “A week is a long time in racing, particularly when you are coming into a race such as the Arc.

“We obviously have to take on board the well-being of both horses, but also the way the race is taking shape, and, very importantly, the ground at Longchamp.

“The one thing Hurricane Lane does not want is a quick surface. Adayar comes into the versatile category, but we have always felt ease in the ground enhances Hurricane Lane’s prospects. Unfortunately, the weather in Paris is out of our hands.

“Hurricane Lane gallops tomorrow. Adayar will also gallop. Then there will be discussions with the team, and we will see where we stand during the week, whether we will have one or two Arc runners.”

Charlie Appleby with William Buick after the St Leger
Charlie Appleby with William Buick after the St Leger (Mike Egerton/PA)

Of the decision Buick was facing, Appleby said: “It’s a hard choice, but William is confident he’s picking the right horse.

“I’m always happy for jockeys to be able to choose the horse they would like to ride. That means they have confidence in the horse and they take that into the race.

“James (Doyle) will partner Hurricane Lane in a simple piece of work tomorrow. Then discussions will take place next week on his participation.

“The exciting part is that it could be history in the making. Adayar has already made his mark becoming the first in 20 years to complete the Derby/King George double, while Hurricane Lane would be attempting something that’s never been done, winning the St Leger and the Arc in the same year.”

Charlie Appleby has plenty of respect for Arc rival Tarnawa
Charlie Appleby has plenty of respect for Arc rival Tarnawa (Niall Carson/PA)

Appleby also picked out what he sees as the big danger to his runners – the Dermot Weld-trained Breeders’ Cup winner Tarnawa.

He said: “Fillies at this time of the year, if they are going in the right direction, can be very hard to beat.

“Tarnawa is a Group One winner over course and distance (Prix Vermeille), she’s a Breeders’ Cup winner and finished a very good second in the Irish Champion Stakes. Her credentials are first class.”

O’Brien happy with Snowfall and Love as Arc bid looms

Aidan O’Brien remains keen to saddle both Snowfall and Love in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday week.

Brilliant in winning the Oaks at Epsom, the Irish Oaks at the Curragh and the Yorkshire Oaks, Snowfall has long been considered a major contender for Europe’s premier middle-distance contest.

And while the daughter of Deep Impact suffered a shock defeat at the hands of the Roger Varian-trained Teona in the Prix Vermeille earlier this month, O’Brien remains optimistic ahead of the ParisLongchamp showpiece.

“She came out of the Vermeille very well – we’re very happy with her,” O’Brien told Sky Sports Racing on Wednesday.

“It was lovely for her to go round the track and we saw the way she coped with it. The ground was quick and we know that she’s very comfortable on soft ground.

“She’s a filly who gets a mile and a half well and it (Vermeille) was more of a trial.

“Frankie (Dettori) was very happy with her. Obviously she didn’t win, but I think her last six furlongs were the quickest of any horse in the race – she was really quickening and was going forward.

“Often in the trial, you’re better to get beat and things not go right than win and everything go right.

“She worked well this morning and we’re very happy with her at the moment.”

Love winning the Oaks at Epsom last season
Love winning the Oaks at Epsom last season (Bill Selwyn/PA)

Love was in a similar position to her stablemate Snowfall 12 months ago, having won the 1000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks – but missed out on a run in the Arc due to the prevailing testing conditions.

A year on, the Galileo filly is set to line up with plenty to prove following three successive defeats – most recently being touched off by La Petite Coco in the Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.

“We were delighted with her run (in the Blandford),” O’Brien added.

“The winner was rated 110 and she gave her 9lb, so it was a serious run – on ratings, it wasn’t far off her best.

“We went to the Curragh as a trial for the Arc and we think she’s really gone the right way since then.

“If the ground was nice, we were always planning on going to the Arc with her.”

Soumillon set to be reunited with Arc favourite Tarnawa

Dermot Weld has announced Christophe Soumillon will ride Tarnawa in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday week.

The five-year-old currently heads the market for the ParisLongchamp showpiece after being beaten three-quarters of a length by St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion Stakes earlier this month.

She was ridden by Colin Keane that day, as she had been in her two previous outings when winning the Ballyroan Stakes on her reappearance and the Breeders’ Cup Turf at the end of last year.

Keane was a late replacement for Soumillon in America, with the rider ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19.

Soumillon had previously ridden Tarnawa to win both the Prix Vermeille and the Prix de l’Opera and he will reclaim the mount as he is the retained rider in France for owner the Aga Khan.

Weld told the Irish Times: “Christophe Soumillon will ride Tarnawa in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He knows the filly well and he is His Highness’ retained jockey in France.”

Tarnawa is the general 11-4 favourite for the Arc ahead of Derby hero Adayar, who is a 4-1 shot.

‘Everything on the table’ as Varian assesses options for Arc possible Teona

Roger Varian is keen to keep all options open with Teona after the Prix Vermeille heroine returned to Newmarket on Monday evening.

The daughter of Sea The Stars was considered a serious Classic contender earlier in the year, amid reports of sparkling workouts on the Newmarket gallops.

But while there was plenty of promise in her third-placed finish behind Snowfall in the Musidora Stakes at York in May, she was a long way behind the same filly in the Oaks at Epsom the following month.

However, Varian has never lost faith in Teona – and after returning from a break with a Listed success at Windsor, she came of age in Paris on Sunday when turning the tables on Snowfall to claim Group One glory.

“She got back last night and seems fine after the race, so we’re very happy with that,” said the Bury Road handler.

“We’ve made no secret of the high regard we hold her in. Hopefully she’s a filly really going places now.”

While many were shocked Teona reversed previous form with Snowfall, Varian feels there were genuine reasons why she could not land a telling blow behind Aidan O’Brien’s filly earlier in the year.

He added: “She had a valid excuse at York, and a valid excuse at Epsom.

Roger Varian has been unwavering in his faith in Teona
Roger Varian has been unwavering in his faith in Teona (Mike Egerton/PA)

“At York she reared up in the starting gates, and then it turned into a four-furlong sprint up the home straight. She actually ran very well that day – making up ground on horses that were sprinting in front of her. You could see how she might get closer to Snowfall.

“At Epsom the ground was heavy, and I don’t think she’s a filly who can cope with that sort of ground.

“It took a while to get her back after running on that ground at Epsom, but she was fairly dominant at Windsor and showed what she was capable of on Sunday in Paris.”

What made the success all the sweeter for Varian is the fact he also trained Teona’s dam Ambivalent to win a Group One.

He said: “James Fanshawe texted me after the race to say congratulations and how nice it is to keep a Group One-winning line going. He also said it’s a sign that I’m getting on a bit! Maybe he’s right.”

Snowfall was beaten by Teona in France
Snowfall was beaten by Teona in France (Nigel French/PA)

The obvious target for Teona is a return to France for a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on the first Sunday in October – although she also holds alternative Group One entries over varying distances that same ParisLongchamp weekend as well as in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot later in the month.

Varian confirmed Europe’s premier middle-distance contest will be “seriously considered”, but he is in no rush to commit at this stage.

He added: “I haven’t had a conversation with the owner yet, but you’d have to consider the Arc if we’re happy with the filly over the next two and a half weeks and the ground looks like it will be fairly sound.

“I don’t think we’d entertain a very soft-ground Arc – I don’t think that would be her bag. But if the forecast and the ground is in our favour, and we’re happy with the filly’s condition, I’m sure it will be seriously considered.

“I think at the moment we keep everything on the table and don’t make any decisions, because we don’t have to. She’s got these big-race entries, so we don’t have to supplement her or anything like that, which means we can make these decisions late.

“The nice thing for us now is that she’s won the Vermeille and established herself as a top-drawer filly.

“I don’t quite know how the rest of the season will pan out for her. Some of it will be decided by things out of our control, like weather and ground, and some of it will be within our control.

“She’s won her Group One, so we don’t have to keep telling everyone she’s good – she’s proved it.

“Everything remains a possibility with a filly like that.”

Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, Varian is keeping his fingers crossed Teona will return in 2022, saying: “I haven’t discussed that with the owner, but I certainly hope so.

“She’s only just getting started. Her mother raced as a five-year-old, and there is no reason to think Teona won’t get better with age.”

Adayar to miss Prix Niel and go straight for the Arc

Charlie Appleby’s Derby and King George hero Adayar has had a minor setback which has ruled him out of the Prix Niel this weekend and he will now head straight for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

His victory at Epsom came at 16-1 – but he proved there was absolutely no fluke in that display when beating his elders in a classy King George performance at Ascot.

Appleby had hoped to run the Frankel colt at ParisLongchamp on Sunday to put him spot on for the European showpiece, but an infection in a hind leg just halted his preparations.

The trainer told www.godolphin.com: “Adayar missed a couple of days, and after discussions, we felt there was no need to press on to a trial (for the Arc). So, the decision was made to head straight to the Arc.

“He has resumed full training, and as a Derby and King George winner, he fully deserves to be running in what is shaping up to be a vintage Arc.”

Come to the centenary Arc – France Galop invitation to British and Irish racegoers

France Galop is encouraging racegoers from Britain and Ireland to make the trip to ParisLongchamp next month for the 100th edition of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The 12-furlong showpiece is an undoubted highlight of the autumn – and after it was contested with just a limited crowd last year because Covid restrictions, officials at France Galop are eager to celebrate the race’s centenary with a bigger audience in attendance.

Plans are in place to deck out the track in the silks of the 99 previous winners of the race, with former winning riders set to be invited as France Galop acknowledges a landmark occasion.

France Galop’s general manager Olivier Delloye has outlined requirements for British and Irish fans to attend the fixture, where face masks will be required indoors and outdoors wherever social distancing is not possible and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test is a necessity.

In a press conference via Zoom on Monday, he said: “The number of daily cases is decreasing every day – so people who are keen to come to France, especially in the Paris area, I think provided they are themselves vaccinated, should not be afraid about the situation here.

“There’s no limit on capacity this year. All that people need to go to the races is to show this ‘health pass’ – either showing you are fully vaccinated, or you can show a negative PCR or antigen test – and we will be offering the service of antigen tests at the gates of ParisLongchamp.

“It’s obviously much easier for British racegoers if they are vaccinated, knowing there will be no quarantine going back home for them. This trip to Paris for the Arc would be much easier for those who are fully vaccinated.”

Given travel restrictions can be changed at short notice, Delloye confirmed a refund policy is in place should the situation change.

He added: “Should there be any change in England as far as restrictions are concerned for people coming back from France, obviously we will reimburse people who purchase their ticket ahead of the event.”

Delphine Violette, sales director and marketing of France Galop, admitted to concerns the crowd could be down on the 2019 total of 42,000 if people believe a trip to France will prove difficult.

She said: “We noticed that 50 per cent of fans are from England and Ireland – and we fear that with Covid, people will not come because of some restrictions. That is why we are explaining that it will be easy to come to ParisLongchamp, if you are vaccinated of course. We invite people from England and Ireland to come back to the Arc.”

Of advanced ticket sales, Delloye added: “They are definitely behind our 2019 figures, but that is the same for French spectators as well – I think the trend is consistent on both sides of the Channel.

“We felt that from England it’s not obvious you can go racing without any limit of capacity and under what conditions, so it was important for us to share the information.”

This year’s Arc is shaping up into a clash of the titans – with dual Oaks winner Snowfall currently heading the market for Aidan O’Brien ahead of Charlie Appleby’s Derby and King George hero Adayar and the Dermot Weld-trained Tarnawa, who was victorious at last year’s Breeders’ Cup.

Mishriff, Hurricane Lane and Wonderful Tonight are also prominent in the betting, with Saiydabad the shortest-priced potential French runner at 20-1, leading Delloye to think visiting racegoers will be cheering home a familiar winner.

He added: “It’s a little early to be sure of the line-up for the race, but we definitely hope to gather the likes of Tarnawa, Mishriff, Adayar, potentially Hurricane Lane and some others.

“We are looking for the big French runners this year, and I think we are a little below what we are used to providing for the race in the last few years, so it looks like it will be an English or Irish Arc this year, unless Mr (Andre) Fabre unveils a great horse – as he can do.”