Live on BBC: Sun: 14:00. Charlie McCann previews this afternoon’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and fancies the chances of Planteur
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe which is run at Longchamp tomorrow is, arguably, the most prestigious flat race run in Europe and one which has been won by some of the sports greats including Sea Bird and Dancing Brave and more recently Zarkava and last year Sea The Stars. Three year-olds have won six of the last seven renewals and thirteen of the last sixteen and although some will pundits will suggest the forecast soft ground will play to the strength of the older horses I can’t have it I’m afraid.
The Derby winner Workforce was only given the green light on Thursday morning and is reluctantly overlooked for that reason only. He looked a real champion when winning at Epsom in record time but went out like a light behind stablemate Harbinger in the King George the following month and has been off the track since.
Sir Michael Stoute has yet to saddle the winner of the Arc and I am reluctant to desert the Derby winner who did us such a favour back in June. Yet to race on soft ground Workforce is bred to appreciate the forecast rain that is due to hit Paris today but his preparation is less than ideal and it will be one of Stoute’s greatest ever training performances if he can coax another brilliant performance out of Workforce.
The French Derby winner Lope De Vega wouldn’t stay a mile-and-a-half in a horsebox and the two to concentrate on are Planteur (3.05) and Behkabad with marginal preference for the former despite narrowly losing out to the latter on his last couple of starts. I feel there is more to come from Planteur although he is not a strong recommendation in what is hardly a vintage renewal.