Racing guru and betrescue tipster Charlie McCann fancies Camelot for the Prix De L’Arc De Triumph (3.25) and the The Fugue Prix de l’Opera (2.40).
The owner of Sunday’s Arc winner will trouser just shy of £2million; although it is only the third-richest horserace in the world it is, arguably, the most prestigious and even the most fervent of jumps fan will know the first Sunday in October means Arc day and we have a cracking, if perhaps non-vintage, field again this year despite the fact that last year’s winner Danedream and the Eclipse and former King George winner Nathaniel are 11th hour defectors.
Aside from the non-appearance of Danedream, as a result of the outbreak of Equine Infectious Anaemia near her training base in Cologne, the column inches in the build up to the race have been dominated by the news that Frankie Dettori has been booked by Aidan O’Brien to ride dual classic winner Camelot as the trainer’s son Joseph cannot make the 8st 11lbs weight on the three-year-old.
Joseph will ride the older St Nicholas Abbey a genuine Group 1 horse over a mile-and-a-half but he is not considered in the same class at Ballydoyle as Camelot whose recent defeat in the Ladbrokes St Leger still irks connections. Camelot was bidding to become the first horse since Nijinsky back in 1970 to land the Triple Crown at Doncaster last month but I take Camelot (3.25 Sun) to bounce back with Frankie looking for his fourth win in the race.
Dettori last rode for Ballydoyle in the 2005 St Leger when he won on Scorpion and as he is no longer viewed as the principle jockey for Godolphin (he shares duties with the younger Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre de Sousa) the Italian obviously feels he is free to take the best mounts available and Aidan O’Brien is happy to use a jockey who is still the man for the big occasion.
Three year olds have won eight of the last nine renewals of the Arc (they receive 8lbs weight-for-age) and Camelot looked top class at Epsom in June when easily landing the Derby; the ground is forecast to be no worse than good at Longchamp and that will be perfect. If there is to be a shock perhaps Great Heavens, only supplemented for the race on Thursday after the same owners Nathaniel was reported off-colour, or the progressive Yellow And Green are the ones to be with but it is Camelot and Frankie to show that they are the combination for the big occasion.
I think last year’s runner up Shareta is the best of the older horses having been unimpressed with Japanese raider Orfevre in the Prix Foy last time. Note we are paying ¼ odds 4 places on the Arc at BetVictor.
I like the chances of The Fugue in the Prix de l’Opera (2.40) for John Gosden and William Buick; the selection just lost out to Shareta in the Yorkshire Oaks last time and the return to 10f is ideal for a filly with a potent turn of foot.
Also on Sunday, Thousand Stars is the class act on show at Tipperary but I am not deserting Rebel Fitz (3.40) now and the selection, who won the Galway Hurdle in the summer, gets 5lbs from the Willie Mullins grey who obviously gets further than 2m but did win a Grade One at the minimum distance last November.