Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with ten to follow this wekeend in Paris and at Ascot, Newmarket, Kelso and Huntingdon. View selections below
Tomorrow’s Grand Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is one of the great horseraces in the world; the end of season clash of the generations between the 3-year-olds and their elders over 12f which will be run at Chantilly this year as its spiritual home Longchamp is currently being redeveloped.
The classic generation have won 17 of the last 22 renewals and Derby winner Harzand would have been a confident selection had it not been for a below-par run in the Irish Champion Stakes last time even allowing for the fact that that 10f trip is on the sharp side.
There is now rain forecast for Paris on Friday evening which will be a real help to the dual Derby winner who has a good draw in stall six. Harzand is 8/1 at BetVictor and if there is significant rain he would have to enter calculations.
That said it is due to be a beautiful autumnal day in Paris and if the ground is good (or quicker) than I think Found (Sunday 3.05) merits each way support for Aidan O’Brien who is chasing just a second win in the race.
The selection didn’t have the best of runs when beaten 5 lengths in the corresponding race last year and she has a bit to find with market leader Postponed on Coronation Cup form back in June, but she ran her best race of the season at Leopardstown last time and this is her time of the year having won in October in both 2014 and 2015. At 6/1 with BetVictor she is the each-way recommendation.
The unbeaten So Mi Dar (2.20) is hard to oppose in the Prix l’Opera and I think she would have gone very close had she been aimed at the Arc. Owned by Lady Lloyd Webber the filly has won all four career starts and could hardly have been more impressive when defying a penalty at Yarmouth last time.
Limato (5.15) looks to have a straight-forward task in the Foret despite finishing runner up in the corresponding race 12 months ago when he had to circle the whole field. He is drawn in stall one on Sunday and I wouldn’t want Harry Bentley to get too far back on the July Cup winner who has had an excellent season from 5f right up to a mile. This 7f trip looks perfect, the ground should be fine (wants good or better) and Even money at BetVictor is about right.
In the Ascot opener this afternoon Eternally (2,00) can maintain her progress having won three of her five starts including at Lingfield last time when visually very impressive in a fast time. She has a bit to find with Godolphin’s Mise En Rose on earlier Newmarket running but is clearly improving hand over fist and gets the vote.
The Cumberland Lodge looks a wide-open contest with Arab Spring and Kings Fete likely to head the market but the vote goes to Move Up (2.30) who improved again when winning a modest Group 2 in Turkey last month and who is another improving with every run. Last year’s winner Star Storm attracted significant support at Newmarket last time and it will be interesting to see if the money is down again today.
At Newmarket Alice Springs will be all the rage in the Gp 1 Sun Chariot Stakes but the French have an excellent record in the race Ervedya (4.00) wears cheek-pieces for the first time and the hope is they can galvanise the filly who was given too much to do when third in the Jacques Le Marois when last seen back in August. At 9/2 with BetVictor I would be disappointed if she didn’t go very close.
At Kelso on Sunday Arthurs Secret (2.15) has been in good form on the flat of late and can take the opening handicap hurdle for John Quinn and I was very impressed with Theflyingportrait (4.30) who jumped for fun when making all over C&D last time. An 8lbs rise looks fair and he can run them ragged from the front and prevent top-weight and likely favourite Simply Ned landing a hat-trick in the race.
The star performer at Uttoxeter on Sunday will, I hope, be Value At Risk (2.55) despite the fact that he fell in both novice chases last season. The selection was unlucky on the second occasion as he slipped going into the fence in front of the stands at Huntingdon and I hope he can make it third time lucky for Dan Skelton.
At Huntingdon Fact Of The Matter (2.35) improved for the fitting of a first time hood at Worcester last month when scoring from a 5lbs lower mark; this is a better race but he is taken to improve again having had a wind operation during the summer.