Enable the hot favourite to spoil the party for the French this time
Pundits see Sottsass as the main threat to the conquering British filly in the Arc de Triomphe
Four years ago Frankie Dettori spoiled the party for French racing fans in the Arc de Triomphe. Will the home side gain their revenge in Sunday’s €5m race in Paris?
In 2015 the talented French mare Treve was sent off the evens favourite to complete a historic Arc treble after victories in 2013 and 2014. She could only manage fourth place as Dettori scored on John Gosden’s runner Golden Horn.
This time it is Enable, beaten only once in 13 starts, who is the hot favourite with bookmakers quoting the filly at 7-10.
In football terms it is like a Champions League final with challengers from Germany (Ghaiyyath) and Japan (Ireland), yet it is the French-trained three-year-old Sottsass whom many pundits rate the main threat to Enable.
The colt won the grade 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget is confident of a big run. He said: “Sottsass’s movement is perfect. There are some good horses who are only average movers but overcome that with their latent potential and their will. He moves incredibly, especially considering his physique, because he is a big horse.”
Jockey William Buick is another with his sights on the €2,85m first prize and he believes his mount Ghaiyyath could down the fancied runners.
“It was a solid German grade 1 — German Derby and Oaks form — when he won at Baden-Baden and you have to respect the big races there. He won by 14 lengths so it was devastating,” Buick said.
The Arc is a big topic on social media in the UK. One blogger said: “We’re rooting for you big girl [Enable].” Another said: “If she wins I guess she will be considered one of the best ever — fingers crossed.”
Tellytrack will be showing the Arc on Sunday afternoon and TAB punters will be able to bet on all races on the Longchamp card.
The Vaal hosts an eight-race programme on Thursday, and if weight of numbers is any criteria trainer Gary Alexander should take top honours in the fifth race.
In 10th place in this season’s national trainers log, Alexander sends out four runners with all of Tuscan Light, Ritchi and The Jocelyn Tree having winning chances.
This season’s leading rider, Warren Kennedy, rides Ritchi for the first time and is sure to get the best out of the daughter of Admire Main.
However, Denis Schwarz is Alexander’s stable jockey and he will have worked out that his mount Tuscan Light finished four lengths in front of Ritchi when the pair met at Turffontein at end-July.
Muzi Yeni continues to boot home the winners and he partners the Lateral filly Laconia for trainer Weiho Marwing. The four-year-old has four lengths to find with Ritchi after their recent clash.
Piere Strydom rode a winner at the Free State track on Tuesday and has prospects of landing a double on Thursday on Single Red Rose (second race) and American Indian (sixth race).
Single Red Rose, a daughter of Philanthropist trained by Ashley Fortune, has been placed in each of her three starts and will be a short-priced favourite to leave the maiden ranks.
First race: (1) Al Borak (12) Trend Master (3) Crank It Up (8) Leprechaun
Second race: (1) Single Red Rose (8) Marmalade Cat (3) Debbie Goes West (2) Set And Match
Third race: (3) Captain’s Reward (6) Keep Smiling (1) Ronnie’s Candy (2) Rockin Russian
Fourth race: (10) Aalsmeer (5) Celeste (1) Miss Patriot (6) Bat Orchid
Fifth race: (1) Tuscan Light (2) Ritchi (3) Laconia (4) The Jocelyn Tree
Sixth race: (3) American Indian (1) Puget Sound (5) Bize (2) Insignis
Seventh race: (1) Always Red (3) Il Mondo (2) Cranberry Crush (5) Perfect Light
Eighth race: (3) Before Noon (2) Zeal And Zest (1) Indy Ice (7) French Leave