Avenir Certain stretches her legs on Wednesday morning
Benoist chooses to ride Ectot over Avenir in Arc
JOCKEY Gregory Benoist has decided to ride impressive Prix Niel winner Ectot over unbeaten dual-Classic heroine Avenir Certain in next week's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
According to Jour De Galop, Benoist's decision to ride Ectot, who is 7-1 with bet365, Ladbrokes and Boylesports, means that Christophe Lemaire will partner Avenir Certain.
Benoist was aboard the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Avenir Certain when she won the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and Prix de Diane this season, but has opted for Ectot, who defied a lengthy absence to win the Prix Niel - a fine trial for the Arc - in good style this month.
Christophe Lemaire: delighted
to ride Avenir Certain in the Arc
Had he partnered the filly who is 6-1, Frankie Dettori would have been in line to ride Ectot, who was bought by Al Shaqab Racing just before the Niel.
Dettori, who has three Arcs on his CV, was jocked off last year's winner Treve recently, but could ride Ruler Of The World, whom he won the Prix Foy on this month.
Trained by Elie Lellouche, Ectot won the Group 1 Criterium International as a two-year-old last year and looked set to play a major part in this season's Classics, but injury ruled him out until the Niel.
That did not put the Racing Post's Pricewise off tipping him at 50-1 in an ante-post Arc special and those odds tumbled after he produced a dazzling turn of foot to land the Niel, a race Lellouche took with his 1996 Arc winner Helissio.
Like Benoist, Lemaire has yet to win Europe's richest race, but he was delighted to secure the ride on the daughter of Le Havre, whom he won the 2009 Prix du Jockey Club on for Avenir Certain's part-owner Gerard Augustin-Normand.
He tweeted: "My ride in the Arc will be Avenir Certain!!!"