Arc favourite Zarkava in sparkling form
PRIX DE L'ARC DE TRIOMPHE favourite Zarkava looked in sparkling form on Tuesday morning as she was put through her paces in a racecourse gallop at Chantilly.
The Aga Khan was on hand to watch his unbeaten filly, a best-priced 7-2 for the Arc, stride well clear of her work companion in a 10-furlong spin.
Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre reported that everything had gone according to plan. "She is in fine fettle for the moment and we have had no problems at all in her preparation," he said.
"This was quite a serious piece of work today and she went ten furlongs with two leaders and with Eric Alloix in the saddle," he added.
"At the end of the gallop she was a good six lengths clear of the others and we didn't want her to do to much. We also took her to the racetrack in a horsebox in order to put competition back into her head."
Stablemate Darjina also did a little light work at Les Aigles in the build-up to Sunday's Qatar-sponsored Prixdu Moulin de Longchamp.
"It was just a half speed gallop to allow Gerald Mosse to get to know the filly," said Royer-Dupre.
Meisho Samson, who is in situ in France, will be Japan's only representative in the Arc after plans to run compatriot Admire Jupiter were shelved.
Meisho Samson, a dual Japanese Classic winner in 2006, is now based with Mikel Delzangles at Gouvieux near Chantilly. The five-year-old son of Opera House has this season just been pipped in two Group 1 races.
However, although previous reports suggested Meisho Samson would have a prep race for the Arc, this is no longer certain, according to Aki Akatani, who represents the Japan Racing Association in Paris.
"Everything is fine with Meisho Samson but we are not sure yet whether he will have a prep in the Prix Foy before," said Akatani.
"That decision is still a little bit up in the air.
"On Monday I took three of the horse's connections racing at Chantilly and they enjoyed the atmosphere, which is a little different from Japan."
Meisho Samson finally gets his chance to run in the Arc a year after a plan to campaign him in Europe had to be abandoned owing to the outbreak of equine flu in Japan.
Regular partner Yutaka Take, who rode Deep Impact at Longchamp a couple of years ago, has the mount.