Al Kazeem: was beaten 11 lengths behind Treve in last year's ArcPICTURE: Getty Images
Al Kazeem emerges as surprise Arc contender
AL KAZEEM emerged from the shadows as an unlikely Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe candidate on Tuesday, with his trainer Roger Charlton declaring "there is nothing to lose" by having a second tilt at Europe's premier all-age middle-distance Flat race.
John Deer's triple Group 1-winner finished sixth, beaten 11 lengths behind Treve, in last year's Arc, before he was whisked off to start life as a stallion.
Those plans were shelved after the son of Dubawi proved sub-fertile at the Royal Studs in Sandringham, since when Charlton has eased Al Kazeem back into his old routine at his Beckhampton yard.
Victory in a Windsor Group 3 and a fifth in the Irish Champion Stakes have proved Al Kazeem still has an appetite for racing and currently Charlton favours a return trip to Paris on Sunday rather than taking up an entry in the Group 3 BMW Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot the previous afternoon.
"He's due to work tomorrow and the final decision will be made after that but I guess our number one preference is to go to the Arc," revealed Charlton on Tuesday.
"It's the best race in world and he's got nothing to lose. There's good prize-money and the horse is in good form. I personally think a mile and a half suits him and I'm also a believer that he's better going right-handed, and of course last year we had a horrible draw out in the woods."
As big as 66-1 to emerge victorious at Longchamp, Al Kazeem is likely to be partnered by his regular rider James Doyle and any rain would only enhance his chance.
Charlton said: "It's a very good race, as it ought to be, but it's also an open race. We will be one of the outsiders but we have nothing to lose and I'd imagine James would be available to ride. We'd prefer more cut in the ground, but that looks a bit unlikely, and it would be nice if the field reduces a bit before Sunday."