Workforce: 7-1 with William Hill to repeat last year's Arc successPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Workforce set to miss Champion Stakes
WORKFORCE, who finished second to Nathaniel in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last month, will miss the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in favour of a crack at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on October 2.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old, who won the Arc last season, is being primed to bid for a repeat success in the Longchamp showpiece, for which he is a 7-1 chance with William Hill.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Workforce's owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah, said: "Not entering him for the Champion Stakes is to do with the distance more than anything. He is happiest at a mile and a half, and the Arc is the plan."
Trainer John Gosden has confirmed the Champion Stakes, staged on October 15, as an option for the classy Nathaniel.
A son of Galileo, Nathaniel is as short as 5-1 with Betfred for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, his connections' preferred target.
John Gosden: "keep options open"PICTURE: Mark Cranham
Running in the Champion Stakes would mean a drop to 1m2f for the Lady Rothschild-owned three-year-old, though he is undefeated at Ascot having won the King Edward VII Stakes at the royal meeting in June.
"We have entered Nathaniel for the ChampionStakes as back-up for the Arc," Gosden told racingpost.com.
"If it's too firm in Paris we may have to look [at Ascot]. He likes the track, but you can be undone by the draw on the round course - we'll keep our options open."
So You Think heads the list of acceptors for the Group 1, though the five-year-old's preferred target is the Red Mills Irish Champions Stakes at Leopardstown on September 3, according to owners Coolmore.
Also entered at Ascot is Sussex Stakes victor Frankel, Derby winner Pour Moi and Twice Over, winner of the past two runnings of the race when it was staged at Newmarket.
The Champion Stakes, switched from Newmarket for the first time this year, will be the most valuable race ever run in Britain with £737,230 going to the winner.