Ever harder to look past Enable after day of Deauville reverses
Following a dramatic day at Deauville, three Racing Post experts give their current take on the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe . . .
Richard Birch, RP Tipping
There is still a long, long way to go. The Arc doesn’t take place until October 1. Plenty can happen before then and it will be surprising if a lightly raced French contender doesn’t emerge from the trials next month.
At this stage it’s hard to look beyond Enable, particularly after the dismal displays from Almanzor and Brametot at Deauville on Tuesday.
Almanzor looked nothing like the triple Group 1 hero of last year, while slow-starting Brametot will need to sharpen up his act considerably at all stages to even get competitive in an Arc.
The likeable Eminent’s victory over Salouen hardly smacked of an Arc winner, so perhaps the best option for punters is Zarak, who ran two excellent seconds to an Almanzor at his prime in Group 1 and 2 company last summer.
The four-year-old produced a career-best effort to land his first Group 1 at Saint-Cloud last month and looks overpriced at 20-1.
Lewis Porteous, reporter
Some bookmakers are going 12-1 bar one for the Arc after Almanzor and Brametot came unstuck and the only conclusion to draw is that this year’s race is there for the taking for hot favourite Enable.
Almanzor looked a shadow of the horse who was so dominant over his peers last year and, despite an interrupted preparation, there was nothing positive to take from his comeback.
Brametot has already proved himself this year and I’d be more willing to forgive his run. He looked rusty after a break and it’s worth noting trainer Jean Claude-Rouget has been a little quiet of late.
That said, giving horses a huge lead in the Arc will be fatal and Enable is just far more versatile.
Soft ground could prove the key to Eminent, although I think he’d have more chance of making all in the Champion Stakes and, which ever way you look at the Arc, you end up back with Enable.
Maddy Playle, reporter
After the disappointments of both Jean-Claude Rouget's juggernauts the Arc looks to have become a little more straightforward for Enable, who has lit up the Flat season.
That said, I think it would be foolish to totally discard Rouget's duo, as the way the Prix Gontaunt-Biron was run probably wouldn't have suited Almanzor and he was only beaten three and a half lengths.
Similar can be said of Brametot, who forfeited many lengths at the start and confirmed his superiority over Prix du Jockey Club third Recoletos. Perhaps he is the more likely of the pair to relish the step up to a mile and a half. Eminent had things all his own way out in front and doesn't appeal as an Arc prospect.
Considering the likes of Barney Roy and Ulysses may be going elsewhere, and the solid recent record of three-year-old fillies in the race, Enable is undoubtedly the one to beat.
Those looking for an alternative may be best waiting until Japanese hope Satono Diamond turns up in the Prix Foy – Orfevre won the race in 2012 and 2013 before he was agonisingly denied in the 2012 Arc.