Love would have been a huge danger but we're focusing on Enable, says Grimthorpe
Enable's path to a record third Arc became clearer on Thursday as Aidan O'Brien removed Love, her main market rival, from contention, but owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe stressed their mare still has plenty to beat despite the absence of a "huge danger".
Love had been the longtime ante-post favourite for the Arc prior to ground fears emerging from her camp this week, with Enable usurping her as market leader on Monday following 19mm of rain last weekend.
With further rain forecast in Paris before Sunday, conditions appear certain to be testing, forcing O'Brien to call a halt to his filly's Longchamp aspirations at the final declaration stage.
The absence of this year's 1,000 Guineas and Oaks winner has left Enable a red-hot 5-4 favourite against her 14 rivals, but Grimthorpe insists plenty of threats remain and is concentrating his attention on final preparations for the John Gosden-trained star.
"In the Arc, all horses are a huge worry," he said. "Love is obviously an exceptional filly and would have been a huge danger but we're concentrating on Enable and that's our main focus."
Enable avoided a potentially tricky wide draw when stalls positions were allocated on Thursday and will start from box five in a 15-runner field, one inside her stall number when she won her second Arc at Longchamp in 2018 and inside stall nine, where she was beaten from last year.
2020 Arc runners in order of their draw
1 In Swoop (Ronan Thomas)
2 Raabihah (Maxime Guyon)
3 Mogul (Ryan Moore)
4 Sottsass (Cristian Demuro)
5 Enable (Frankie Dettori)
6 Way To Paris (Ioritz Mendizabal)
7 Persian King (Pierre-Charles Boudot)
8 Royal Julius (Shane Foley)
9 Gold Trip (Stephane Pasquier)
10 Sovereign (Mickael Barzalona)
11 Japan (Yutaka Take)
12 Deirdre (Jamie Spencer)
13 Chachnak (Tony Piccone)
14 Stradivarius (Olivier Peslier)
15 Serpentine (Christophe Soumillon)
Grimthorpe said: "It was a good draw, no doubt about that. That of course doesn't guarantee anything but it's a little bit of the jigsaw."
O'Brien – who still has four representatives in the Arc with Japan, Sovereign, Mogul and Serpentine declared – is likely to aim Love at the Breeders' Cup Turf, before potential trips to Japan and Hong Kong.
"We had to take Love out just now," he said. "We didn't have any choice really because it would have meant a big fine if we withdrew her on the day and Ryan [Moore] wouldn't have been able to ride anything else.
"It's 4.1 on the GoingStick there at the moment and they're forecast more rain for tomorrow and Saturday, so we didn't have any choice with her really.
"Her whole year had been geared to it so it was a difficult decision but we felt we didn't have much choice in the end as we felt it might finish her for the rest of her season.
"I'd imagine Love will now go for the Breeders' Cup Turf, which I think is a $6 million race this year. Japan and Hong Kong could be considered after that. We'll discuss it with the lads but I'd imagine the Breeders' Cup will be the priority now – it's one of the biggest grass races in the world."
O'Brien added that the plan is "hopefully" to keep Love in training next year.
Ryan Moore will now partner Mogul, winner of the Grand Prix de Paris last time. Mogul was drawn stall three on Thursday morning, the same starting spot for last year's winner Waldgeist.
Christophe Soumillon and Serpentine will have to overcome the widest draw from stall 15. The shock Derby winner was supplemented for the race for €72,000 on Wednesday.
Elsewhere for O'Brien, Sovereign (stall ten) will be ridden by Mickael Barzalona while Yutaka Take is booked to ride Japan (stall 11).
Enable's stablemate Stradivarius is second favourite in Love's absence and is the only other British-trained runner in the race, but will need to overcome a wide berth in stall 14. Gosden, however, had success from that same stall with Golden Horn in the 2015 Arc.
Leading Irish jockey Shane Foley will ride outsider Royal Julius – who was drawn in stall eight – for Jerome Reynier.
German Derby winner In Swoop – who has been subject to lots of market support in the build up to the race – has drawn stall one while leading French contenders Persian King (stall seven), Sottsass (stall four) and Raabihah (stall two) were also declared.
Japanese raider Deirdre will come from stall 12, with Jamie Spencer looking for his first Arc winner.
O'Brien's decision to remove Love days before the Arc will prove a costly one for ante-post punters, although Paddy Power are refunding any single bets on Love as a free bet.
Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: “We obviously don’t have to refund on Love, but in the circumstances we thought it was absolutely the right thing to do.
"Sure there were reservations about the ground, but punters who backed her would have been looking forward to the historic contest.
"Some would also have been on the second favourite at fancy prices, so at least they can still have an interest in the race now if they so wish.”
Paddy Power 5-4 Enable, 13-2 Stradivarius, 8 Sottsass, 9 In Swoop, 11 Mogul, 12 Persian King, Raabihah, Serpentine, 14 Japan, 25 Way To Paris, 33 Gold Trip, 50 Deirdre, 66 Sovereign, Chachnak, Royal Julius
Read more ahead of the Arc
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