Winter in line to make it an Arc awesome foursome for O’Brien
Aidan O'Brien, who won his second Arc with Found last year, is tempted to put another filly in the firing line next month after admitting Europe's showcase race is under serious consideration for Winter, who could spearhead a four-pronged assault from Ballydoyle.
But for Enable, O'Brien would have won all ten Classics in Britain and Ireland this season and he could attack John Gosden's superstar from all angles in the Arc with Saturday's St Leger winner Capri and last year's second and third Highland Reel and Order Of St George also in the Chantilly mix.
Winter's winning streak came to an end in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, but O'Brien believes running her there could allow him to have a crack at Chantilly with his dual Guineas heroine.
He said: "The Arc is definitely something we're thinking about for Winter. I'm not saying it's definite she'll run in it but it's certainly possible and under strong consideration".
He added: "She needed to run at Leopardstown that weekend so she would have a chance of running at Chantilly. She missed seven or eight days after Goodwood. When you miss time at that stage of the season, it can set you back. To be honest, I was delighted with the way she ran at Leopardstown and she'll come on for that.
"The trip is obviously something of an unknown in the Arc and you couldn't be sure she would stay. There's speed on her dam's side but we all know the stamina that Galileo inputs, so it's possible she will."
O'Brien is faced with a dilemma with regard to Order Of St George. The wide-margin winner of the Irish St Leger earlier this month has top weight in the Melbourne Cup and could head down under but, having performed so admirably in the Arc last year, another crack at Chantilly could be on the cards.
"We'll have to make a decision on Order Of St George soon. It's getting near the quarantine time for Melbourne so we'll need to make up our minds. Highland Reel has the option of the Arc too, having run so well in the race last year. He's had a break since the King George and seems in good form," O'Brien said.
Capri became O'Brien's 18th Group 1 winner of the campaign when grinding out a victory in a thrilling renewal of the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday and the gutsy grey is another who could be aimed at the Arc.
"Capri was a good winner of what looked a very good St Leger to me,” O'Brien said. “We'll see how he comes out of the race and what he's telling us over the next while, but the Arc is definitely a possible for him this season".
Winter is 20-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair to follow in Found's footsteps by winning the Arc, but she is 3-1 favourite to win the Prix de l'Opera on the same day.
Order Of St George was on Monday O'Brien's shortest priced runner in the Arc, 10-1 third favourite with Paddy Power, while Highland Reel is 12-1 and Capri is 14-1 with the same firm.
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