Top tipster Simon Holt has over 100 points up for the year and he has a few fantasies on Sunday’s Arc card at ParisLongchamp.
ONESTO was beaten by just half a length in the Irish Champion Stakes three weeks ago by Luxemburg, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe favorites from Qatar, but appears undervalued at three times the price at the time of writing Europe’s premier all-age middle distance horse race at Paris-Longchamp on Sunday.
The Frankel son has been my Arc fan since he spun from last to first place with a dazzling foot rotation at the Prix Greffulhe in Saint-Cloud in May, then faced an impossible task in the Prix du when he came off a wide draw Vadeni had Jockey Club, although he remains in flashy style alongside re-opposing Al Hakeem.
Vadeni, who next won the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, was impressive that day but had the run of the race and Onesto then showed what he can do with a comfortable win in the Grand Prix de Paris at the Arc circuit and distance ahead of eventual Prix Niel winner Simca Mille and St. Leger winner Eldar Eldarov in fourth place.
At Leopardstown, Stéphane Pasquier’s mount made Luxemburg fight all the way (with Vadeni third, Mishriff fourth, Alenquer sixth and Broome seventh) and given his court experience and a fair draw in stable 11 towards the centre, he looks like the best bet in the Field.
This is not to undermine Luxemburg’s chances but having stumbled early in the 2000 Guineas back in May he could well be undefeated and as a son of Camelot who is related to mile and a half winners it is hard to believe that the step up in the journey will be a problem. Clearly, he is a smart colt.
On the light ground, endurance will be a factor and despite a poor draw in Stable 18, last year’s winner Torquator Tasso has all the necessary attributes, as he showed when he beat Tarnawa, Hurricane Lane and Adayar in what is arguably a stronger race 12 months ago .
Frankie Dettori, who famously ran a wide route in the opening stages of the Golden Horn win in 2015, may need to repeat the tactic and his horse will certainly keep going in the closing stages.
Mishriff and Vadeni both have questions to answer during the trip, while free-running Al Hakeem’s endurance could also be tested, but Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista has won on the softs and is a guaranteed stayer who is likely to have his usual game race.
Japan’s latest attempt to win the Arc relies largely on the multiple Group 1 champions going unbeaten in three starts this year. However, an absence of more than three months must be a cause for concern and the four-year-old appears to have been mainly riding on much faster terrain than he is likely to encounter here.
The only other option for me is Westover, bad luck in the derby and then a clear winner of the Irish version. He returned from a break after disappointing (driving very sharply) in the King George at Ascot in July and looks set to enjoy this test with Rob Hornby back on board and trainer Ralph Beckett in superb form.
Later, trainer Adrian Nicholls tries to emulate his late father “Dandy” by winning the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines with either Mo Celita, who finished fourth last year, or with the highly progressive GHOST.
Both have played well in the lower positions but the latter, who thrived at the Epsom Dash on Derby Day in June, has been improving throughout the year and last time out set another career best when he finished ahead of only Erosandpsyche and Moss in a listed competition Tucker stayed home with Tipperary.
That form received a nice boost as Group One Flying Five runners-up at The Curragh took the same position behind the brilliant Highfield Princess (Flotus third, New York City fourth), suggesting Tees Spirit could be at that level now .
When it comes to training sprinters there were few better than David ‘Dandy’ Nicholls, who won the 2002 Abbaye with Continent ridden by Daryll Holland, and son Adrian has shown from a small number of horses that he has the potential has become a chip-off the old block.
Published at 1526 BST on 01/10/22
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