While Danedream, Nathaniel, and some others will miss Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), a field of 18, which includes three confirmed pacemakers, will traverse the 1 1/2 miles of the Longchamp turf. Japanese Triple Crown winner Orfevre starts from gate 18, the widest spot on the course likely to be some degree of soft. 2,000 Guineas and Investec Derby winner Camelot, most recently second in the St. Leger Stakes (G1) goes from stall five. Dubai Sheema Classic second St. Nicholas Abbey goes from stall ten and has a trio of thirds in as many starts, last winning the Coronation Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot by more than four lengths.
15 of the last 18 runnings of Europe’s richest race have been won by horses in their 3-year-old season, and our thought is that this is where the likeliest value stands. Bayrir, winner of the Secretariat (G1) at Arlington, and more recently second in the Prix Niel at Longchamp, had absolutely no chance when trailing for most of his last start behind an absolute dawdle. Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre is on record as saying that Bayrir was not at his top form for the Niel, and that he is now in better shape, earned enough confidence to merit a supplemental nomination. Kesampour, another of H.H. The Aga Khan’s runners (along with Bayrir and Shareta), has bested Saonois, winner of the Prix Niel, and definitely goes over softer ground. Geoffrey Riddle has the story of sophomore Saonois, and his half-owner, a 35-year-old baker that purchased his share for just 4,000 euros.
The Qatar Arabian World Cup (G1), the race run just after the Arc, will host two of the last three winners of the Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1) – TM Fred Texas and 2010 winner Jaafer.
For the Arc, our supports rests with Bayrir, who bolted in without a ton of pace in the Secretariat, and then there was every belief he was not going to be fully fit for the Prix Niel. With a supplemental nomination, the confidence seems encouraging, and the price will be right.