Orfevre to triumph in Arc
Man On The Spot previews Sunday's exceptional card at Longchamp and he's backing Orfevre in the feature.
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12:55 : Qatar Prix De L'Abbaye De Longchamp (Group 1)
This race has been a happy hunting ground for UK and Irish raiders over the years. Tangerine Trees plundered the prize last season with Wizz Kid and Beyond Desire behind and Secret Asset second. Sole Power was beaten only a head in third and arrives in fine form this year having won at Doncaster last month. He had earlier finished seventh in the Nunthorpe at York when Hamish McGonagall and Humidor ran well and Tiddliwinks and Monsieur Joe failed to figure. The latter has since won a Group 3 over C&D on his preferred slow ground but it's stablemate and Nunthorpe runner-up, SPIRIT QUARTZ, that makes most appeal. Headed in the closing stages by Ortensia at York, Robert Cowell's spinter was a winner in soft ground when trained in Italy and regular partner Frankie Dettori can steer him to victory in this. Mayson landed the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket in tremendous style and Richard Fahey's charge is another with leading claims on his first start since.
13:30 : Total Prix Marcel Boussac (Fillies' Group 1)
Aidan O'Brien has claimed this race a couple of times in recent years and Magical Dream makes a quick reappearance having won a Group 3 at the Curragh last Sunday. Compatriot My Special J'S was below par on that occasion but had beaten the Ballydoyle filly when landing a Group 2 race before that. Bill Muir has a nice filly in Purr Along who found only Certify too good in the May Hill last time but is an unknown in soft ground. Agent Allison handled the testing ground in the Albany at Ascot back in June when runner-up to the ill-fated Newfangled but today's longer trip is the worry for her and PEACE BURG is fancied to come up trumps for the home team. Jacques Heloury's unbeaten filly has recent verdicts over Alterite, Flotilla and Meri Shika and won a Group 3 over a mile in soft ground at Chantilly last month. Stablemates Topaze Blanche and Silasol are untried at this level but worth a second glance in the betting.
14:05 : Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Group 1)
OLYMPIC GLORY could prove the one to beat. Richard Hannon's colt had won the Superlative at Newmarket in heavy ground before following up with victory in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last time when Maxentius was well beaten. Today's rivals will all need to improve to lower his colours in this. Tha'ir has been placed in Group company the last twice but genuinely soft ground will be a new experience and What A Name makes more appeal having beating Avantage in a Group 3 affair over C&D last month. Indian Jade doesn't look good enough and Snowday finished behind runner-up George Vancouver in the Prix Morny at Deauville in August.The latter's latest defeat by Leitir Mor gives him something to find with stablemate Pedro The Great who showed massive improvement to win the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on his latest start. He's an obvious threat if running up to that level
14:40 : Prix De L'Opera (Fillies' Group 1)
IZZI TOP just failed to catch the superb Snow Fairy at Deauville last time but had the Group 1 winners and today's rivals Galikova and Giofra behind. Soft going won't be a problem judged on her earlier victory in testing ground when landing the Pretty Polly at the Curragh and John Gosden's filly gets the vote as the headstrong Manieree should set a decent pace. Giofra may finish closer this time and looks the main danger and Pirika should go well having beaten Sagawara and Sydarra when runner-up in the Prix Vermeille. Ridasiyna and Leaupartie are closely matched on recent running and Roger Varian won this with Nahrain last year but Ambivalent has a tough task today. The Italian mare, Quiza Quiza Quiza, will be suited by conditions and could surprise a few at likely big odds.
15:25 : Qatar Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe (Group 1)
This year's renewal of the great race has lost some of its lustre with high profile absentees Snow Fairy, Danedream and Nathaniel but connections of the remainder won't be complaining. Sea Moon is tough and consistent but has come up short in previous attempts at this level including last year's Breeders' Cup Turf when beaten by St Nicholas Abbey. The latter's recent defeats by Danedream, Frankel and Snow Fairy are nothing to be ashamed of and he's preferred to stablemate Camelot. The dual Derby winner came up short in the St Leger last time and will be taking on horses of this calibre for the first time today. Meandre could only manage sixth in last year's running and was comprehensively outpointed by ORFEVRE in the Prix Foy trial over C&D three weeks ago. Japan's star racehorse is a multiple Group 1 winner, acts on soft ground and with Christophe Soumillon doing the steering, he ticks all the boxes. Horses in fine form coming into the race include a couple of fillies in dual Group 1 winner Shareta and July's Irish Oaks winner Great Heavens. Masterstroke has plenty to find on the bare form but is trained by Andre Fabre and likely to be capable of much better while French Derby winner Saonois beat Bayrir in last month's Prix Niel trial and is another to consider.
16:55 : Qatar Prix De La Foret (Group 1)
Starspangledbanner won the July Cup in 2010 and was having only his second outing since when runner-up at the Curragh last month. He should stay this longer trip and will be in the firing-line if doing so. Mashoora won a Group 3 over C&D but couldn't cope with Elusive Kate in the Prix Rothschild last time. She should figure along with the progressive Blue Soave who won his first Group race over track and trip on his latest start. Gordon Lord Byron will appreciate the return to 7f having been caught close home by Society Rock in a Group 1 sprint last time and Penitent has every chance if on one of his going days. However, in a wide-open contest Uwe Stoltefuss looks to have laid out SOMMERABEND for this having run well on his belated seasonal return behind Blue Soave here last month. A repeat of last year's second to Cityscape at Saint-Cloud should see him go very close.
17:25 : Qatar Prix Du Cadran (Group 1)
Ascot Gold Cup hero Colour Vision is weighted to reverse later Goodwood Cup form with SADDLER'S ROCK but whether he'll handle today's ground as well as John Oxx's charge is another matter. The latter should return to something like his best in the soft going and gets the nod. Admirable veteran Kasbah Bliss finally won this event last year and is not easily overlooked this time around while High Jinx is rapidly improving and looks another to consider. Miss Lago had a few of these behind when runner-up over 2m here three weeks ago but it would be no surprise if both Vadamar and Lone Ranger reverse running while smart hurdler Nikita Du Berlais is interesting making her belated debut on the Flat.