Olympic can claim Moulin gold
Man On The Spot previews the pick of Sunday's international action from Longchamp and Woodbine.
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UK sprinters have enjoyed plenty of success in this over the years and Robert Cowell has trained the last two winners. Victory Laurel makes his debut for the latter today and the Group 3 winner in Italy is worth noting. Riskit Fora Biskit had Mirza behind when scoring at Deauville last month and may figure but this year's renewal should stay at home with CATCALL. He couldn't compete with the likes of Moonlight Cloud in a Group 1 last time but won in similar company over course and distance earlier in the year before running the 110-rated Spirit Quartz close at Chantilly in June.
This usually goes to the home team but Aidan O'Brien won it with Soldier Of Fortune in 2007. He runs Derby winner Ruler Of The World this year and the latter is on something of a recovery mission having flopped in the Irish equivalent back in June. He takes on a strong contingent of Andre Fabre representatives here led by FLINTSHIRE. The latter beat stablemate Ocovango and Max Dynamite in a Group 1 over track and trip in July and will cement his standing at the head of the current Arc betting if landing this. Triple Threat and Vancouverite are other Fabre runners with Group 2 victories to their credit but the Japanese entry Kizuna is of more interest having won at the highest level in Tokyo in May.
It was 10 years ago when Darasim last won this for a UK raider but AIKEN can put that right. He was fancied to make a winning reappearance in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury last month but that proved beyond him though last year's second to Rite Of Passage over 2m at Ascot gives him every chance here. John Gosden's charge can reverse latest running with Genzy and could also be too good for Domeside, who beat Les Beaufs over track and trip earlier in the year. Dance Moves and Gaterie will no doubt lay down another strong challenge for the Fabre team but it's doubtful the veteran Kasbah Bliss can relive former glories having won this twice in the last decade.
The unbeaten TREVE will be all the rage for this having won the French Oaks in fine style at Chantilly in June. Her price for the Arc won't last long if, as expected, she proves as effective over today's longer trip with Frankie taking over the reins. The Cecil yard won this in 2010 with the brilliant Midday but Wild Coco has yet to prove she's in that class and the Ballydoyle filly Venus De Milo makes more appeal after a second to The Fugue in the Yorkshire Oaks. Andre Fabre is once again mob handed with Romantica and Tasaday preferred of his four runners while the German Oaks winner Penelopa can be given a chance on her defeat of Secret Gesture in Dusseldorf.
Japanese star ORFEVRE is back for another crack at the Arc. He landed the odds in this race last year before an agonising loss in the big one and Christophe Soumillon will be alert for any sign of his mount's quirky habits. Stellar Wind is another Japanese challenger and we'll discover more about him today while Dunaden is a high-class horse who found only Novellist, a leading fancy for the Arc, too good at Saint -Cloud last time and he's more reliable than Camelot. The latter was no match for Al Kazeem on his last couple of outings while Mandour looks best of the rest on his defeat of Asfare at Sandown in July.
The exceptional Moonlight Cloud won this last year and OLYMPIC GLORY just failed to catch the former in the Jacques Le Marois at Deauville last month. Richard Hannon's colt can take revenge on Style Vendome for an earlier defeat as the latter has since found today's other Hannon runner, Havana Gold, too good in the Prix Jean Prat. Flotilla looks a bigger threat as she didn't stay in the French Oaks last time but won the French 1000 Guineas before that but Group 1 winner Maxios will find today's trip on the short side. Gale Force Ten looks up against it unless rediscovering his early season form that saw him go close to catching Style Vendome in the French 2000 Guineas before winning the Jersey Stakes.
Solid Appeal never figured behind Dank over a longer trip at Arlington last time but she won a Grade 2 over track and trip before that. She beat both No Explaining and Moment Of Majesty on that occasion and is preferred to Minakshi but Richard Fahey may well land a famous double. He won this last year with Listed winner Barefoot Lady and this year's representative, LADYS FIRST, dead-heated for first place with Integral in a Group 3 at Sandown last month. She may just be good enough to land this.
A bit disappointing to see no UK interest given the last three renewals have gone to English raiders. Still, there is an indirect link to the likely winner as FORTE DEI MARMI was a smart winning handicapper for Luca Cumani when trained at Newmarket. He's developed into a Grade 2 winner under Roger Attfield's tutelage and beat Hampstead Heath over track and trip last time with another three of these further behind. That leaves Stormy Len looking the main danger to him picking up his first Grade 1 after the latter made the frame in the Secretariat in Chigaco last time.
Trade Storm finished a creditable second to Asfare in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood last month. David Simcock's charge may well have the beating of Za Approval and the rest of today's field but will do well to get near the likely odds-on favourite WISE DAN. The latter won this last year before going on to land the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita, where he beat the likes of Animal Kingdom and Excelebration, and it's difficult to see anything getting the better of him this time round.