It's Sottsass for our man in Sunday's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and he has one other bet on the ParisLongchamp card.
FOR the second year running, a deluge in Paris has ensured that testing conditions will prevail for Sunday's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in which the hugely popular Enable bids for an unprecedented third victory in Europe's most prestigious all-aged middle-distance horse race.
Cloying conditions may well have contributed to the wonder-mare's defeat by Waldgeist 12 months ago, but other questions now surround whether she is just as good at the age of six and, from a punting point of view therefore, whether she represents value at her cramped odds.
It is hard to assess Enable's form this season as she faced simple tasks in both the King George and September Stakes, and almost certainly needed the run when beaten by Ghaiyyath first time out in the Coral-Eclipse in which several inferior performers were not too far behind her at the finish.
One thing's for sure, John Gosden will have her in the best possible shape for this career swan-song whereas it's possible she was slightly off-colour last year when, uncharacteristically, playing up in the preliminaries. Moreover, Frankie Dettori may have been a bit too aggressive early on, making ground up the hill on the far side as Ghaiyyath, who went far too fast, threatened to dominate the race.
Ultimately, she just emptied in the last half furlong finishing a length and a three-quarters ahead of third placed Sottsass with Japan in fourth.
The latter has seemed out of sorts in his last two runs but there is every reason to believe that SOTTSASS is hitting form at the right time after a season's best performance in last month's classy Irish Champion Stakes in which he narrowly failed to take third behind Magical and Ghaiyyath over a mile-and-a-quarter.
Hitherto, Jean-Claude Rouget's 2019 French Derby winner had looked a little becalmed this term but it was a much better effort at Leopardstown and one that, if he can build upon, will see Christian Demuro's mount give Enable most to do now returning to a mile and a half.
Hearts may rule the heads of many punters, and I for one would love to see Enable make racing history, but the odds suggest Sottsass is the value given his form profile and the fact he was less than two lengths behind the favourite 12 months ago.
Of the others, Mogul may well prove best of the Aidan O'Brien-trained runners after a sweeping victory in a fast-run Grand Prix de Paris on Arc Trials Day in which he made rapid headway from the rear and put up easily the performance of his career.
The son of Galileo, a full brother to Japan, looks to be on the up even though his previous form this season amongst a generally poor three-year-old middle-distance crop wouldn't entitle him to win. The going is an unknown but most of his brilliant sire’s progeny go on anything.
Ground conditions would have been regarded as unsuitable for Stradivarius but for a wide-margin Gold Cup win in the soft at Royal Ascot in June, and his recent defeat by Anthony Van Dyck in the Prix Foy can be ignored as the pace was unsuitably pedestrian.
The star stayer's stamina could well come into play in the closing stages though it's a guess whether he will be good enough to earn anything better than a place.
Later on, ONE MASTER is fancied to repeat last year's win in the Qatar Prix de la Foret.
The William Haggas-trained mare found the course, distance and conditions very much to her liking when beating City Light 12 months ago and, while the fourth-placed Safe Voyage turned the tables on her in the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes at York in August, I suspect it will be a different story now.
At York, the admirable Safe Voyage was given an excellent front-running ride by Jason Hart on a course that often suits such tactics whereas One Master had to briefly wait for a run.
A good second since behind high-class three-year-old Wichita in the Park Stakes at Doncaster, the selection should be spot on for a race which will have been her target all season.
The smart French colt Earthlight boasts a fine career record but proved slightly disappointing behind Space Blues in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in August since when he justified short-priced favouritism at Group Three level over this course and distance.
Preview posted at 1330 BST on 03/10/2020