Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runners: A pinstickers’ guide
Verdict on all the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runners 2023
The eyes of the racing world will be on Paris on Sunday and PA Media’s Adam Morgan gives us his verdict on all the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runners hoping to win the biggest race in Europe.
Fifteen horses go to post in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2023 and each has been given a rating out of 10 before the prediction of the most likely winner.
SISFAHAN (Henk Grewe) Rating (out of 10) 3
German challenger who has some smart placed form in the book from earlier in the summer, but was well held most recently and could prove up against it.
HAYA ZARK (Adrien Fouassier) 2
A Group Three course-and-distance victory in May is the highlight of this four-year-old’s season, but has disappointed twice since and is yet to show he is up to winning a race of this quality.
ONESTO (Fabrice Chappet) 5
A proven Group One performer who has only been seen twice this season and was well held at Leopardstown earlier this month. He was only 10th when arriving at this race quietly fancied as a three-year-old, but it would be foolish to completely dismiss this versatile performer in an open renewal.
SIMCA MILLE (Stephane Wattel) 7
Thriving four-year-old who won the Prix Niel over track and trip last season and broke his Group One duck in the Grosser Preis von Berlin last time. He now bids for a hat-trick and ticks plenty of boxes.
BAY BRIDGE (Sir Michael Stoute) 10
Sir Michael Stoute has only one Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe triumph on his CV but has a fine chance of adding to his tally with last year’s Champion Stakes scorer who made a winning step up to a mile and a half in calm waters at Kempton last time. He will enjoy the underfoot conditions and is a top-quality operator unexposed at this trip.
WESTOVER (Ralph Beckett) 8
Although a Classic winner at three, he has taken his form to the next level this season and has a great chance of bettering last year’s sixth. Second to Hukum in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in the summer, he has been kept fresh by his thriving training team ahead of this shot at Arc glory.
HUKUM (Owen Burrows) 7
Has been at the peak of his powers this season, lowering the colours of Desert Crown before outbattling Westover to win the King George at Ascot. Another to be kept fresh but jockey Jim Crowley will have to combat an unkind draw of stall 14 in the French capital.
PLACE DU CARROUSEL (Andre Fabre) 8
Winner of the Prix de l’Opera on Arc day last year, she had no problems with the step up to 12 furlongs when winning the Prix Foy at ParisLongchamp most recently. That was her second successive victory and she could just be coming to the boil for a handler with a fine record in this famous contest.
THROUGH SEVEN SEAS (Tomohito Ozeki) 6
Japanese raider who bids to end her nation’s long wait for an Arc victory. She gave the all-conquering Equinox a scare when second in the Takarazuka Kinen in June, but soft ground and European opposition presents a new challenge.
FREE WIND (John and Thady Gosden) 7
The final ride for Frankie Dettori in the race, this talented filly is a more than capable performer on her day. She will enjoy conditions and came within a head of striking at Group One level for the first time in the Yorkshire Oaks.
MR HOLLYWOOD (Henk Grewe) 6
German Derby runner-up who also finished second in the Grosser Preis von Baden in his latest outing. Rates the pick of his handler’s two runners in the race.
FEED THE FLAME (Pascal Bary) 7
French Derby fourth who was a ready winner of the Grand Prix de Paris over track and trip earlier in the summer before finishing second in the Prix Niel. He lost little in defeat then and connections hold this talented Kingman colt in the highest regard.
ACE IMPACT (Jean-Claude Rouget) 9
Unbeaten Cracksman colt who has carried all before him so far, impressing with a devastating display in the French Derby in June. Tuned up for his Arc challenge with a cosy victory at Deauville in August, and with the second half of his season centred around this contest, the big-race favourite is sure to be fully primed.
FANTASTIC MOON (Sarah Steinberg) 7
German Derby winner who followed a Group One second at Munich in the summer by taking the Prix Niel most recently. That likeable performance over course and distance proved persuasive enough to convince connections to supplement the Sea The Moon colt for the race and he will be ridden by Rene Piechulek, who has previously won the Arc aboard Torquator Tasso.
CONTINUOUS (Aidan O’Brien) 8
St Leger scorer who has gone from strength to strength this season and is the sole representative of Aidan O’Brien. Supplemented after making a convincing case when scooping Classic success at Doncaster, the Heart’s Cry colt has all the qualities to make his mark on the Bois de Boulogne.
In an open-looking year, a lot could depend on how the three-year-old colts perform, with French Derby hero Ace Impact and Grand Prix de Paris scorer Feed The Flame both looking high-class individuals that give the home team a strong hand.
St Leger champion Continuous is another of the Classic crop who appears to have plenty of the attributes required to make his mark in this race while it is hard to discount German Derby scorer Fantastic Moon judged on his display in the Prix Niel.
Hukum and Westover have been at the peak of their powers this term, although the draw limits the chances of the duo recommencing their Ascot battle in the closing stages of this. However, slight preference is for BAY BRIDGE, who had no problem with the move up to a mile and a half when winning the September Stakes in easy fashion in preparation for this.
Of course, this is a much stiffer assignment, but Sir Michael Stoute’s charge is proven at the highest level and it speaks volumes that connections are rolling the dice rather than prioritising a defence of his Champion Stakes crown.
French-trained pair Simca Mille and Place Du Carrousel offer the most value of those at longer odds.
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