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Thursday 24 August 2017

Gosden claims for first Arc look strong as his filly can be best

Win this year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and you'll have truly earned it.

A few big names may be missing, but Europe's leading staying race is nothing if not competitive this year and John Gosden's Taghrooda could well follow in the illustrious hoof prints of her sire Sea The Stars, who famously won the race back in 2009.

Taghrooda waltzed through her first four starts unbeaten, including winning the Epsom Oaks on just her third ever racecourse appearance, and is undoubtedly well above average, but she met with a stumbling block in the Yorkshire Oaks when falling to Aidan O'Brien's Tapestry.

Tapestry has now entered the Arc equation through the back-door after being supplemented yesterday but after their meeting at York Taghrooda was found to be coming into season and once she's in the full of her health on Sunday she will take a bit of beating and should provide Gosden with his first win in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

It is definitely not a done deal, however, considering the array of talent taking part. Kingston Hill is a Classic winner who will relish the rain that is forecast on Sunday morning around Paris.

Many will keep the faith with Tapestry after connections paid €120,000 yesterday, but at 20/1 don't rule out a big run from O'Brien's other runner Chicquita who is a recommended each-way bet with Joseph O'Brien set to be onboard.

Sea The Moon's conqueror, Ivanhowe, brings a good level of form to the table but the unbeaten filly Avenir Certain and the Prix Niel winner Ectot are sure to be there at the business end.

Elsewhere at Longchamp, the time has come for Sole Power to show France just how good he is. The Group One action on Arc day kicks off with the Prix de l'Abbaye and it will be Sole Power's fourth consecutive year to run in the race. Having done so with credit previously, he looks to be in the form of his life this season and should put his head in front.

Lynam's Agnes Stewart impressed when winning the May Hill at Doncaster last month and she is set to line-up in the Prix Marcel Boussac where she'll face Jack Naylor again, who came out on top in their previous contest at Leopardstown back in July.

If either can finish in front of the Aga Khan-owned Ervedya, it should be enough to win the race, but the French filly is selected to oblige.

Ervedya ran well behind The Wow Signal in the Prix Morny and John Quinn's stable star The Wow Signal undoubtedly sets the standard in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.

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