Monday 11 December 2017

Eagle to take flight in the Arc

With a nice draw, Weld's horse can certainly be in Arc top three as longer trip will suit

Free Eagle - Pat Smullen wins from The Grey Gatsby - Jamie Spencer
The Prince of Wales?s Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Royal Ascot 17/6/2015
Free Eagle - Pat Smullen wins from The Grey Gatsby - Jamie Spencer The Prince of Wales?s Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Royal Ascot 17/6/2015 ?cranhamphoto.com

It's an action-packed weekend of racing and sport in general but so much of the equine focus will surround Paris on Sunday where the sensational race mare Treve will look to create history and win her third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

After a very impressive success on her most recent start, Treve truly justified her place at the head of the betting for Sunday's race all the way through the ante-post market and the only two concerns that now remain are the drying ground and the draw.

With 18 likely runners in the race the draw will be a factor but just as important is the ground as she is definitely a filly who doesn't like it when it gets too quick underneath and like ourselves, Paris have had very little rain of late.

The French Derby winner New Bay and the Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn also feature in a high class renewal and while so many onlookers will be roaring on Treve as she bids to rewrite the record books, from a betting point of view, it's hard not to be enticed by Dermot Weld's Free Eagle at 14/1.

Maybe a shade unlucky in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last month, there is little doubt that Golden Horn was the best horse on the day, but there isn't a massive amount between them. Yet their price certainly varies, with Golden Horn a 9/2 shot.

The step-up in trip will probably be a big plus for Free Eagle while his Champion Stakes run came after a decent break so there may also be some improvement there. With a nice draw, he could certainly be in the first three for a master trainer and one of the finest jockeys around in Pat Smullen.

Sticking with France and while there is rain forecast over the weekend, it does appear that Sole Power is going to get his chance to run on nicer ground than his previous four attempts in the Prix de l'Abbaye and maybe he's an option for an each-way double with Free Eagle. The ground is likely to be a negative for favourite Meccas Angel and it may be a case that the other Irish raider. Maarek, proves value at 12/1. A very difficult race to call which so often comes down to who gets the most luck in running. Of the English raiders Muthmir appears the pick.

The Irish Oaks winner Covert Love will renew her rivalry with Pleascach in the Prix de l'Opera, with the Jim Bolger-trained and Godolphin-owned filly looks to be the best bet of the Irish going over to Paris on Sund ay.

Gordon Lord Byron will look to win the Prix de la Foret for a second time, but we look to have a worthy favourite in Limato and it's a former Irish-trained contender, Custom Cut, who looks a shade over-priced for David O'Meara at 10/1.

Of course, it could be a major weekend for Irish raiders in France with Clondaw Warrior looking to continue his rise up the ranks in the Prix Du Cadran and you can never discount anything Willie Mullins sends out in any sphere.

Meanwhile, tomorrow at Newmarket there is Group One action in the Sun Chariot Stakes in which Integral is picked to return to winning ways for Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore.

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