It would be very difficult to oppose Postponed, the 7/4 favourite in the Arc betting, off level weights but the generous 8lb allowance for three-year-olds makes a look at his younger rivals worthwhile (3.05pm Sunday, Chantilly).
Seven of the past ten Arc winners have been beneficiaries of that allowance and there may well be another one this year.
Hopes for a first Arc victory by a Japanese-trained horse lie with Makahiki (6/1). This three-year-old is looking to outperform his sire, Deep Impact, who finished third in the Arc ten years ago but was later disqualified. Makahiki has only one top level win on his CV but has had the benefit of a prep run over course and distance. He beat Sir Michael Stoute’s Midterm a neck ‘a shade cosily’ in the Prix Niel in early September under Christophe-Patrice Lemaire but Midterm is no superstar, currently rated 109.
Lemaire has won both his starts on this colt in Japan too but Makahiki is going to have to step up significantly to maintain his 100% success rate under Lemaire in this field.
If the Arc betting market is any indicator Ireland’s strongest chance lies with the Epsom and Irish Derby winner Harzand (8/1). This three-year-old son of Sea The Stars put together a string of four victories this season and did not let a bruised foot stop him winning at Epsom where he beat US Army Ranger a length and a half. He got the better of another Ballydoyle inmate, Idaho at The Curragh. Last time out in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown he had an excuse for being a well beaten favourite, he was struck into behind and had a wound that threatened his participation here.
Trained by Dermot Weld (pictured), this colt has won despite encountering physical problems that would have stopped a lesser light in the past. His jockey Pat Smullen reported that Harzand had fully recovered from his Champion Stakes injury and was in ‘tremendous form’. Smullen’s only concern is the quick conditions in prospect as Harzand is generally considered to be at his most effective with give in the ground.
Another interesting young contender is Left Hand (22/1). This daughter of Dubawi is the only three-year-old filly in the line-up and benefits from an additional 3lb gender allowance. Her trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias saddled the 2012 Arc winner Solemia, a 33/1 outsider for Left Hand’s owners, the Wertheimers. Left Hand first showed her quality when starting at 50/1 and finishing as the runner-up beaten only half a length by Jean-Claude Rouget’s star filly, La Cressonniere, in the Prix Diane in mid June. That was over a mile and a quarter on soft and she did not help herself by stretching Maxime Guyon’s arms early on.
Left Hand then went on to win a Group 3 at Deauville over the same distance on a decent surface at the end of July. In her most recent outing she took the Group 1 Prix Vermeille for fillies and mares over course and distance beating Charlie Appleby’s Endless Time half a length. This filly obviously enjoyed the step up in trip and looks progressive. Left Hand will be racing against colts for the first time but has to be interesting as an each-way prospect.
Aidan O’Brien won the Arc with the four-year-old, Dylan Thomas in 2007 and has some interesting older horses this time. The most appealing of his runners is the four-year-old filly Found (7/1) who beat Golden Horn, the 2015 Arc winner, in the Breeders’ Cup in October. She has finished second in her last five starts in Group 1s but all bar one of them was on softish ground. She started as the favourite on her only encounter of quick conditions in the Yorkshire Oaks but O’Brien admitted that she might well need the run after having had a short break. Her trainer was right and she was beaten by her less fancied stablemate Seventh Heaven.
Last time out Found was beaten less than a length by Almanzor in the Irish Champion Stakes and had New Bay (12/1) four lengths behind her in fourth. New Bay should not be written off on the basis of that effort though as he was the only horse to place who raced prominently. Found is the choice of Ryan Moore and should enjoy the good ground in prospect.
Our Preview’s Arc Betting Tips’ Verdict
The four-year-old Postponed is the horse that they will all have to beat on form and his prospects have been boosted by a perfect draw from stall seven but we have to take a chance with one of his younger rivals.
- Left Hand is an interesting each-way prospect at her current price but our preference is for a colt with much stronger credentials. Derby form should not be underestimated and HARZAND has even managed to win when physically damaged. Drawn in stall six he is well placed to keep tabs on Postponed and Harzand should be backed each-way at 8/1 best odds with Betfred or William Hill.
- Compare the latest big-race betting with our Arc odds comparison table.