- Only eight horses will contest the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, and that's the smallest field in 60 years. Hurricane Run seeks to defend his title, but Timeform's Chris Williamsn told Guardian Unlimited that he "faces an uphill task."
This year Hurricane Run has generally been below the form of his Arc win," says Williams. "But if he is at his best, and with Deep Impact and Shirocco in there, this could turn out to be a very good Arc. On average with our ratings you need a 136-137 horse to win the race," added Williams. This year Timeform have Deep Impact top-rated on 135, followed by Hurricane Run (134) and Shirocco (133), with the potential of more to come from Japan's superstar.Deep Impact's trainer Yasuo Ikee used an interesting metaphor in describing his horse's chance.
"We have been really impressed with Deep Impact," says Williams. "The form lines suggest he can beat the Fabre pair. Deep Impact was not at his best when suffering his only defeat behind Heart's Cry at the end of last year, and that is not the line to take," reasons Williams, referring to the form shown since by Heart's Cry when he was beaten a length by Hurricane Run in the King George at Ascot. [Guardian Unlimited]
"I compare my feelings about him now to that of Miyamoto Musashi, one of the greatest Japanese swordsmen, who lived in the 17th century," he explained.One horse who seems to be gathering an undercurrent of support is Andre Fabre's three-year old Rail Link. He comes out of a win in the Prix Niel, a race which, according to the Guardian piece, has produced six out of the last nine Arc winners. It was the 4th straight win for this son of Dansili (Danehill). "We live in hope with only eight runners so theoretically he should have a one in eight chance..." said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah.
"We don't need to sharpen this great sword any more. I just put it back in the sheath and wait for the raceday so that he will be able to run the race of his life." [Sporting Life]
Here's the odds quoted on Friday by Ladbroke:
Ladbrokes bookmaker listed Hurricane Run as 5/2 favorite Friday, with Deep Impact and Shirocco tied at 11/4, and Rail Link at 7/1.
St.Leger winner Sixties Icon carries British hopes at 12/1; Alain de Royer-Dupre's filly, Pride, is perhaps the best value at 8/1; French Derby runner-up Best Name is 40/1, and Irish Wells completes the field at the long odds of 50/1.[International Herald Tribune]