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Friday, September 29, 2006

Arc Notes - Living in Hope

- 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.

"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]
Deep Impact's trainer Yasuo Ikee used an interesting metaphor in describing his horse's chance.
"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.

"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]
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.

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]

2 Comments:

Walter said...

While it may be true that 6 of the last 9 Arc winners emerged from the Prix Niel, i don't think anyone will confuse Rail Link with that group. I can only go back 5 years or so (as far as following the Arc), but here are the recent winners: Hurricane Run, Bago, Dalakhani, Marienbard, Sakhee. The longest shot out of that group was Marienbard, a very accomplished 5yo who had been running in Germany for Godolphin. Sakhee was a big favorite, and ran like it, winning by 6 lengths or so before coming to America for the BC Classic and nearly winning that one too (lost by a nose to Tiznow). Dalakhani was a strong favorite for the Aga Khan, and i believe he retired unbeaten after winning the race. I'm pretty sure Hurricane Run went favored last year, and Bago went off at a bit of a price only because he had fallen off form during the summer. He was well-known as the European 2yo champ, and subsquent French Derby winner (over Cacique, i believe). So just going by recent history, the Arc winner is generally a "name brand" who goes off at a reasonably short price.

Walter said...

Just looking over Saturday's entries, and it seems Discreet Cat will face 5 opponents in the Jerome (at least before scratches).

Also, i got a look at the "American" morning line for the Arc. Shirocco is listed as the 8/5 favorite, with Deep Impact @ 5/2 and Hurricane Run @ 7/2.