Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe preview: Japan the punt in Paris showpiece

Published on: October 5, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
Our 2019 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe preview from Longchamp includes Japan

Japan looks decent value at 6/1 with William Hill to capture more Group 1 glory in the feature race at Longchamp on Sunday, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (15:05).

This 1m 4f contest is Europe’s richest Flat race and has a prestigious roll of honour.

Three-year-olds have won six of the last 10 renewals, so that’s a plus with regards to the chances of this Aidan O’Brien trained colt.

Epsom Derby third Japan has won five of his eight starts. He was ultra-impressive at Royal Ascot when powering clear to slam Bangkok by 4 1/2 lengths in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes.

Japan then took the step back up into Group 1 company in his stride when readily landing the Grand Prix de Paris over this course and distance by half-a-length from Slalom.

He has since gone in again at the highest level with success in the Juddmonte International over 1m 2f at York.

Jpaan got up close home and gamely beat Crystal Ocean by a head following a titanic tussle between the pair.

Given that Crystal Ocean had previously made Enable pull out all the stops when beaten a neck in the King George at Ascot, the form is strong.

Japan receives a handy 4lb weight-for-age from John Gosden’s wonder mare, who is odds-on for this.

As he’s rated just 6lb below Enable, there is little to choose between the pair. Japan also remains open to more improvement.

So, at the odds on offer, Japan looks worth siding with to provide O’Brien with a third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe success following the victories of Dylan Thomas (2007) and Found (2016).

Enable odds-on for unprecedented third Arc success

The aforementioned Enable is a red-hot 8/11 favourite with Betway to create history and become the first horse to win the race three times.

This five-year-old mare extended her unbeaten run to 12 races when easily landing the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks in August by 2 3/4 lengths from old rival Magical.

That was Enable’s tenth Group/Grade 1 success for her trainer Gosden and owner Khalid Abdullah. She has now amassed an incredible £9,300,000 in prize money during a glittering career.

The daughter of Nathaniel easily beat Cloth Of Stars by 2 3/4 lengths in the 2017 running of this, then grimly hung on and fended off the late challenge of the ill-fated Sea Of Class by a short-neck 12 months ago.

Enable has looked as good as ever this season, landing the Coral-Eclipse and the King George prior to capturing a second Yorkshire Oaks. She has a high cruising speed and potent turn of foot.

As the highest rated in the line-up and undoubtedly one of the best mares ever to grace a racetrack, on form she’s a worthy favourite and the one they all have to beat.

However, whether Enable is entitled to be as short as she is in the betting is another matter.

For that reason alone, she looks worth taking on in what is a top class renewal of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe featuring some unexposed and progressive types.

Ghaiyyath and Sottsass hold claims

The Charlie Appleby trained Ghaiyyath, who can be backed at a standout 12/1 with BetVictor, is surprisingly rated just 1lb below Enable following an impressive 14-length success in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden in Germany.

That was a fifth win from just seven starts for the four-year-old son of Dubawi.

Prior to that, however, he had been firmly put in his place in the Group 1 Prix Ganay over an extended 1m 2f at this venue when a 4 1/2 lengths third to Waldgeist.

This is by far the toughest assignment that the Godolphin owned Ghaiyyath has faced. What he beat in Germany is highly questionable, so it remains to be seen whether he can back that up.

Ghaiyyath has to give a 3lb sex-allowance to Enable, who has by far the stronger form in the book. That is a tough ask – for all that he is unexposed at the trip and open to further improvement.

Jean-Claude Rouget described Sottsass as “exceptional” after his success in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club.

He is 7/1 with Ladbrokes to become the first home-trained winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe since Treve in 2014.

The three-year-old showed a smart turn of foot and readily beat Persian King by two lengths at Chantilly.

Sottsass has since followed-up in the Group 2 Prix Niel over course and distance, where he overcame trouble in-running to score going away by 1 1/4 lengths.

He is clearly thriving and has now won four of his six starts. With more to come, Sottsass looks sure to go well in the hands of regular pilot Cristian Demuro.

Waldgeist the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe each-way value

Top French trainer Andre Fabre has won the race a record seven times. Those successes came courtesy of Trempolino (1987), Subotica (1992), Carnegie (1994), Peintre Celebre (1997), Sagamix (1998), Hurricane Run (2005), and Rail Link (2006).

His sole representative in this year’s renewal is Waldgeist, who finished a fine 1 1/2 lengths fourth of 19 to Enable in this 12 months ago when not getting the clearest of runs.

The five-year-old has looked as good as ever this season in winning two of his four starts. Waldgeist comes into this on the back of an easy two-length success in the Group 2 Prix Foy over course and distance.

Prior to that, he ran a cracker in defeat when keeping on well to finish a two lengths third to Enable in the Group 1 King George at Ascot.

Waldgeist clocked a faster final furlong than the winner, and runner-up Crystal Ocean, so it would be folly to underestimate his chances in this.

He is also a consistent sort who rarely runs a bad race. Waldgeist also posts stronger form on his side of the Channel.

So, at 16/1 with Coral, Waldgeist makes plenty of each-way appeal and completes this 2019 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe betting preview.