The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is Europe’s richest and most prestigious Flat race. It’s the one all trainers, owners and jockeys dream of winning.
This year’s renewal looks a cracker, with Jean-Claude Rouget’s three-year-old Ace Impact currently heading the market for the ‘home team’ – however, I think there’s plenty of antepost value about a pair of British horses who can go to Longchamp on October 1 with a good chance.
Ace Impact is a worthy favourite for the Arc. The son of Cracksman is 5-5 since making his debut in January and heads to Longchamp on the back of what I thought was a pleasing prep run at Deauville in the middle of August.
However, he’s plenty short enough (7/2) at time of writing. Certainly in a race like this, that’s often on deep ground – especially on your first attempt over further than 1m2½f.
One who’s been there and done it at this level, over the trip, in all conditions, is Ralph Beckett’s WESTOVER.
The four-year-old son of Frankel, who was sixth in the Arc last year, was narrowly beaten by Hukum in the King George at Ascot in late July. Keen early on and wide throughout, there’s reason to believe he can reverse form with Owen Burrows’ six-year-old, who enjoyed a dream trip, if he lines up.
The selection is in the form of his life and still improving. He likes cut in the ground – although connections have warned his participation is doubtful if it comes up heavy like last year – and will be nice and fresh on the day.
Westover has had a few near misses in some of the biggest Flat races on the calendar, but he looks closer than ever to his crowning moment.
I’m putting a lot of faith in that King George form, for my second antepost tip ahead of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2023 is LUXEMBOURG for Aidan O’Brien.
He was seventh, just a short neck behind Westover, in the race last year when, after meeting trouble in running, it was reported he pulled a muscle in his hip. Since then, he’s won the G1 Tatterstalls Gold Cup and finished second to Juddmonte International hero Mostahdaf in the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot before his fourth in the King George.
It’s been a great campaign for the son of Camelot, and it looks likely the Arc is his final assignment.
Aidan has already earmarked the QEII on Champions Day for Paddington, which means Auguste Rodin could take in the Champion Stakes. Therefore, his three main hopes for the Arc would likely be Luxembourg, Savethelastdance and Adelaide River.
Who would Ryan Moore ride in that case? I’m sure ground/draw will play a part, but it would be no shock to see him pick the selection. Not for me anyway.
Given he’s already 12/1 with some other bookies, Luxembourg is likely to be much shorter than his current price on the day – and even shorter if Ryan is indeed on board.