The 2020 Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe takes place on Sunday 4 October, when the winner will pick up a cool 1.89 Million Euros. Europe’s riches Group 1 race has attracted 15 entries, with the ante-post favourite Love a late defector because of the very soft ground.
In Love’s absence, Enable has been installed as the favourite to become the first horse to win the race three times. She just failed last year, when she was outstayed in similar conditions by Waldgeist. The question is, is there a horse in this year’s field that will deny her in the shadows of the post.
If you’re looking for a stayer, then three-time Ascot Gold Cup winner Stradivarius fits the bill. John Gosden has always been adamant that his 5-year-old hates soft ground, but he hacked up on it in this year’s Gold Cup. The problem with that is his opposition in staying races are barely better than handicappers at present, and he may lack the gears to win this from stall-14.
Aidan O’Brien has won the Arc twice but, while that would be monumental by most trainer’s standards, it’s no great shakes by his. He sets punters a real poser with four runners here, especially with an unusual variety of jockey bookings.
Ryan Moore jumps aboard Mogul, who was impressive over course and distance last time, but very soft conditions are unknown for him.
Behind him in fourth that day was Serpentine, who has recently been supplemented for a serious amount of money. He was hammered on his racecourse debut on soft but looks the stable’s second string with Christophe Soumillon in the saddle.
O’Brien’s quartet are completed by Japan and Sovereign, who are ridden by Yutaka Taka and Mikel Barzalona, but both are hard to fancy on this year’s form.
Persian King is the highest-rated French runner on a mark of 123 but, while he is 3 from 3 at Longchamp, the jury is out as to whether he will stay 12-furlongs. Sottsass looks the only other serious rival and he may well hit the frame for the second year running from stall-4.
Enable has also been handed an excellent draw in stall-5 and Frankie Dettori looks sure to adopt his usual position just behind the leaders before kicking clear of the field rounding the bend. It’s just a case of whether she can hold on this year, but I don’t see any of her rivals producing a Waldgeist-esq finish.
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