There has been some great horse racing over the past few weekends, but few weekends come bigger than Arc weekend, and punters can look forward to a plethora of top-class action from Longchamp on both Saturday and Sunday.
Flat race fans also get a second brilliant instalment of high-quality action from Newmarket on Saturday, whilst jumps fans can look forward to the seasonal debut of the effervescent 12-year-old Sizing Europe as he returns at Gowran Park.
Last weekend’s blog produced another 3 winners from just 6 horse racing tips, and hopefully this weekend’s tips will produce more of the same.
Arc De Triomphe (Sunday)
The world’s most cosmopolitan race has attracted most of the world’s top-rated middle-distance horses to Longchamp, and only the likes of the Champions Day bound Australia and Free Eagle are missing. Oaks and King George heroine Taghrooda heads the ante-post market at around 5/1 but the likes of Ectot, Just A Way, Avenir Certain and last year’s winner Treve may all challenge her position come Sunday.
Some brilliant racehorses have won this in recent years and one statistic worth considering is the dominance of 3-year-olds who have won 8 of the last 11 and 16 of the last 20 renewals. This year that group comprises French 1,000 Guineas and Oaks winner Avenir Certain, Taghrooda, Ectot, St. Leger winner Kingston Hill and Japanese 1,000 Guineas winner Harp Star, and the quintet isn’t easy to narrow down. However, this may be one race too many for Taghrooda after her Yorkshire Oaks defeat, and Kingston Hill may just lack the tactical pace and the killer turn of speed usually needed to win this. Meanwhile the Japanese are yet to strike in the Arc despite sending some of their best horses over, though they’ve come close. That leaves us with the two French horses and, as the French have won 7 of the last 11 renewals, it may to back them both as they’re hard to separate and both have the class required to get their heads in front where it matters.
Avenir Certain 7/1
Prix De Labbaye (Sunday)
Tiggy Wiggy’s defection leaves undisputed 5-furlong sprinting champion Sole Power at the head of the market, however his hold-up style means he is a real hostage-to-chance in a field where a being up with the pace is usually an advantage. Meanwhile, Stepper Point, who has chased home Sole Power twice this year, loves being handy. His last placed finish in the 2013 renewal tempers enthusiasm slightly but he has been in much better and more consistent form this time around.
Stepper Point 8/1 each-way
Sun Chariot Stakes, Newmarket (Saturday)
This Group One fillies race would grace any race-card in the world such is the array of equine talent on display. A quick look at the stats show that 3-year-olds and older horses have each won five of the last ten renewals, whilst French horses have won 4 of the last 5, be it Saphresa won three of them. This year’s renewal sees classy four-year-olds Esoterique, Integral, Sky Lantern and Thawaany take on some quality 3-year-olds in the shape of Andre Fabre’s Fintry and Miss France. Any of them could win but, at the prices, last year’s winner Sky Lantern looks worth an each-way punt.
Sky Lantern each-way 8/1
There’s so much quality racing to watch this weekend that it’s difficult to know how wide to spread your staking plan, but The Wow Signal (Prix jean), Gordon Lord Byron (Prix De La Foret) and Agnes Stewart (Prix De Marcel Boussac) also warrant an interest.
The Wow Signal SP
Gordon Lord Byron SP
Agnes Stewart SP