The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is only 91 days away! Three months until the main event, and the main competitors are emerging.
On Sunday at Sandown the great mare Enable, winner of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2017 and 2018, and second in 2019, made her seasonal bow in the Eclipse Stakes (Group 1). Naturally lacking a bit of fitness, the filly had to cede victory to Ghaiyyath, at the peak of his form and fitness. They will both head to the ParisLongchamp on the 4th October. Ghaiyyath finished 10th in the 2019 running of the race.
On Saturday, the best 3-year-old colts and fillies in Great Britain and Ireland lined up at Epsom for the two British Classics. Love was sensational when winning the Oaks by 9 lengths. This is the race in which Enable exploded onto the scene in 2017, and Love ran even faster than she did! The Coolmore filly is now favourite for the Parisan target. Serpentine was the winner of the colt’s equivalent for the same connections. Aidan O’Brien, his trainer, hinted that the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has not been ruled out as a target.
The stayer Stradivarius
The great English stayer Stradivarius, who won his third Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on the 18th June, is also eagerly awaited at ParisLongchamp on the 4th October. His owner, Bjorn Nielsen, commented: “The last two years, we ran in the Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup, three weeks later. That won’t be the case this year. The plan is to go to the Goodwood Cup and then give him a break… And then run in a prep race for the Arc de Triomphe, maybe the Foy. If that doesn’t work out, Champions Day at Ascot [the Long Distance Cup, Gr2], or a race such as the Prix du Cadran. »
Fancy Blue and Mishriff: why not?
Winner of the Prix de Diane Longines, the 3-year-old filly Fancy Blue passed her stamina test perfectly. And Donnacha O’Brien, her young trainer, evoked the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a possible target, where 3-year-old fillies have a history of doing well (4 wins in the last 15 editions). John Gosden also left open the possibilty of running Mishriff in this race, the winner of the Prix du Jockey Club.