The Ebor Meeting at the British track York features several races this week (Wednesday and Thursday) which could prove to be pointers for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe: the
World Championship race for thoroughbreds which takes pride of place at ParisLongchamp on October 4.
In the Juddmonte International Stakes, a Group 1 race run over sur 2.100 metres (10 1/2f), the Godolphin five-year-old Ghaiyyath confirmed his rich vein of form. Tenth in last year’s Arc, Ghaiyyath defends a five race unbeaten record this year. After claiming the scalp of the champion that is Enable in the Eclipse Stakes on July 5th, he followed up at the main expense of Magical at York on Wednesday. The latter was fifth in the 2019 edition of the Arc and she rates among the best distaffers in circulation. The winning trainer, Charlie Appleby, confirmed that the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the very much his charge’s big target this autumn, but on the proviso that the ground doesn’t ease too much.
Earlier on the same card at York, the three-year-old Pyledriver stamped his authority on the Great Voltigeur Stakes: a Group 2 race run over 2.400 metres (12f). Pyledriver had drawn a blank in the Epsom Derby after landing the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. His trainer, William Muir, is planning an assault on the Grand Prix de Paris, and he is also toying with the idea of a crack at the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The colt doesn’t currently an ‘Arc entry, but victory in the Grand Prix de Paris would remedy this by guaranteeing automatic entry to the prestige prize. The last horse to complete the Great Voltigeur Stakes – Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe double was none other than the much heralded Alleged in 1977.
The York card on Thursday sees the filly Love take her chance in the Yorkshire Oaks. Having landed the 1.000 Guineas – Epsom Oaks double, she is none other the favourite for the forthcoming Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Needing to do more than just merely win, she needs to dazzle!