Sunday 3rd October 2021
Arc Day 2021
Author: Jordan Yates
“Welcome to my preview for Arc Day of 2021 at Longchamp. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on all of the Group 1 races that make up the outstanding day of racing on Sunday, which, of course, include the big one itself at 3:05.
So as ever, enjoy!”
The first race of the day at Longchamp takes place at 1:15 and is the Prix Marcel Boussac over a mile. The hot favourite here is Raclette for Andre Fabre and Maxime Guyon, who arrives here boasting a perfect record of two wins from two starts, she could well be another star. I’ve tried to take her on though with one at a bigger price and I’ve done that with the more experienced and battle hardened Agartha who represents Ireland and Joseph O’Brien. She was last seen on Champions Weekend at the Curragh where she was beaten just shy of a length into second within Group 1 company, she’s ultra consistent and is seemingly still improving so I’ll take a chance on her to go well once again here at the top-level.
Next up is the 1:50 which is the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere that’s contested over seven furlongs. I’ve sided with the home team here and gone with Ancient Rome for Andre Fabre and Mickael Barzalona. This two-year-old by War Front sports the famous Tabor silks and has looked ultra impressive so far, with his form culminating with a comfortable success within Group 3 company here last month. This sires horses often show their best form as two-year-olds and on the basis of his win last time I think this colt looks very much a Group 1 horse in the making.
Following an Arabian Race, is the big one at 3:05, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. A race that’s ridden over a distance of a mile and four furlongs is seen as one of the most prestigious races on the planet having been won by some of the greatest horses of all time. I’ve tried my hand with two selections in this year’s renewal, and the first of these comes in the form of Tarnawa for Dermot Weld and Christophe Soumillon. Sporting the famous Aga-Khan silks she won three Group 1s last term, with two of them coming here which included the Prix de l’Opera at this meeting. She signed off with a Breeders Cup win and returned to the track in August when winning a Group 3 in effortless style at Leopardstown before being narrowly beaten by St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion Stakes. That was a fine prep for this assignment over a trip which was arguably too short, and she’ll tick a lot of boxes here, one particularly important one being her versatility ground-wise with some heavy rain forecast. I think she’s a major chance. I’ve also gone with a more tentative alliance with one of the French runners in Raabihah for last year’s winning training Jean-Claude Rouget. She’s currently trading at around 25/1 and was last seen at Deauville in August when winning a Group 2, I’ve been a fan of hers for a while now and she actually ran in last year’s race when finishing a sold fifth. If a few of the big guns don’t fire she could well run into a place at a sizeable price.
Following the Arc at 3:50 is the Prix de l’Opera which is yet another Group 1 contest this time over a mile and two furlongs. I think this can be finally the day for Audarya for James Fanshawe and the talented rider Ioritz Mendizabal who’s had several big race successes this season in France for Aidan O’Brien. She was narrowly denied a Group 1 success at Deauville the last day when going down by a shoulder by Grand Glory who re-opposes here. I think she has the best form on offer in the race and if getting a bit more luck she should go very close again.
The penultimate race Group 1 on the card will be the Prix de l’Abbaye at 4:25, which is the sprint that takes place on the other side of the track. This can go to the Goodwood King George winner Suesa who’s set to be ridden by Olivier Peslier. Currently trading at around the 9/4 mark, she was last seen when finishing fourth in the Nunthorpe at York’s Ebor Meeting and for me is the best horse in the race here. Previous winner Glass Slippers is an obvious danger, however, I think they’ll all have to improve considerably to get the better of Rohaut’s three-year-old filly.
Concluding my preview is the Prix de la Foret which is the final Group 1 on the card. The race takes place at 5:00 over furlongs and I’ll be siding with one of my all-time favourite animals here and that’s the Charlie Appleby trained Space Blues. He’s a specialist over this trip and has a Group 3 success at the track over seven furlongs his locker already, as well as having Group 1 honours to his name. His latest outing came at York in August where he bounced back to winning ways in the Group 2 City Of York Stakes and this very likeable five-year-old by Dubawi will be primed for a stab at another Group 1 here.