20 stand their ground for the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe

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With five days to go before arguably the biggest race on Europe’s flat racing calendar, we are now a little closer to getting a clear picture about who will line up at Longchamp on Sunday.

At the latest declaration stage we are left with 20 possible charges to contest the €5m Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, with a couple of notable omissions.

Rumours had begun to circulate in the last couple of days that Derby winner Australia could after all be set for a crack at the big one instead of heading to Ascot on Champions Day. Alas, it wasn’t to be as Aidan O’Brien took his three-year-old out of the entries this morning.

Instead the master of Ballydoyle will rely on the older horses of Ruler of the World (14/1), seventh in the race last year, and Chicquita, the former set to be partnered by three-time Arc winner Frankie Dettori.

Another Irish challenger that emerged recently was Free Eagle. Dermot Weld’s charge was dominant in the Enterprise Stakes a fortnight ago, and thoughts immediately turned to Longchamp, with the trainer ultimately deciding against putting up the required €25,200 to supplement the son of High Chapparal.

There were no other omissions at the top of the market with Taghrooda (4/1), Ectot (5/1) and Kingston Hill (10/1) amongst the principles standing their ground.

The hope surrounding on last year’s winner Treve seemed to be on the up following a gallop at Chantilly.

Criquette Head-Maarek’s filly has been disappointing this season, and stands at a big price of 10/1, having failed to get her head in front.

And while Head-Maarek hopes a return to Longchamp will spark a revival in Treve, the Japanese contingent will once again be hoping their Arc hoodoo ends this year.

The three representatives from the land of the rising sun all stood their ground, and at prices of 6/1, 7/1 and 10/1 could send the Asian fans into raptures at the Paris track.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.