The Prix De l’Arc de Triomphe may be over four months away, but that didn’t stop the market for the race receiving a major re-shuffle after a bumper weekend of showings from Longchamp hopefuls.
Defending champ Treve got her history-chasing campaign off to the best possible start of Friday with a decisive win at Saint Cloud in the Prix Corrida, powering clear effortlessly under Thierry Jarnet.
The wonder mare was subsequently cut to 3/1 from 4/1 to become the first horse in history to win three Arcs.
However potential challengers to her crown are beginning to come out of the woodwork.
Last year Khalid Abdullah’s Flintshire chased home Criquette Head-Maarek’s mare in Paris, and the Juddmonte owner could bid to go one better in 2015 with New Bay staking his claims on Sunday.
The son of Dubawi couldn’t have been more impressive in taking the Prix Du Jockey Club under emerging talent Vincent Cheminaud.
Andre Fabre’s colt entered Ladbrokes’ Arc market at 8/1, a price that could well be of interest to each-way backers.
While nine Prix Du Jockey Club winners have gone on to triumph in Paris, the recent record of winners doesn’t provide the best reading.
Only Intello (third) and Vision D’Etat (fifth) of the last six winners to attempt the double have finished in the first 11 home at Longchamp.
However, with Fabre the master at getting winners of the historic race, with seven to his name, New Bay couldn’t be in better hands.
In fact, he has sent three Chantilly winners to the Arc, the most recent being the aforementioned Intello, triumphing in the big one in 1997 with Peintre Celebre, while 2010 Lope De Vega simply failed to see out the 1m4f trip.
Furthermore, of the trainer’s seven Arc victories, three of those had come via the French Classic, with 2004 winner Hurricane Run finishing second at Saint Cloud.
Visually, it looked as if the now second favourite for the Arc would have no problem staying an extra two furlongs, his sire Dubawi running well in third in Motivator’s Derby, while his grand-dam was a useful staying handicapper for Roger Charlton.
But it may not be just any potential stamina doubts that he has to overcome if he is to hand Fabre an eighth victory in the race.
The Japanese fans were rewarded for their constant struggle to win the Arc, when Orfevre landed the odds in 2012, and with that horse finishing second a year later, and the likes of Harp Star running well last year, they look to be back for more.
Victory last Sunday means Duramente could represent the Rising Sun nation, like Orfevre, as their Guineas and Derby winner.
Running in the same colours of the precocious son of Stay Gold, his win may not have been as visually eye-catching as New Bay (although it was in record time), but his stamina will be assured.
However, like many Japanese runners before him, he has done all his running on firm ground, so the question on how he will handle Longchamp’s likely softer underfoot conditions remains to be seen.
His victory in Tokyo at the weekend saw him enter the betting as a 10/1 shot, with jockey Christian Demuro stating “he’s got a chance”.
A chance he may have, but whether his challenge will be strong enough to see off the home raiders looks a big ask.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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