Three wins from four starts, one of which a hugely impressive one over the Arc course and distance, ensures that Flintshire still retains the favourite’s status for the 92nd running of France’s most famous race in October.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has long been a source of elation for the colt’s trainer Andre Fabre, who has had a record seven winners in the Longchamp race since 1987.
Flintshire – who is 5/1 for the world’s third richest turf race – shot into contention to become the eighth with his stunning victory at the course in the Grand Prix de Paris last month, when he showed a superb turn of pace to fly home ahead of rivals such as stablemate Ocovango and Aidan O’Brien’s much-fancied Battle of Marengo.
It was that victory which turned Arc promise into genuine Arc belief, and Flintshire’s connections issued a hugely promising update on his condition at the beginning of this month, whilst also confirming that he’ll enter the competitive Prix Niel in September.
“He’s in very good form,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, the racing manager for breeder Khalid Abdullah, on August 4th.
“He came out of the Grand Prix de Paris in very good shape.
“He’ll go for the Prix Niel and then the Arc. He’s got a wonderfully good stride and quickened off a slow pace at Longchamp. We’ve got to be very positive about him.”
Six of Fabre’s seven Arc winners have gone for the Prix Niel too, and so everything looks to be pointing in the right direction for Maxime Guyon’s mount.
Competition is likely to come from the King George VI winner Novellist and the older Al Kazeem, both of whom are available at 6/1.
But they’ll both have to impress to get the better of Flintshire and Fabre, who appears set to have the race at his mercy yet again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication
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