Europe’s most prestigious horse racing meeting is edging ever closer.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is now just under two months away and this year’s renewal looks set to feature one of the best clashes in recent years.
Britain and France will go head to head as Enable takes on Almanzor over 1m4f on 1 October.
Although usually run at Longchamps in Paris, this year’s event will once again be held at Chantilly due to renovations being undertaken at the race’s traditional home.
Given the form of Enable so far this year it should come as no surprise to anyone that we’ve got the dual Oaks winner as heavy favourite at 7/4.
The three-year-old has been utterly imperious for Juddmonte and should provide Prince Khalid bin Abdullah with a first Arc victory since 2010.
Abdullah has triumphed in the event four times and one more victory would put him just one behind leading owner Marcel Boussac in the prestigious race.
Standing in his filly’s way though, is the French-trained Almanzor.
Although a regular at Chantilly, the Jean-Claude Rouget trained colt has not raced yet this year which may explain his inflated odds of 7/1.
Lightly raced runners tend to do well in the Arc though, so 7s does provide excellent value at this stage.
Almanzor undoubtedly has the quality to launch an assault on Enable, but the worry comes from the performance of four-year-olds in the race.
Horses aged four have won just 15 of the last 41 editions of the race compared to 17 in 24 for horses aged three.
Plus we don’t know how Rouget’s runner will handle the step up in trip.
That leads us nicely on to Barney Roy.
At 12/1 the colt is priced above the 8/1 average for winners of the Arc.
However, his form this year suggests a good run is likely following victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes and a close second to Ulysses (16/1 for the Arc) in the Coral Eclipse.
If you fancy going even longer, Aiden O’Brien’s Highland Reel is 16/1 to improve on last year’s second in the race.
Three trainers have won back-to-back Arcs since the turn of the millennium and it would take a brave man to oppose O’Brien charge.