Arc 2019 Preview - Can Enable make History?
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
This Sunday sees arguably the race of the decade with the Prix de la Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. The super star mare Enable has the chance to cement her place in the history books as she bids for a hat-trick of wins in the race. If she wins the sport of racing has the chance to make the news headlines for the right reasons for a change as well as demonstrating the brilliance of Frankie Dettori & John Gosden to a wider audience.
In 2019 things have been more straightforward for Enable who remains undefeated with three Group 1 Victories with the Arc being the target. Last season she was scuppered by setbacks and had one race in the September Stakes at Kempton which she won impressively. Afterwards she went to the Arc just holding on in the final strides to deny the late Sea of Class who flew home with a fast surge. The five-year-old since returning in the Eclipse at Sandown has had an uninterrupted campaign and is clearly the one to beat. However can anything from this year’s field spring a surprise?
The first challengers on paper appear to become from Ballydoyle with Magical & Japan. Magical who is a multiple Group 1 winner for Aidan O’Brien has clashed with Enable on two occasions this year at Sandown & York and has been put in her place. Nevertheless away from Enable she has held her own as a top class filly and will most likely run a solid race. For me though I believe she is more effective over a 1 Mile 2 Furlongs which she demonstrated in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. The improver from Ballydoyle is the International scorer Japan who will receive the three year old allowance. Japan was the horse through the grapevine that was meant to be the Ballydoyle number one three-year-old for this flat season. After sustaining a setback he appeared at York’s Dante meeting and has built on that success to notch two Group 1s including the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp. O’Brien last won the race in 2016 with Found but has not won the race with a colt since Dylan Thomas back in 2007. Japan has been progressing rapidly and connections have made this plan since his win in the Juddmonte International. At the current prices of 6-1 I think he has a very good each-way chance but I think his better trip could be 1 Mile 2 Furlongs and his stamina might not be as effective compared to some in the rest of the field.
The unknown quantity in the line up is Ghaiyyath for Charlie Appleby who saddles his first runner in the race. He seems to be an up and down horse who likes to dominate his races from the front and came to prominence for the race after his victory in a Group 1 at Baden-Baden in Germany. The four-year-old won by an emphatic 14 lengths but his tenancy to thrown in a strange run from time to time is off putting. He is also drawn in stall 12 and it’s hard to say if he will get an easy lead up front. I think he could be worth a speculative punt at the prices and he might be able to get the likes of Enable out of her comfort zone. On the other hand his latest effort at Longchamp was average and would not be good enough to get involved which was behind Waldgeist and Study of Man.
The French challengers will be headed by Prix Neil winner Sottass for Jean-Claude Rouget. The three-year-old colt has won his last three starts but a race of this calibre could be tough for him but despite this he has attracted market support to be prominent in the betting. For me the number one French contender has to be Waldgeist who ran a solid race to be involved in the places last year and has kept fair company this season. He finished a creditable third in the King George at Ascot and resumed to winning ways in the Prix Foy for Andre Fabre. At a general 16-1 shot he has to be a solid each-way contender.
Elsewhere on the card Nagano Gold could be an underestimated runner from the Czech Republic. After finishing second in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in which he appeared to be unlucky went into many notebooks. Since then he has had a quiet campaign since then only running once when finishing third in a Group 3 at Deauville. He definitely has to step up on ratings but he does have the talent to possibly make the frame.
When summing up this race I believe that Enable will make history and win her third consecutive Arc. However like the general rule of any tipster in racing when she is an 8-11 favourite you have to look for alternatives. For some professionals this is a non-betting contest but there can be some fantastic each value to be had with Japan next in the betting at 6-1 and if things go wrong for Enable some of the prices on offer for solid rivals are overpriced. My two recommended bets for the race would be Ghaiyyath and Waldgeist who I believe have strong chances to make the frame with slight preference for Waldgeist. Overall I hope Enable does win because she would have been the best horse I have seen in my journalist career so far and these horses do not come along very often and I hope if she does win the handicappers give her an official rating that reflects what she has achieved in the sport.
Arc Prediction: 1. Enable 2. Waldgeist 3. Ghayyaith
Waldgeist 18-1 (William Hill) 1pt EW
Ghayyaith 12-1 (Paddy Power) 1pt EW