Top British horses will cross the Channel to contest the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday
France takes over the racing scene this weekend with its showcase meeting in the beautiful Paris suburb of the Bois de Boulogne. And it could be England who has the last laugh with Golan in Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Sir Michael Stoute’s 2,000 Guineas winner has hit peak form again at just the right time, beating the French Derby winner Anabaa Blue in the Prix Niel over the course last month.
Golan, drawn six on the inside just where his jockey Kieren Fallon wants to be, is reported to have been working on the Newmarket gallops with renewed enthusiasm since enjoying his recent sweet taste of success.
Golan is owned by that great captain of British industry Lord Weinstock, who has had more near-misses in the Arc than he cares to remember. His colt may not have been impressive on his latest visit to Longchamp but he left the impression there was plenty more in the tank if required.
Fallon is adamant: “Golan did the best time on the day, won the most reliable trial, beat the French Derby winner. He did nothing wrong.”
Racing’s superpowers Godolphin, owned bythe Maktoum family from Dubai, and Coolmore’s Ballydoyle stable in County Tipperary are yet again in fierece opposition. Godolphin appears to have the whip hand with Sakhee, the favourite, who annihilated the field for York’s Juddmonte International.
Coolmore’s representative is the St Leger winner Milan, who finally showed just what he is capable of by running away with the Doncaster classic last month.
The home team is led by the unbeaten French Oaks winner Aquarelliste, owned by Paris art dealer Daniel Wildenstein, who has won four Arcs with Allez France, All Along, Sagace and Peintre Celebre.
The tough, globetrotting Hightori finished fifth behind Sinndar in the race last year and his rider Gerald Mosse is certain he is a far better horse this time. “You will see a much stronger, more mature Hightori on Sunday,” predicts Mosse.
Horse & Hound Online’s racing correspondent’s prediction: Golan from Hightori.
Action on home soil
On the home front, Putra Pekan, trained by one of the most astute Newmarket trainers Michael Jarvis, is expected to win the Tote Cambridgeshire on his home course. Putra Pekan’s last win was on the July Course here in the summer.
Luca Cumani re-introduces Summer Symphony, his high class two-year-old of last year, in the Peugeot Sun Chariot Stakes. The Bedford Lodge trainer would only be running his filly if he was satisfied she can reproduce her top form.