Tony Calvin: More of a layer than a player when it comes to Enable's Arc price

Franki Dettori riding Enable
Last year's Arc winner Enable is a short price to defend her crown under Frankie Dettoir
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A quiet weekend on the antepost front in store so Tony Calvin has chosen to reflect on some recent winners for this week's column, and how the Arc and next season's Guineas markets have reacted...

"I'd probably rather be a layer than a backer at 11/8 as she bids to follow up her win in the race last year, though it is worth noting that Sea Of Class won't be going anywhere near Longchamp if it is soft (or maybe even good to soft)."

Not a great deal happening on the ante-post front this week - we can look at the Ayr Gold Cup afresh on Friday afternoon when we know all the variables - so we may as well look to the past to fill up the column inches with the betting ramifications of last weekend's high-quality action.

It was disappointing to hear the news of the injuries to Alpha Centauri and Saxon Warrior - and we all want to see continued excellence - but unfortunately that's part and parcel of horseracing, and they'll live the rest of their lives in luxury, so those in pieces at the news on Social Media on Sunday can rest easy.

In truth, I bet they now don't give the Classic winners another thought for the rest of the season.

All systems go for Enable's Arc defence

The most pressing ante-post moves concerned the Arc after Sunday's action in the Longhchamp trials, though nothing like the re-shuffling that occurred when Enable won on her belated comeback at Kempton a week or so earlier.

Up until then, Yorkshire Oaks winner Sea Of Class (that York form looks increasingly good, by the way) headed the market at around the 4/1 and 9/2 mark, but it has all been one-way traffic and love for the John Gosden filly since that visually stunning success from King George runner-up Crystal Ocean.

One firm went 5/2 in the immediate aftermath after that victory - be it for TV exposure or a name check I am not sure, though I must admit 2/1 was the figure in my head as I was watching it in the Haydock press room - but such quotes are now a distant memory. She currently trades at just [2.32] on the market.

That looks short enough about a filly who rarely experiences the hustle and bustle of a big field, last year's Arc aside, and you can't really see that price shortening in the lead-up to the race.

I'd probably rather be a layer than a backer at 11/8 as she bids to follow up her win in the race last year, though it is worth noting that Sea Of Class won't be going anywhere near Longchamp if it is soft (or maybe even good to soft). Cracksman would love it, though, if he goes to France before Ascot.

Last year's runner-up coming to the boil?

The big Arc mover after the weekend is Waldgeist, into [12.0] on the exchange after a very taking defeat of stablemates Talismanic and Cloth Of Stars in the Prix Foy.

That was a bit more like it from Cloth Of Stars in third though, after his mid-season break, and it is worth noting just what a bad passage he got when second to Enable in last year's Arc at Chantilly. Many missed it.

If Andre Fabre can tee him up again in the next three weeks or so, he could be a player and I am surprised to see him available at [60.0] on the exchange, and a general 50/1 chance in the fixed-odds marketplace.

The other trial winners, Kitesurf in the Vermeille and Brundtland in the Niel, didn't register much of a ripple in the market, and the Foy did look the only meaningful race with a view to the biggy next month.

Who knows where Kew Gardens will end up after his convincing Doncaster win - maybe Longchamp, maybe Melbourne - but this 1m4f Group 1 winner probably wouldn't be disgraced in a truly-run Arc.

Next season's 2,000 Guineas shaping up nicely

If your idea of fun is backing a horse for a race next May, then the 2,000 Guineas really should be floating your boat.

Too Darn Hot is around 4/1 for the Classic after his Champagne Stakes win, and ranged against him are stablemate Calyx (not seen since the Coventry), the National Stakes winner Quorto, Aidan O'Brien's Ten Sovereigns and the likes of Advertise and last week's winners Madhmoon and Sangarius, who got the stride-pattern merchants drooling by all accounts.

And it is probably only a bit of snobbery that sees the 2-length Moyglare winner Skitter Scatter trading at around the 20/1 mark for a 1,000 Guineas that certainly lacks the depth of the 2,000 at the moment.

A shorter missive than usual then, so I am off to the doctors to get a troublesome ear-ache looked at (I am hoping a moan-up at the reception will secure me a same-day appointment, though that is firmly odds-against these days), and a mow of the garden probably beckons later, too.

I live life in the fast lane, me.


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