It's a cracking weekend in Paris with two days of top-class action. Patrick Weaver previews the first of them, pinpointing each-way value in three of the races...
"The market changed significantly during Friday with money for Dubai Honour. Hopefully James Doyle's mount will justify that support."
The two Group 1s on the first day of the Arc weekend are of equal value but for most punters the Prix du Cadran at 14:15 takes pride of place.
The two-and-a-half-mile prestige event could be the seven-year-old Stradivarius' last appearance on a racecourse before going to stud. Then again it might not!
Can Stradivarius gain a first win in France? It won't be easy as the betting suggests. He is third favourite behind Alan King's Trueshan and last year's winner of the Cadran, Princess Zoe.
I'm going with Princess Zoe, who finished ahead of Stradivarius and Emperor Of The Sun in the Gold Cup at Ascot. She also had Emperor Of the Sun behind her at the Curragh on her last start in August.
Trueshan's short price on the Sportsbook owes a lot to winning a Group 1 on his latest start - the Goodwood Cup. Other recent winners Bubble Sea and Skazino have gained their successes in lesser Group races, hence their double-figure odds.
Call The Wind deserves a mention as he won the 2018 Cadran and Willie Mullins' Stratum stayed on strongly to win the Queen Alexandra Stakes over nearly two miles six on soft at Royal Ascot.
Both are guaranteed stayers but Call The Wind is not as good as he was and Stratum's CV falls short of the three market leaders.
It's a tough one to call but I do like Princess Zoe.
Valia and Glenartney on upward curves
Six of the 11 runners in the Qatar Prix de Royallieu at 14:50 are from England or Ireland.
Loving Dream, Believe In Love, Yes Yes and Glenartney are from the UK. Aidan O'Brien saddles Passion and Willow.
Passion was fifth in last year's race and looks the better bet of the Irish pair.
I suggest Glenartney each-way, though. It's very left-field for me to go with a filly in this grade that hasn't been placed in a Group race but her latest run at York was quite an improvement on her previous form.
I wouldn't want to put anyone off Valia. The favourite has the best form, without a doubt, having won the Group 2 Prix Radio FG over course and distance in a photo from Skazino. That was on similar ground to this weekend's very soft and she is as tough as they come. She is a worth 15/8 on the Sportsbook and Christophe Soumillon's best chance of a winner on the card.
Try Kemari against Manobo and Interpretation
The first of the five Group races is the Qatar Prix Chaudenay at 12:23. Charlie Appleby runs Manobo and Kemari, Brian Ellison gives Ben Robinson the leg up on Tashkan and Aidan O'Brien runs Interpretation.
Only 1lb separates the Listed winners Manobo (4/5), Interpretation (5/1) and Kemari (6/1) so their respective odds don't reflect their ability. Godolphin must think their two have a similar chance, but I prefer Kemari, a winner at Royal Ascot, to Manobo who took his record to three wins from three starts when winning a Listed race at Salisbury by 10 lengths.
Interpretation has finished fourth in the St Leger at Doncaster since his win over the Prix Chaudenay trip at Leopardstown, so is worth considering.
Tashkan has repaid his purchase price of €11,000 in spades. He started the season on a lowly mark of 57 but following three wins in handicap company and a fifth in the Melrose at York is now rated 96. That still leaves him a stone behind the market leaders, though, so needs to improve to make the 1-2-3.
At his odds of 6/1, Kemari looks a good each-way bet.
Coeursamba back at scene of her Classic victory
The Revenant has won the last two runnings of the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein. Can he make it three in the Group 2 over a mile at 13:33?
Whether you back him or not boils down to how you interpret his form this season. On the face of it, he was not as sharp when we last saw him in the spring as he was in 2019 and 2020. But his two runs were on fast ground and on Saturday he has the soft that he loves.
His main rival in the betting Real World on the other hand has never run on slow ground so we have no idea how he will fare on it. In hindsight, he was a great bet in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot in June off his rating of 94. He is now a genuine 116 horse, following wins at Newbury over 10 furlongs and York over nine.
Rodabello, Novemba and Mythico have 2lb penalties for their Group 2 successes in Germany this year but I would rate the chances of the unpenalised Group 3 winners Dilawar and Victor Ludorum higher.
Lurking on 14/1 is Coeursamba, the French 1,000 Guineas winner who will have similar going to when she won her Classic over course and distance in May. She was not beaten far in the Oaks at Chantilly or the Prix Rothschild at Deauville and should give us a run for our money in this weaker race.
Honour worthy of the highest respect
There are three Newmarket runners in the Qatar Prix Dollar at 16:00. Dubai Honour, Megallan and Third Realm represent William Haggas, John Gosden and Roger Varian respectively.
I'm with Dubai Honour as I was impressed with his Group 2 success from Pretty Tasman and Tasman Bay at Deauville. Megallan is one for the short list given his close second to Hurricane Lane in their Derby trial at York. Third Realm won the Lingfield Derby trial and then finished fifth at Epsom, so he is no slouch.
Cadillac and Saiydabad are unpenalised Group 3 winners, like Megallan. It's a wide-open race, with Andre Fabre's Magny Cours the shortest-price local hope at 9/2.
The market changed significantly during Friday with money for Dubai Honour. Hopefully James Doyle's mount will justify that support.
There are two British runners in the £250,000 Prix Haras de Bouquetot - Criterium Arqana at 15:25, a race for horses bought at the Arqana sales as yearlings. Pavlodar is trained by Clive Cox and the mount of Hector Crouch. James Doyle rides the Thirsk winner Grey Belle for Ivan Furtado.
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