Tony Calvin looks for the best bets on Sunday's Arc card at Chantilly and he has a pair of wagers for your consideration...
"You can make a fair argument that Order of St George has posted two career-best on his recent starts, and part of that improvement looks to have stemmed from getting after him earlier than previously. The results have been pretty impressive to say the least and, if Chantilly does get more rain, then it isn't hard to see Donnacha O'Brien booting him into top gear and saying 'catch me if you can'."
So, the million dollar question is: can we get Enable beat? And by "we" I probably mean bookmakers, exchange layers, and wannabe smart-arses like me - am I allowed to say that in a family column? (ed - is this a family column?!) - who ignore the blindingly obvious.
There is little doubt that the filly is one to beat and fully deserving of her price at around even money in the big one. In fact she is currently a solid [2.22] on the exchange.
What's not to like about a filly who has won her last four Group 1 races by an aggregate of 20 lengths and who beat the second favourite for the race Ulysses, pointless by over four lengths in the King George at Ascot in July?
Forget that the handicapper officially rates Ulysses 1lb her superior after his cruise in the Juddmonte last time - 127 plays 126 with the BHA - I don't think many would disagree that Enable is the better horse, for all she gets the filly and age allowances.
However - and yes, you knew it was coming given my MO - I think there are justifiable reasons for looking elsewhere.
I think you can easily dismiss the "hard season" element - though she did make her seasonal debut in April and wasn't given an easy time of it when winning at York last time - but I do think this race will test her mettle more than any task before.
Sure, she didn't shirk a fight in a thunderstorm in the Oaks or on bad ground at Ascot, but I, for one, think getting stall two on Thursday night was far more of a hindrance than a help to her chances.
If she doesn't break well, then it isn't hard to see the Ballydoyle contingent, and other potential pacemakers and pacesetters, quickly bearing down on her on this sharpish track and she may need a charmed passage to prevail.
If she does, and she is the same form as at Ascot, she wins, but I am happy to look elsewhere.
Look to Ballydoyle for the opposition
I already nailed my colours to the mast with Cloth Of Stars at 33/1 earlier in the week, and that price is still readily available.
I don't have any issue with his draw in five - in truth I don't know what constitutes a good berth anyway, especially with last year's 1-2-3 all being drawn in double-figures - and I still think represents the best value in the race at 33/1, for all there is a stamina doubt still.
But with the enhanced place terms now rearing their head in the marketplace - no surprises there, and Betfair were actually first up with a four-places offer - then I am happy to add a second string to my bow.
I was pretty gobsmacked when I saw Ryan Moore was on Winter, as I thought he was odds-on to ride Order Of George.
I can't have Winter myself, Galileo or not - just go and watch her stay every yard of this 1m4f trip now - and I think we would looking at more like 7/1, than the current 11/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook, if Moore was sitting on Order Of St George. So back the Irish St Leger winner each-way there, four places.
You can make a fair argument that he has posted two career-best on his recent starts, and part of that improvement looks to have stemmed from getting after him earlier than previously.
The results have been pretty impressive to say the least and, if Chantilly does get more rain, then it isn't hard to see Donnacha O'Brien booting him into top gear and saying "catch me if you can."
Okay, he may find Enable and Ulysses breezing past him at the furlong pole - I'll settle for Cloth Of Stars - but it will be disappointing if he can't match last year's third in the race. And it will be very costly if he is more than two places worse.
There is also an argument for saying that Idaho is overpriced at 33/1 on his King George third to Enable and Ulysses - and last year's sixth One Foot In Heaven is big enough at [150.0] on this ground - but I will just stick with Order Of St George as my follow-up bet.
The Sign of a winner?
Nothing else really floats my boat on the Chantilly card apart from Signs Of Blessing in the Abbaye at 16:35 as I have been boring everyone senseless about his claims for a fortnight or so now.
The problem is that he was 8/1 then and is "only" 9/2 now, but I still thinks that underestimates his chance.
Sure, Marsha and Battaash are serious form rivals - and, bizarrely enough, he is drawn between those rivals here in stall three - but that trio look head and shoulders above their rivals here.
You could argue the form that saw him give Profitable 11lb and an easy beating on soft ground at Deauville in May is on a par with what any of the market leaders have achieved - and, remember, Battaash is racing off levels with Signs Of Blessing despite being a three-year-old - and he was back to form at that track last time.
He has course form figures of 211, and I reckon the market is still underestimating this Group 1 winner. Back him at [6.0] or bigger.
Back Order Of St George at 11/1 each way with Betfair Sportsbook (four places) in Arc at 15:05
Back Signs Of Blessing at [6.0] or bigger in Abbaye at 16:35