One of the great days in the racing year, with the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe (due off at 15.25), arguably the world's greatest Flat race, the centrepiece of a Longchamp card featuring no fewer than seven Group 1 events.
The meeting is set to take place on extremely testing ground after plenty of rain again yesterday and this could well mean riders in the big race taking things somewhat cautiously. In such circumstances a handy position may well be an advantage, as it certainly was on several occasions on yesterday's card.
It's easy to see why Great Heavens should be well backed in such circumstances, William Buick sure to have her handy on ground she will relish, but the value has gone in her price now. A couple that make more appeal at current odds are Shareta and Masterstroke. Shareta was second last year, won one of the main trials last time out, the Prix Vermeille and ran her best race at the time when last contesting soft ground. Masterstroke is a progressive colt who will be well served by an increased test of stamina and has a pedigree to die for.
The Prix de L'Abbaye at 12.55 features a lot of speed and is much more likely to be set up for one more patiently ridden. If he handles the ground, Sole Power is definitely too big a price. He would have won with a clear run last year and has looked as good at times this time round. He's unproven on testing ground, just raced on it once in his early days, but at the prices he's worth chancing.
The domestic action is all over jumps, with Uttoxeter's card the most interesting of the three. The best bet may well be in the last, at 17.30, with Smokey George given the chance to build on the promise of his efforts last season, dropped in the weights and against very ordinary opposition.
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