Another John Gosden Arc

Another John Gosden Arc

It’s Sunday 7th October and all eyes are on the re-opening of Longchamp Racecourse for the running of the Qatar sponsored Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe over 2400m for colts and fillies, 3yo and older, but not geldings.

Again, the might of British and Irish racing stables have crossed the English Channel, this year headed by John Gosden’s Newmarket based Clarehaven Stables with his 4yo filly Enable looking for her second Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe success.

Enable won last year’s ‘Arc, run at Chantilly, in true championship style with jockey Frankie Dettori supremely confident in commencing his run at the 500 metre mark, taking the lead with 400m to go, clearing away at the 300m, and staying on strongly to the line.

The Andre Fabre trained Prix Ganay winner Cloths of Stars, jockey Mickael Barzalona, was a 2½ length second with the Sir Michael Stout visitor Ulysses, ridden by Jim Crowley, in third. Enable was the 10/11 race favourite and won in a time of 2m-28.69s on a soft rated track.

Enable returns to Longchamp following a 1½ mile win in the September Stakes on the Kempton Park all-weather track, some 341 days following her Arc victory. Surely regular jockey Frankie Dettori will again be in the saddle for this coming first Sunday in October.

Enable certainly enjoyed her racing last year which extended for six months, in first winning the Cheshire Oaks followed by the Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks, before going in to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Owned and bred by Prince Khalid Abdullah Enable, who is sired by his home bred Nathaniel, winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, also trained by John Gosden. Prince Abdullah also owned and bred Enable stakes winning dam Concentric, by Saddler’s Wells.

The John Gosden trained Cracksman, another regular ride for Frankie Dettori, is 7/1 third favourite for the Qatar Arc, and is coming of a 2¼ length second to Poet’s Word in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and was not suited by the firm track.

Racing in Anthony Oppenheimer’s black, white and red cap silks Cracksman won the Prix Ganay and Coronation Cup earlier this year and should be suited by Longchamp’s ‘good going’ racing surface.

Anthony Oppenheimer owns and bred Cracksman, being the best of Prince Abdullah’s unbeaten champion Frankel, from the stakes winning Pivotal mare Rhadegunda, trained by John Gosden.

Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s 3yo filly Lah Ti Dah, trained by John Gosden, is at 20/1 following her courageous second to Kew Gardens in the English St Leger Stakes. She went into the St Leger undefeated having won the Galtres Stakes of 1½m at York.

Lah Ti Dah is also a short 2/1 chance for the British Championships Fillies & Mares Stakes of 1½m to be run at Ascot on 20 October, which may be the preferred option.

Lah Ti Dah is another breeding success of Lloyd-Webbers’s Watership Down Stud being by the exceptional Dubawi, from the Yorkshire Oaks winner Dah Re Mi, by Singspeil. Her full brother Hot As Hell won the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, the same day as the St Leger.

The Ascot Gold Cup and Doncaster Cup winner Stradivarius, by the Arc de Triomphe and Epsom Derby winner Sea The Stars, is a 25/1 chance in the Arc for John Gosden. However, he is more likely to run in the British Championships Long Distance Cup of 2miles, rather than returning to 2400m for the Arc.

Now at 70/1 is John Gosden’s Horse of The Year candidate Roaring Lion, who bookmakers feel the Arc’s 2400m journey and Longchamp’s ‘good going’ unsuitable, as his Irish Champion Stakes, International Stakes and Eclipse Stakes victories were over 1¼ miles and on firm tracks.

Raced by Qatar Racing and by the boom US turf sire Kitten’s Joy, Roaring Lion finished third to Masar in the Epsom Derby at his only start at 1½ miles. As 9/2 for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 1m at Ascot, he is also the top-rated entry for the Breeders’ Cup Turf 1½m at Churchill Downs.

John Gosden tasted Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe success with his Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn in 2015, followed by Enable last year, and what can his Clarehaven Stables deliver this year.

Today John Gosden has won over 3,000 races with Benny The Dip in 1997 being his initial Epsom Derby winner. In retaining Italian jockey Frankie Dettori, they have combined in recent years to win and the Qatar Arc twice, Epsom Derby, Epsom Oaks, St Leger Stakes, Irish Oaks, French 2000 Guineas, French Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Classic.

By Bernard Kenny