Weekend Racing: It Could be a Breeze for Wind Chimes7 min read
A wonderful weekend of racing and the first Sunday in October means it is time for the greatest flat horserace in the world – the Grand Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. John Gosden’s brilliant filly Enable (3.05) has only had the one start since easily landing the odds in the corresponding race 12 months ago, but she looked as good as ever when winning her prep race from the front at Kempton last month. I think she has a favourite’s chance of emulating the great French filly Treve who won the corresponding race back-to-back in 2013-14.
The three-year-old filly Sea Of Class (7/2) receives 7lbs from Enable and would have been the selection had it not been for her coffin-box draw in stall 15. Enable – Even money favourite – is drawn in stall six and is difficult to oppose with Frankie Dettori looking for his sixth win in the Paris showpiece.
The Group 1 action in Britain today comes from Newmarket and the Sun Chariot Stakes over the Rowley Mile for fillies and mares. The French have a great record in the race and Andre Fabre’s Wind Chimes (3.15) can edge out the admirable Laurens. The selection (5/2) finished second in the Prix Moulin and will appreciate the rain that is due to hit the track from mid-morning.
I would have preferred Wind Chimes (stall 2) to be drawn nearer Laurens (stall 9) and jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot has a difficult decision to make posted wide, but I hope to see Wind Chimes run down Laurens (11/4 with BetVictor) in the final furlong.
I was impressed by the win of Turgenev (2.40) at Newcastle (tapeta) and I hope this son of Dubawi can give weight and a beating to his 12 rivals in the Novice Stakes. The selection holds a Group 1 entry later in the month and would have to go very close today if he is going to take up that engagement. A market move for Godolphin’s Accountability or the 1,500,000 gns yearling Faylaq -who is by Dubawi out of the Arc winner Danedream – would be worth noting but the selection sets a high enough standard for the debutants.
There is rain forecast at Ascot and I hope that will not inconvenience First Eleven (2.25) who looked a progressive son of Frankel when scoring over today’s C&D last month from a 7lbs lower mark. The selection has been beaten on all three starts when the ground has had the word soft or heavy in the description but on good or faster ground he is clearly going the right way and should, arguably, be two from two over C&D.
Flaming Spear (3.35) has been raised 6lbs for a facile win at Goodwood last time but Irish apprentice Ben Coen looks a significant booking and takes off a valuable 5lbs. Morning rain would not be an inconvenience, unless it is a deluge, and at 6/1 (each way 5 places) I will be disappointed if he finishes out of the frame.
Knight To Behold (3.30) has the plum draw in stall one for a colt who likes to race prominently, and he appreciated the drop back to 10f when landing a Deauville Group 2 by four lengths when last seen back in August.
Oisin Murphy keeps the ride on Ed Dunlop’s three-year-old who may have most to fear from fellow British raider Loxley who failed to stay the Leger trip at Doncaster last time.
Knight To Behold
On Sunday I hope to see Magic Wand (3.50) land the Prix de l’Opera for Ballydoyle. The filly was just run out of it in the Vermeille last time (1m 4f) and this return to 10f will suit. I am loath to desert Wild Illusion – who did us a favour at Goodwood last time – and has a better draw than the selection, but at 11/2 the vote goes to the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly.
Polydream (5.00) has a good draw in stall three and I feel she will be hard to beat in the Prix de la Foret for Freddy Head and Maxime Guyon. The selection has won two of her three starts this season and was value for much more than the half-length verdict at Deauville last time.
At Uttoxeter I am very interested in the reappearance of Monbeg Gold (3.35) returning from a 500-day absence for Jonjo O’Neill in the 3m Handicap Hurdle. The selection has had a wind op since last seen and the handicapper has given this eight-year-old, who has a history of going well fresh, a chance. The market will be very interesting.