Saturday, October 3, 2015

Arc de Triomphe 2015 - Treve for the Treble

A top-class field will line up in Sunday's Arc and everyone will try to stop Treve from notching an unprecedented third Arc, which would most possibly put to rest the claims that she's the greatest mare that ever raced. The form she displayed in the Vermeille shows that she will be at her top of her powers for the showdown and would be very hard to oppose. Here are the handful of horses who I think will provide the main opposition; Golden Horn, New Bay and Free Eagle. Forget the rest.

I will say frankly that Golden Horn has disappointed me in his last 2 races, in the sense that he did not prove to be the super horse that I thought he might be. He lost much of his luster when losing his unbeaten record to Arabian Queen in the Juddmonte International. Although he redeemed himself by subsequently winning the Irish Champion Stakes, the manner of his win was rather subdued as he clearly hampered Free Eagle on his way to the line. To say he's top-class is correct. To say he's a super horse would be stretching and it feels that you'd need a super horse to beat Treve in the Arc. His outside draw complicates things for this fans; he will need a lot of luck in running. To me, he's the lay of the field as I don't think he will win. He is good enough to make the frame but I am very certain he won't win.

New Bay is the best middle-distance French colt of this Classic generation. The way he won the Prix Niel shows without doubt that he will be at his peak on Sunday. The distance and more importantly the ground will suit, which will make him Treve's most dangerous opponent, in my opinion. I cannot see him outside the first 3, and if Treve fails to fire, he looks the one most apt for glory.

Free Eagle is the dark horse in my books. He was unlucky to be hampered by Golden Horn in the closing stages of the Irish Champion Stakes. Whether he would have won is a matter of interpretation; visually he seemed to be picking up the Derby winner but whether he would have done so at the line will remain a mystery for ever. The main question is how he will handle twelve furlongs for the first time. His pedigree seems to indicate that the distance will not be a problem but it will have to be his optimum distance for him to play a leading role here. Should stamina not be a problem, I would rate him on a par with New Bay.

My view of this race is simple. If Treve shows up to her best of her ability and does not encounter any hard luck in running, then she will win. I can't see any horse that can put up with her irresistible acceleration in the straight. If she fails to fire or does not benefit from any luck in running, then New Bay and Free Eagle look to be the main dangers, with my preference going to the Prix du Jockey Club winner.

Trifecta: Treve - New Bay - Free Eagle
Won't win: Golden Horn

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