Saturday, October 5, 2019

Arc de Triomphe 2019 - Immortality beckons for Enable

All eyes will be on Enable at ParisLongchamp on Sunday as she attempts to be the first triple winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Winning the most prestigious prize in Europe twice is a feat in itself that only a few have achieved; landing it 3 times would crown the daughter of Nathaniel the greatest winner of the race and arguably the greatest filly that ever ran.

There are no more adjectives to qualify Enable. She is in Frankel-esque territory, having won 13 out of 14 outings, crushing the opposition in many of them. She even did better than Frankel by winning outside of Britain by conquering France and the US. She is peer-less and it would take circumstances or an exceptional run by another horse to beat her on Sunday. Circumstances like the predicted heavy going might dent her customary acceleration but it is only a slight worry as she should tackle that kind of ground better than most.

The biggest dangers are likely to come from the 3-year old colts Sottsass and Japan. The former is the best colt coming from France and the convincing winner of the Prix du Jockey Club and Prix Niel, both big references for the Arc. The son of Siyouni has an excellent burst of acceleration and coming out of stall 1 should have him well placed as long as he does not get stuck in throughout.

Japan is the best 3-year old middle-distance colt coming from Britain. He won the Grand Prix de Paris in style and trainer Aidan O'Brien will certainly have him in optimum form come race day. There seems to be an air of confidence from the Ballydoyle camp. Both him and Sottsass will enjoy a 3-pound alleviation against the older brigade and I expect both to be very close at the finish.

The rest of the field is mainly noise in my opinion. Waldgeist is a moderate Group 1 performer that has shown his limits. Ghaiyyath is the dark horse of the race in that he can run an explosive race as well as run a stinker. I don't think he will relish the heavy ground and coming out of outside stall 12 won't give him much of a chance to dictate matters up front.

Enable should take all the beating in her unprecedented quest. As long as she has a clear run and there are no shenanigans going on during the race, she looks top notch to land the greatest treble in horse racing.

Win: Enable
Place: Sottsass, Japan

Friday, October 4, 2019

EPL 2019/20 - Week8

Brighton v Tottenham - Home
Burnley v Everton - Home
Liverpool v Leicester - Draw
Norwich v Aston Villa - Home
Watford v Sheffied Utd - Draw
West Ham v Crystal Palace - Home
Arsenal v Bournemouth - Away
Man City v Wolves - Home
Southampton v Chelsea - Away
Newcastle v Man Utd - Draw

Here's a drab draw I can think of this week-end; Newcastle v Man Utd. Both teams are dreadful in attack and have difficulty finding the net. If this game is to be won by either, it looks like it would be by the slightest margin. A draw looks very enticing though.

West Ham have found a firm footing under Pellegrini and I expect them to continue their fine form as they host Crystal Palace. One positive for the Hammers this year has been the return of Yarmalenko, who suffered a horrendous injury and long layoff last season. The Ukrainian has been on fire since the start and playing with great confidence. I expect them to enjoy the home advantage and edge the Eagles.

Bournemouth can have arguments for a value away punt as they visit Arsenal. I think the Gunners have rode some luck in their last league matches and are prone for a coming upset. The visiting Cherries have the strike force to bang in the goals and could edge a high-scoring affair at the Emirates.

Win: Bournemouth, West Ham
Draw: Man Utd/Newcastle