Saturday, September 30, 2023

Arc de Triomphe 2023 - Invincible Ace Impact races towards immortality

 Here's my take of all the horses running in the greatest race in the world.

Haya Zark - Only a Group 3 winner, can't be taken seriously.

Onesto - On his best day, can aspire to a spot in the frame but this looks too much for him.

Simca Mille -  His outside draw could be a problem but if things fall his way, he could spring an upset. One of the better each-way offerings.

Bay Bridge - His season has been rather disappointing given that grandiose things were expected of him after his Champion Stakes win last year. Won his last race at the distance, albeit against inferior opposition, but it wouldn't be surprising if he is in the whereabouts at the finish. Can place.

Westover - Seems to be a perennial bridesmaid and needs a win in a race like this to be considered a top horse. Lost in an agonizingly close finish in the King George and if he can leverage a good position from his No.1 draw, he will be a main threat. Cannot be discounted.

Hukum - He looks the best from the British raiders. No 6-year old has ever won the Arc and he could be the first one. There's not much chink in his armour. Group 1 winner with an impressive record, he rarely runs a bad race. If favourite Ace Impact does not show up on the day, he will be the horse to beat.

Place du Carrousel - She is a Group 2 winner, it's hard to see her playing a leading role here.

Through Seven Seas - Her record looks nothing to glow about but her second place to world's best horse Equinox was a real eye-opener. If she can repeat that form, she is in with an outstanding chance. Japanese horses cannot be underestimated in any circumstance and she could be the one breaking the duck and winning them their holy grail.

Free Wind - Detorri's last Arc ride but she lacks the speed to play a major role here.

My Hollywood - It wouldn't be entirely shocking if he pulled a Torquator Tasso and won this. One of the best from the German classic crop, he can be a leading player if things fall in place for him.

Feed the Flame - Very talented colt that has an impressive turn of foot on his best day but has failed to win consistently. His inside draw might be problematic as he comes from behind. Clearly has ability and cannot be dismissed but my feeling is that he can claim a place spot at best.

Ace Impact - The deserved favourite and still unbeaten after 5 races. He possesses a rare and fanstastic turn of foot and unless he has a bad day, he should win. There are doubts on his stamina but the way he won the Jockey Club seems to indicate he should handle it fine. At 4/1, he looks like a steal.

Fantastic Moon -  Boasts an unbeaten record at the distance, is the German Derby and Prix Niel winner. Looks a dangerous foe on the day and worth an each-way look at double-digit odds.

Continuous - How he trades at single-digit odds is mind-blowing. Being a St Leger winner is actually bad news for this race; even the great Nijinsky failed to land the Arc after the Doncaster classic. The recuperation time is too small even if classic race is won easily. The sole Ballydoyle representative seems to lack serious speed to be a live contender and he is a big day all day.

If Ace Impact is the superstar many (including I) think he is, then it's his race to lose. He has a proper jockey in Demuro who won the race before with Sottsass. If patiently ridden in midfield, the Cracksman colt can make good use of his potent acceleration in the long straight to put the race to bed. The danger will be if he is left too far behind with too much ground to make. This is something Demuro will need to judge well. Through Seven Seas is the dark horse that can potentially break all Europeans' hearts if she repeats her performance in the Takarazuka Kinen. The greatest day for Japanese racing if that would be the case. Mighty Hukum will certainly bring his A game and it will take a great one to bring him down.

Win: Ace Impact

Each-way: Through Seven Seas, Fantastic Moon 

No comments:

Post a Comment