Did We See The Arc Winner?
July 5th, 2022 | Marten's Current Racing Diary
The Coral-Eclipse stole the headlines this weekend but I want to start by passing on a few thoughts about the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud that took place yesterday.
Few trainers are as familiar with the programme book as Sir Mark Prescott, but we usually associate him with placing progressive handicappers at a modest level around the gaff tracks here at home rather than at the top International level.
Yet last season he displayed a deft touch with his placing of Alpinista, starting with a Listed race at Goodwood in April and then winning the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock followed by three Group 1s in Germany, notably beating subsequent Arc winner Torquator Tasso on the first of those victories at Hoppegarten in August.
The trainer says that Alpinista comes into her own in the second half of the season, so she was expected to need the race on Sunday and accordingly proved weak in the market, but she belied those concerns with a typically gutsy one-and-a-quarter length defeat of Andre Fabre’s Baratti, with Hurricane Lane and Third Realm well beaten off in arrears.
Highly creditable though this was, the most impressive aspect of the race was the winning time of 2min 26.25secs, 4.15secs faster than standard and the quickest for the race in the last 10 runnings, possibly more.
Furthermore this was achieved on going officially described as good to soft, whereas the ground was good when the brilliant mare Treve won the race in 2m 27.59secs in 2015.
The trainer says that they are working backwards from the Arc, for which the mare is now a general 14/1. It’s far too early to know who she will be up against, but with a victory over last year’s winner and this remarkable time to her name she has every right to be considered a serious contender. Furthermore, she doesn’t mind ease in the ground and she has a style of racing that is suited to the way the Arc is usually run.
As for the Coral-Eclipse it turned into a messy sort of race, much as I expected it to be beforehand.
I never like it when the best horse appears not to have won, but this looked the case with Mishriff, who got no room two furlongs out and was then hampered again before finishing fast and failing to win by a diminshing neck.
With Native Trail and Lord North about half a length further behind there is not more than a pound or two between this lot and another running could see a different result.
In my view had Frankie Dettori been on Lord North he would have held the horse up for longer and possibly prevailed. As for Bay Bridge, much as I expected, he now needs a mile and a half at this level.
Moving on I was delighted with your response last Friday to our new service Market Insights. I have long felt there was a need for a service of this kind and I am pleased with the feedback to this first issue.
Market Insights will be back this Friday evening with my observations on the early betting and any opportunities there may be to take advantage of the prices and concessions on offer. Please refer to the shop for further details.
Things pick up again this week with Newmarket’s July Meeting starting on Thursday. The Weekend Card will include Dan Briden’s news for a few of the quality two-year-olds that will be making their debuts at this popular meeting.
Let’s hope for another interesting week of high-class action!
Bye for now