Enable is the new favourite for Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, when she will try to make history by becoming the first to win the famous race three times. A wholesale shake-up of the betting market took place on Monday as punters cottoned on to the likelihood of a soggy racing surface at Longchamp, which is not expected to suit the erstwhile favourite, Love.
While a sound surface prevailed at Longchamp for trials day just a fortnight ago, subsequent rain, including 19mm from Sunday into Monday, has led to going described officially as very soft and further heavy rain is forecast for Friday. The latest penetrometer reading for the Paris track is 4.0, close to the 4.1 on which last year’s Arc was staged.
The testing conditions that day are thought to have contributed to Enable’s defeat by Waldgeist, but punters have evidently decided she is more likely to relish the mud than Love. Having been available at 9-4, Enable was cut by all firms on Monday and now tops the market at 7-4 while Love has gone the other way, to 11-4.
Enterprising backers have been casting about for alternatives to the two who have dominated betting on the Arc for months. Stradivarius, outpaced on good ground on trials day but an impressive Gold Cup winner on soft in the summer, crashed down to 7-1 after being twice those odds on Sunday, while In Swoop is a general 16-1 shot from 25-1.
Telecaster also shortened to 20-1, having been on offer at 66-1 in places. This was cheering news to his Berkshire-based trainer, Hughie Morrison, who felt his stable star was being overlooked. “It looks a very strong race but you can always hope our horse can prove to be better than all the handicappers seem to think,” he said.
Morrison will bide his time before committing to a jockey, pointing out that some riders do not yet know whether they can compete in France this weekend. Talks continue between the British Horseracing Authority and Public Health England, which could free jockeys from the need to self-isolate on their return, providing they follow a testing regime and adhere to separation protocols for the following week.
Tuesday racing tips
Ayr 12.30 Cruyff Turn 1.00 Whatzupwithme 1.30 Stroxx 2.05 Kodimoor 2.40 Highfield Princess 3.15 Flying Pursuit 3.50 Abbotside 4.25 Dark Heart
Bangor 12.40 The Wolf 1.10 The Butcher Said 1.40 Teqany 2.15 Lock’s Corner 2.50 Polish 3.25 The Vollan (nap) 3.55 Tango Echo Charlie
Sedgefield 1.50 Magna Moralia 2.25 Fortunate Fred (nb) 3.00 Begoodtoyourself 3.35 Lively Citizen 4.10 Barman 4.45 To Fly Free 5.15 The Navigator 5.45 Socialist Agenda
Wolverhampton 4.05 Mohawk King 4.40 Lauded 5.10 Gypsy Boy 5.40 Hexagon 6.10 Shining Aitch 6.40 Lover’s Moon 7.10 Tuscan Oasis 7.40 Blessed To Impress 8.10 Kodikova
Jockeys like Andrea Atzeni and Oisin Murphy might therefore be able to ride in France this weekend and still be able to take part in Future Champions Day the next Saturday. Conceivably, Atzeni could recover the mount on Stradivarius, for whom Olivier Peslier is currently booked. Murphy, meanwhile, is among those being considered for Telecaster, though he might also be offered an Arc mount by Aidan O’Brien.