John Gosden has won three of the last five renewals and, despite favouring the Champion Stakes at Ascot for Prix du Jockey Club hero Mishriff next, there are two equine greats in his yard out to land the spoils. Enable is a dual winner of the Arc and finished runner-up to Waldgeist in her hat-trick bid last year.
Also a six-year-old, owner Bjorn Nielsen favours a crack at the Arc over longer distance options in which Stradivarius is proven. Prince Khalid Abdullah, who owns Enable, also has 2019 St Leger hero Logician in training with Gosden and he has been saved for an autumn campaign.
Irish training maestro Aidan O’Brien has a major hope of Arc glory in the market leader Love. Already the 15/8 favourite if you want to bet on horse racing at 888sport, she has proven a cut above her fellow three-year-old fillies in three classy Group 1 victories this season.
Love has followed in the hoofprints of Enable by winning the Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks en route to her autumn target, the Arc. O’Brien and his wealthy Coolmore backers need to decide whether or not to supplement shock Epsom Derby hero Serpentine for this race but, unlike Love, he won’t have the weights entirely in his favour.
Older inmates of Ballydoyle like Japan and Magical have had arguably their best chances of win the Arc pass them by. O’Brien’s younger son Donnacha may have an interesting contender in fellow Classic winning filly Fancy Blue. That would be some story if she were to win in what is her handler’s first year with a license.
Best of the French teams by far looks to be Jean-Claude Rouget’s stable. Among his Arc ammunition is three-year-old Hamdan Al Maktoum owned filly Raabihah, who just lost out on a place in a blanket finish to the Prix de Diane when fourth.
She has since resumed winning ways and, as a three-year-old, gets the maximum weight-for-age and sex allowances at Longchamp. The likeable colt Port Guillaume also hails from the Rouget yard and he built on a fine fifth down the field to Mishriff with an impressive Group 2 success at Deauville in the Normandy coast last time out.
Sottsass was third in the Arc last year, but has been hit and miss since. Rouget is training the four-year-old to try and peak in this race, however, following a less than ideal prep. This is still by the far the best of the home team.