MARVEL-LOUS BETDAQ VALUE IN THE ARC: Daqman reckons John Gosden for a golden day at Longchamp today with Elusive Kate and Masked Marvel. He says: go for a low draw and get the Betdaq value early.
For Longchamp, think Chester. A low stall is absolutely vital for your chances in Paris today. Last year’s winners were drawn 2, 1, 1, 3, 8 (of 19 in the Arc) and 1.
Second tip, bet with Betdaq early at big value, then hedge on the PMU if you fear any English horses. That way you get the best of both worlds, the bookmakers being caught in the middle with their overround ‘industry’ prices.
12.10 Longchamp (Prix Du Cadran): Group-placed horses win this nine years out of 10, with the key to it, the Prix Gladiateur, won this season by Ley Hunter.
Since the Cadran is over further, and the Gladiateur is often slow-run, it is more likely to be placed animals from the Gladiateur that win.
But this year, they decline to take Ley Hunter on, though Silver Valny, who was fourth, Celtic Celeb fifth and Brigantin seventh, reappear here. Of these, only Celtic Celeb – Cadran runner-up last year – has shown he is equipped for today’s formidable marathon.
Kasbah Bliss has his conditions but is nine now, and the most likely outcome is a repeat by last year’s winner, Gentoo. Kasbah Bliss beat him in the Spring but Gentoo has the weights in his favour here, is lightly raced this term and has Christophe Lemaire doing the steering.
I’m dutching Gentoo at 9.0 and Celtic Celeb at 11.5 on the grounds that both have proved themselves at this trip, both have won over the course and both have experience of this race.
12.45 Longchamp (Prix De l’Abbaye): British raiders are 8 out of 10. You need a van runner from a single-figure draw (6 out of 10), preferably a five-year-old (6 out of 10).
Masamah, from stall 10, is in fact the only five-year-old English raider, and the grey has the right upfront style for his contest, but the plum draw (stall 1) has gone to compatriot Prohibit, winner of the Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and, perhaps even more telling, winner of the recognized trial for the Abbaye, the Prix Petit Couvert over today’s course and distance.
Prohibit, 7lb better with Mar Adentro, though he beat that one in the Petit Couvert, was only sixth in the Abbaye last year but the ground was very soft that day. The old Prohibit might have been daunted by stall 1 today.
To say that we saw a different horse in the Petit Couvert sounds daft of one that had won the Kings Stand but the purpose of the exercise was to turn a hold-up horse into a van runner, or connections knew they would have no chance in the Abbaye; anything racing beyond midfield cannot possibly win.
Captain Dunne goes with the pace but he and Secret Asset are handicappers, whereas Masamah, Sole Power and Tangerine Trees have all won in the Pattern.
But what about the youngsters? Requinto tries the very top flight for a second time but it was good to soft when Margot Did outgunned him – he finished 13th – in the Nunthorpe, with Prohibit third, Wizz Kid fifth and Captain Dunne and Masamah also behind.
Tangerine Trees seems sure to go like the wind and I can see only Prohibit (at 5.4 this morning) and Sole Power (at a value 9.2) with enough experience to lie up and overcome such a pace
1.20 Longchamp (Prix Marcel Boussac): The fillies’ Criterium goes to past winners (8 out of 10 won last time out) but rarely established milers (6 out of 10 had never run that far before).
The French are outnumbered and their best defence, Zantenda, is already a mile winner and her form is on soft ground.
In the absence of Ballydoyle’s Maybe, the runner-up to that one at the Curragh last time out, David Wachman’s Fire Lily, is a strong contender but looks exposed: what you see is what you get from a filly being used up as a two-year-old, and there’s not much between Fire Lily and Yellow Rosebud, who also ran up to Maybe.
I’d be more inclined toward Elusive Kate: John Gosden (had the winner in 2001) is ahead of the game here, having already won twice in France with Elusive Kate, from a family which contained a Morny winner.
Zantenda could be anything but it’s interesting that her runner-up over CD (only a quarter of a length between them), Rajastani, was going to take her on again (pulled out because of the ground), so I’ll take a chance on Elusive Kate.
1.55 Longchamp (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere): The colts’ Criterium is over 7f, not a mile, for some strange raison d’etre which ze English cannot understand (can the French?).
Seven winners out of 10 had already won over the distance. Freddy Head trained the winner in 2008 (Naaqoos) and Sofast has a similar profile in that he’s lightly raced and scored over course and distance on his latest start under a confident ride from Olivier Peslier.
But it was very soft ground that day and Sofast had not been so fast in the Morny, slowly away on a sounder surface when Dabirsim shot clear in a decent time for this prestigious race. He’s hard to oppose.
2.30 Longchamp (Prix De La Foret): All eyes will be on Goldikova but there’s another French favourite in this field: trainer Mikel Delzangles, who landed a double on the first-day Longchamp card yesterday, saddles only Marchand d’Or today.
Delzangles has carved out a new career over 6f and 7f for the former Abbaye hero, culminating in a Group-3 success last time out, but he couldn’t have a worse draw in 8.
The winner will need to be ridden up with the pace so, again, a low stall is a big help. So is winning form in Group 1 or 2 (50%).
When Goldikova, now going for her 15th Group 1, won it last year, it was her only success at 7f. She had the plum stall one then, unlike in 2009 when she was only third from a wide berth. She’s got lucky again today, drawn two.
But these two champions called ‘gold’ are a combined age of 14 years now, and face five runners half Marchand d’Or’s age, to which is added Goldikova’s pacemaker, Flash Dance.
Worthadd has a lot of catching up to do on Jacques Le Marois form with â€˜Goldy’; Dever Dream has failed in four Group 3s; and Guineas flop Surfrider hasn’t been since.
The Haydock Sprint winner Dream Ahead had Bewitched five lengths behind that day but that was over 6f and Bewitched was ring rusty after a break. He then beat Defnightly at The Curragh, as did Marchand d’Or at Deauville.
Bewitched slammed Zoffany in the Spring, three weeks before that one gave Frankel a fright at Royal Ascot, and he could be the one to stretch Goldikova at 14.5 Betdaq value this morning. If I duck and dive between exchange, bookmaker and PMU, I might save most of my stake with the same bet on Goldikova.
3.15 Longchamp (Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe): I gave you a full ABC guide to this race earlier in the week (check it again in the Archive) but I didn’t know then that John Gosden, who has taken out King George winner, Nathaniel, because of the ground, would supplement St Leger winner, the massive improver Masked Marvel, and get stall 5 as a bonus.
Sarafina ran a blinder to be third to Workforce last year in a rough-house race, but has fared worst with the draw: 13 against Workforce’s 8, the same stall he won from last year.
The ground is perfect for Snow Fairy and Frankie Dettori’s 24th Arc ride but she is also in a tricky berth (11).
Remember the stats: 7/10 three-year-olds; 8/10 won last time; 8/10 had a low draw: stall 6 has had 50% wins in last six years.
My ante-post bet – I should say – ‘bets’ – was Meandre on the grounds that, after her Grand Prix win, he wasn’t at his best when beaten by Reliable Man last time out.
Andre Fabre was still out of form until winning the Prix Dollar with Byword yesterday but Reliable Man and Masked Marvel look formidable opponents.
Betdaq to the rescue! Reliable Man at 12.5 and Masked Marvel at 16.0 mean that I can indulge in a spread across stalls 5, 7 and 10
BET 2.5pts win GENTOO and 1.8pts win CELTIC CELEB (12.10 Longchamp)
BET 4.7pts win PROHIBIT and 2.4pts win SOLE POWER (12.45 Longchamp)
BET 5pts win ELUSIVE KATE (1.20 Longchamp)
BANKER: BET 20pts win DABIRSIM (1.55 Longchamp)
BET 1.6pts win on each BEWITCHED and GOLDIKOVA (2.30 Longchamp)
BET 1.75pts win RELIABLE MAN and 1.5pts win MASKED MARVEL, plus ante-post: 2pts win MEANDRE (at 17.0) and previously 4.6pts win at 9.6 (3.5 Longchamp).