‘ARC’ ABC AS SEEN BY THE STATS: With recent Ayr Gold Cup and Cambridgeshire successes under his belt, Daqman starts his preparation for the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday with this ABC of his stats on the race, as follows:

A Three-year-olds have won eight of the last nine
B Eight of the nine were trained in Ireland, France or Germany
C All had won a Group 1
D Nine out of nine were drawn in stalls 1-8 (not included)
E Eight of the last nine French 3yo winners were placed in the Prix Niel

ABCE Bayrir With the depleted field, after the loss of Danedream, Nathaniel and Snow Fairy, he would have a great chance.

That chance largely depends on his second (not given a hard time) in the top trial for this race, the Prix Niel, won by Saonois. Not seen until May this year, he had earlier won the Grade-1 Secretariat Stakes on turf at Arlington Park, which prompted US commentators to forecast a tilt at the Breeders Cup.

But owner-breeder the Aga Khan is an Arc addict, and the runner-up at Arlington was beaten out of sight in the Turf Classic at Belmont recently. Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre says that Bayrir has done ‘extremely well’ since the Niel.

ABCE Saonois Took a significant French Derby trial – the Prix La Force – in April and, though subsequently beaten on very soft ground for the Greffulhe, was back in his element on a sounder surface at Chantilly and won the Classic itself.

With the Arc in mind, he did not race again for four months until the Prix Niel when he outran Bayrir, and the favourite, Grand Prix De Paris runner-up Last Train.

His French Derby had been slow run, and it was a similar case in a small field for the Niel, when he settled the race with his superior speed. A fast and furious Arc on soft ground on Sunday would be unknown territory.

ABC Camelot The Triple Crown slipped from his grasp at Doncaster to Encke, who improved 25lb in six weeks, in the process turning around his Great Voltigeur defeat by Thought Worthy by some 16 lengths.

Camelot was given a lot to do by Joseph O’Brien but, though the dual Classic winner (2-5 favourite) stayed the St Leger trip, his jockey had assumed that the colt’s instant acceleration would be there as it was in the Derby, at the nudge of a knee and a shortening of the reins. It wasn’t.

We shall not know if Encke fluked it until we see him again but it didn’t look that way, and a return to the 1m 4f of the Arc and a great run there by Camelot would set Encke on a pedestal not far beneath Frankel’s.

With the Arc field depleted, the winner should now come from one of the two Derby winners, Saonois and Camelot. It would in a normal year. But this is not a normal year by any stretch of the imagination.

ABC Masterstroke It would indeed be a masterstroke, even for the formidable Andre Fabre, should he get this one home in the Arc, after defeat in both the Hocquart and a Group 3 at Chantilly saw the colt dropped to a Listed to get back into the winner’s enclosure.

But, in winning that race, and then bouncing back to the big time in the Grand Prix at Deauville, it was easy to form the opinion that good ground is essential for him. The Paris forecast is rain, rain, sun, cloud, cloud. So soft ground is not a racing certainty. But neither is Masterstroke, even in the right conditions.

AB Ernest Hemingway Looked a likely candidate for honours this season when slaughtering a field of maidens by 10 lengths at Dundalk, which has become a launch-pad for Ballydoyle youngsters.

The bell tolled for the Galileo colt in the Dante – stone last of 14 – but, in the moveable feast that is Ballydoyle, he is suddenly back on the menu.. as starter for Camelot or one of the main dishes?

AB Kesampour The Prix Greffulhe winner in May with Saonois only fourth, but Saonois didn’t like the very soft ground that day, and sure enough the tables were turned in the French Derby on a sounder surface.

However, Kesampour was a close fourth at Chantilly in a speed race and was short of work when fifth of six in the Niel. If there is rain, and if there is to be a surprise on Sunday, this is one colt that could provide it.

AB Yellow And Green Quietly coming to the fore, this filly stepped up from a Group-3 place to win a Group 2 on only her fourth start in June, and did very well after being forced wide in the Prix Vermeille to finish less than four lengths behind the winner, last year’s Arc runner-up, Shareta. Could play a part.

AC Great Heavens Showed rapid improvement in the summer from a Listed win around the 82 mark to the Group-2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock and finally the Group-1 Irish Oaks, from which she has been rated 117.

Shareta raced off the same official mark when the three-lengths Irish Oaks runner-up, Shirocco Star, was more than five lengths behind her in the Yorkshire Oaks, but further improvement would put Great Heavens in with a shout, as John Gosden’s substitute for the absent Nathaniel.

BC Meandre Has had 16 races to Yellow And Green’s five. Winner of the 2011 Grand Prix De Paris, earning his chance in the Arc by running second in the Prix Niel.

The grey finished close up sixth in the Arc but, though the decent surface suited, he was lacking for final pace, as happened again when he was outgunned by Orfevre in the Prix Foy recently. Meandre beat Shareta in June but it was a tactical race.

BC Shareta The 2011 Vermeille third seemed to have no chance in the Arc at 66-1 and she was there only as pacemaker for Sarafina, but she got the run of the race and the top of the ground she likes.

She was a well-beaten runner-up that day but seems a better filly this year, wining the Yorkshire Oaks and, more significantly, stepping up on last year’s Vermeille form by taking the race this time around, with Yellow And Green fourth.

BC St Nicholas Abbey Six times placed this season, including in the the King George, the Juddmonte International and the Irish Champion Stakes, winning only a small-field Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Fifth in the Arc last year, and has taken on the best – Danedream, Frankel, Snow Fairy, Nathaniel – in the frame 15 times from 17 starts.

B Haya Landa Only one win from 14 attempts. Finished ahead of Shareta in April but that was Shareta’s seasonal debut. Seems a couple of lengths short of Group-2 winning standard, on results since.

B Robin Hood Long-time Ballydoyle pacemaker, finishing last consecutively in each of the Coronation Cup, Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and King George.

B Solemia Beat Shareta in a Group-2 in May but, though beaten into third, her best form was probably behind a fully-wound-up Shareta (with Yellow And Green fourth) in the Prix Vermeille.

C Orfevre Japanese 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner among straight wins last season, and back to form in June after a break, hitting the Arc headlines last time by winning one of the recognized best trials, the Prix Foy, from Meandre.

This success prompted the Racing Post racereader to say that Meandre wasn’t in the same league as Orfevre but his Japanese trainer thought he should have beaten Meandre more convincingly to stand a chance on Sunday.

Aventino Only a handicapper, and pacemaker for Orfevre in the Prix Foy.

Mikhail Glinka Formerly with Aidan O’Brien – won the Queens Vase – has been Group 2 at best this term (on turf in Dubai) for Czech connections.

Sea Moon The eight-lengths winner of the 2011 Great Voltigeur looked set for stardom but was only third in the St Leger and second to St Nicholas Abbey in the Breeders Cup.

An easy Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) success over CD at Ascot set him up for the King George but, though 2-1 favourite, he was well-beaten fifth to Danedream, Nathaniel, St Nicholas Abbey and Reliable Man.

Sea Moon was badly out of position for most of that race but he’s yet to make that final step to the very top of the ladder, albeit with a trainer who often improves older horses.

BET 1.7pts win MARTIAL ART and 0.6pts win (stakes saver) SAINT JEROME (2.40 Warwick)
BET 12pts win (nap) BENHEIR (2.50 Bangor)
BET 8.6pts win GIRL AT THE SANDS (4.00 Southwell)
BET 3.2pts win TROJAN ROCKET (5.10 Warwick)
BET 2.3pts win and place CALEDONIA PRINCE (5.30 Southwell)

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