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Latest Odds on Arc, Breeders' Cup
The big weekend in Europe with the Arc Trials at Longchamp and assorted St. Legers in England, Ireland and Germany had a pronounced effect on the betting for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. There was little change on the Breeders' Cup front, however, as most European trainers won't be making firm decisions about the Cup until shortly after Arc Weekend, Oct. 2-3.
Of course Goldikova and Midday are on course to defend their titles in the Mile and Filly & Mare Turf, respectively. Midday looked particularly sharp landing the 1 1/2-mile Prix Vermeille on Sunday, ending Sarafina's undefeated record. William Hill has cut Juddmonte's Henry Cecil-trained daughter of Oasis Dream to even money in the Filly & Mare Turf. Goldikova remains at 2-1 for the Mile as she prepares for the 7-furlong Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Arc Day.
Ladbrokes has a new favorite for the Arc in Sunday's Prix Niel winner Behkabad. Previously the winner of the Grand Prix de Paris, the Aga Khan's 3-year-old son of Cape Cross is now 3-1 with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Fame and Glory, who disdained a traditional Arc prep and will go straight to the big race off a bloodless win in the 1 1/4-mile, Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes on August 8, drifting out to 4-1.
The Elie Lellouche-trained Planteur, who was second to Behkabad in both the Grand Prix de Paris and the Prix Niel, is Ladbrokes 7-1 third favorite along with the enigmatic Workforce, the 7-length winner of the Eposm Derby who was far behind in Harbinger's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 24. Winning the Arc off a performance like that, and off a 10-week absence to boot, would be a major miracle, but trainer Michael Stoute is not shying away from the challenge.
At 8-1Cape Blanco has drifted out from 6-1 since his 5-length victory in the Irish Champion Stakes on Sept. 4. It will be interesting to see which of the two Coolmore horses Johnny Murtagh chooses. Will it be the hot 3-year-old Cape Blanco, or the long absent Fame and Glory?
Sarafina at 8-1 could be as much value as Cape Blanco. The French Oaks winner was finishing best of all when third in Midday's Prix Vermeille off a 13-week layoff. She will be sharper in the Arc for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre.
Three-time Arc runner-up Youmzain is 16-1 for this year's renewal but he hasn't run since his third in the King George, since when it has been announced that he will be retired at the end of the year to the Head family's Haras du Mezeray. It is whimsical to think that the 7-year-old son of Arc winner Sinndar will succeed this year where he has failed in three previous tries.
Three of Sunday's Arc Trail performers check in at 25-1 for the Arc with Ladbrokes. They are Prix Foy winner Duncan, Prix Foy runner-up Nakayama Festa, who should benefit by his Sunday exertions but not enough to crack the first three in the Arc, and Vermeille runner-up Plumania, who looks like value at the price. She is Andre Fabre's leading Arc candidate and has beaten males when taking the 1 1/2-mile, Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in June when she held off Youmzain by a nose.
Back on the Breeders' Cup front, Forever Together remains William Hill's second favorite for the Filly & Mare Turf at 7-1 with Proviso at 8-1. Proviso is probably better than Forever Together at this stage, but one wonders if she is suited to the 1 3/8 miles at which this year's F&M Turf will be run. Plumania is 14-1 for the F&M Turf, a nice price but she is not at all certain to show up at Churchill Downs.
Makfi, the 2000 Guineas winner who beat Goldikova and Paco Boy in the Prix Jacques Le Marois, is the second favorite behind Goldikova in the Mile at 4-1, followed by Paco Boy at 7-1, Sydney's Candy at 10-1 and the hard-to-place Gio Ponti at 14-1.
Fame and Glory is Hill's 7-2 favorite for the Turf with Gio Ponti at 7-1 and Arlington Million winner Debussy 8-1, although the John Gosden-trained son of Diesis is by no means certain to stay 1 1/2 miles. Neither is Gio Ponti for that matter. Stay tuned, however. The result of the Arc should have a big impact on which Europeans line up for the Turf.
John Gosden mentioned his St. Leger winner Arctic Cosmos as a candidate for the Turf, but none of the big British bookies have included the son of Epsom Derby winner North Light in their antepost markets. Arctic Cosmos would be attempting to duplicate the St. Leger/Turf double pulled off by Conduit two years ago but he appears to need longer than 1 1/2 miles and would have to improve to win what looks like a subpar renewal of the Turf this year.
The last-place finish of United Nations winner Chinchon in the Prix Foy, the older horse prep for the Arc, doesn't say much for the American turf division. Chinchon seemed like a potential champion at Monmouth but he looked decidedly pedestrian at Longchamp on Sunday.
Zenyatta and Lookin at Lucky remain William Hill's 4-1 co-favorites for the Breeders' Cup Classic, which may be lacking international flavor this year as it is being run on dirt. Europeans have done well in Classics at Churchill, however, with Giant's Causeway second in 2000 and Swain third in 1998, but the lowest priced foreigners at this point are the Japanese-trained Espoir City and Coolmore's Rip Van Winkle, both at 16-1. Blame is Hill's third favorite at 6-1 with Quality Road at 8-1, Afleet Express, Fly Down and Rachel Alexandra all at 12-1. Hill's has yet to open a book on the Ladies Classic, which must be Rachel's preferred choice.
Zen will not win tghe BC Classic on real dirt. The BC Classic has been bastardized the past 2 years by running it on synthetics. It has basically turned it into a glorified turf race run on plastic. It was meant to be the premier dirt test. Anyone think Ravens Pass would have beaten Curlin on real dirt????? Last year Zenyatta beat a BC Classic field filled mostly with turfers and a few dirt horses such as Summer Bird who did not particularly like the plastic. Other BC races have been bastardized as well which have been run on Pro...., poly...., plasti.... or whatever else you choose to call it. The Sprint, the Distaff, The Juvenile and the Juv Filles have all been bastardized and turned into fake dirt races when run on the plastic. Sorry Zen cheerleaders but she will lose on the real dirt to the males, and I have a feeling that Looking at Lucky is sitting on a monster race. Weather forecast is for clear skies the remainder of this coming week and if LAL gets any kind of decent post draw and trip they will all be Lookin at his rear at the finish. Thank you Santa Anita for going back to real dirt. The whole reason for installing the plastic everywhewre was that it was supposedly safer. Well guess what, we now have loads of data over a number of years which clearly indicate it is no safer than dirt. Same injurings and same breakdowns and statistically it is no safer than dirt. Bring back real dirt american racing. If I want to watch a full turf race card I'd go to Europe. Poly.... is basically the equivalent of running on fake turf. And when Zenyatta loses by several lengths please do not start Mike Smith with the excuse she did not handle the track, the REAL excuse will be that it was run on REAL dirt and she cant beat quality males on REAL dirt.
Alan, Ladbrokes just opened with their odds. They list that Zenyatta is trading at 6.0. What does trading at 6.0 mean? (5-1. When odds in Europe are shown in decimals like 6.0, that reflects the payoff including a one-unit stake. Readers take note that Ladbrokes has Lookin At Lucky as their 4-1 Classic favorite. As of Thursday, William Hill still have both Zenyatta and Lookin At Lucky at 4-1.) AS
I'll Say This Once. Sydneys Candy Gonna Be Bet Of The Day At 10-1 Will run In 132 Flat & Beat Goldikova By 3. You Heard it hear & Zenyatta Gotta Love!! Good Luck!!
What was the last running of the Turf you didn't think was subpar? 1995? (2005 was a good running with Shirocco, Azamour and Bago, but the Turf will always suffer in comparison with the Arc and the King George and even the Japan Cup as long as Kentucky continues to breed so few horses that can stay a mile and a half.) AS
Zenyatta at 4-1 is an overlay. Scores and odds have Zenyatta at 5-2 and dropping. (She certainly is an overlay at 4-1. When interpreting Breeders' Cup odds always remember that, generally speaking, you will get a better price on American horses with British and Irish bookies, and better prices in America on European horses.) AS