10/02/2012 1:49PM

France: Nathaniel ill, will miss Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

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The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe lost still another top contender when Nathaniel was taken out of consideration for Sunday’s race in Paris.

Nathaniel was said by his handlers to be running a temperature, and blood tests on the top England-based 4-year-old came back with unsatisfactory results. The problem has come up too close to the Arc for Nathaniel to be treated for whatever ails him.

His defection is the third prominent loss in less than a week for Europe’s biggest race. Snow Fairy, who defeated Nathaniel in an exciting edition of the Irish Champion Stakes, was withdrawn after injuring her foreleg in a workout last Friday. Danedream’s prospective bid to win the Arc for a second straight year has been quashed by a quarantine placed Monday on the Cologne training center in Germany where the filly is stabled. A horse at Cologne was found with swamp fever, and the training center will be strictly quarantined for 90 days. It was officially confirmed Tuesday that Danedream will not make the Arc.

The rash of defections has left the Japanese colt Orfevre as the ante-post betting favorite for the Arc, and might also have pushed the Aidan O’Brien-trained Camelot closer to a start in the Longchamp fixture. O’Brien in a radio interview Tuesday said the Arc was “very strongly” being considered for Camelot, the 2012 Epsom Derby winner, as well as St Nicholas Abbey, who won the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf.