09/30/2016 1:26PM

Postponed solid Arc favorite

Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
Postponed enters the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe having won his last six starts.

The wait is over for Postponed, who long has been aimed at Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and goes into the race the solid favorite to beat 15 rivals after drawing favorably in post 7.

The 5-year-old Postponed, trained for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid al-Maktoum by Roger Varian, and to be ridden by Andrea Atzeni, traded at less than 2-1 in antepost wagering Friday, and figures to be similarly favored on the North American tote board. Bookmakers have Makahiki a narrow second choice over Found and Harzand, with New Bay and Left Hand getting some support. Makahiki and Left Hand drew poorly on the far outside.

Wide draws are undesirable in 1 1/2-mile races at Chantilly, where the Arc has moved this year, though not quite to the extent as at Longchamp, the traditional site of the Arc which is undergoing extensive renovation, forcing the venue change. Like Longchamp, Chantilly is a right-handed course, and as usual the Arc will be contested around one long turn, though the bend at Chantilly is shorter than Longchamp’s, as is the race’s middle uphill portion. The Chantilly homestretch is three furlongs with a slight rise, compared with the 2 1/2-furlong final straight at Longchamp. The course was watered Thursday, and there was a chance of rain Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but the turf should be no worse than good to soft.

First post for the card, which includes five other Group 1’s, is 8:10 a.m. Eastern, with the Arc scheduled for 10:05. Live video and wagering on the program are available at DRF Bets.

Postponed is a worthy favorite and lacks obvious flaws. He enters on a six-race winning streak dating to the Group 1 King George last summer and including three other Group 1’s: the Sheema Classic, the Coronation Cup, and the International. He won the King George on soft ground and the Group 2 Prix Foy last fall on very soft, but has run even better on firmer going. He goes right-handed and left-handed, and on flat and undulating tracks with equal comfort, and has pace to attend a slowly run race if need be. He can improve on his last-start win in the International, his first race after a relatively minor illness and at a distance short of his best.

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Found, the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and a troubled ninth from a poor draw in the 2015 Arc, has the best chance to beat the favorite. Though she has already raced seven times this year and has only one win, Found has kept elite company all season. She has long been pointed to this race, and looked as sharp as ever has finishing a strong second to high-class Almanzor in the Irish Champion Stakes. Ryan Moore must work out a trip from a wide draw.

Makahiki is the latest Japan-based horse trying to win the Arc, and he was shipped about three months ago to acclimate and prep in the Prix Niel, which he won by a neck over Midterm with a solid closing run. The Japanese Derby winner, Makahiki gets an eight-pound weight allowance from older horses, and jockey Christophe Lemaire has expressed confidence his mount will move forward Sunday.

Three-year-old fillies carry 11 pounds fewer than older males, and consequently have done well in the Arc, but Left Hand has not proven good enough to beat the best here and breaks from post 16. Harzand, the Dermot Weld-trained Epsom Derby winner, came out of his eighth-place Irish Champion finish with an injury, and until a couple weeks ago was uncertain to make this race. He might prefer more give in the ground and has beaten 3-year-olds not nearly the class of his toughest foes Sunday.

New Bay, trained by seven-time Arc winner Andre Fabre, is lightly campaigned this season. He was third in the 2015 Arc, and should improve on his Irish Champion fourth. Whether that’s enough to beat the likes of Postponed is a different question.