Atzeni aiming to keep it simple with Postponed
Andrea Atzeni is confident Postponed is the best horse in the race
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Atzeni aiming to keep it simple with Postponed
By Mark Scully 8:30AM 2 OCT 2016
KEEP it simple and the best horse in the race should win the Arc – that was the confident message from the rider of Postponed on the eve of the race.
Andrea Atzeni is relishing the challenge of riding the Arc favourite and hopes Postponed can "put the icing on the cake" at the end of an almost perfect campaign.
But for a virus that ruled out a defence of the King George at Ascot in the summer, Postponed's progress through 2016 has been serene, establishing him as Europe's pre-eminent middle-distance performer.
Now the Roger Varian-trained five-year-old has the opportunity to claim a career-defining victory and Atzeni is confident his mount is the one to beat at Chantilly.
"It's a very important race," said Atzeni. "The horse has had a great year but winning an Arc would be the icing on the cake.
"It's probably the biggest race in the world and the biggest ride I've ever had. Horses like him don't come around too often, so hopefully he can do it."
Atzeni added: "It's exciting to be riding the favourite. A lot of people will be watching and there's always that extra pressure but for me I just take it all step by step. My job is to keep it as smooth as I can because on the form he's the best horse – I just need to give him every chance."
Postponed will jump from stall seven and Atzeni said: "We were happy with the draw. I wouldn't want to be drawn any lower, so we thought seven was fine.
"He's a fairly simple horse to ride, very straightforward and I think he's the best horse in the race, so I think the main thing will be just to keep it simple."
Atzeni has 'brilliant relationship' with star
Varian paid tribute to Atzeni's work with Postponed, with the jockey having ridden him in 13 of his 17 starts and to eight of his nine wins.
"The horse is versatile in terms of ground but he has shown his best form on a sound surface, which it looks like being," Varian said.
"Stall seven is virtually a central draw, which allows us options, while Andrea has the most brilliant relationship with the horse."
Bookies fear bashing
While Atzeni and Varian would be thrilled to toast Arc victory, bookmakers fear a significant payout should the favourite oblige, with William Hill among those bracing themselves for a seven-figure loss.
"We've been filled in on Postponed, punters can't get enough of him and if he wins the Arc he'll cost bookmakers more than £5 million," said spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.