Man On The Spot: Trust in Angel
Our resident tipster Man On The Spot previews the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe card from Chantilly on Sunday.
Mecca's Angel is taken to land the Abbaye
Aidan O'Brien attempts to win this for the third time in succession and runs Promise To Be True. But she was never in contention in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh having landed a Group 3 at Leopardstown before that. Wuheida made a winning start in a Newmarket maiden and may well improve past Mark Johnston's Baileys Showgirl but the unbeaten Dabyah is preferred to both having won a conditions race at Newbury for John Gosden in impressive manner. First Of Spring is one of two unbeaten fillies representing Jean-Claude Rouget but stablemate TOULIFAUT makes more appeal on the back of a Group 3 victory over track and trip when beating previous winner Normandel. She should make a bold bid with Deauville Group 3 winner Cavale Doree another to consider.
It's been 10 years since Ballydoyle last claimed this prize but WHITECLIFFSOFDOVER has every chance of bringing that wait to an end. He failed to hold off the challenge of Larchmont Lad in the Group 3 Somerville Stakes over 7f at Newmarket but this extra distance should see him in a better light. He's preferred to stablemate Utah and Sylvester Kirk's Salouen but Kontrastat looks a big danger. A Group 3 winner at Saint-Cloud recently, he's another expected to thrive over today's longer trip. Better was expected from National Defense here last time while King Of Spades has been best over 6f so far and the filly Thais has a tough task.
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SO MI DAR kept her unbeaten record intact when returning from injury in Listed company at Yarmouth. An impressive winner of the Musidora at York in May, John Gosden's filly has yet to be tested though that's unlikely to be the case here up against high-class opposition. James Fanshawe's Speedy Boarding won a Group 1 over today's trip at Deauvulle in August when Sea Front and Royal Solitaire were well beaten and Pleascach is another winner at the highest level having landed the Irish 1000 Guineas before winning last year's Yorkshire Oaks. But the latter makes a belated seasonal debut today while though Jemayel won the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary back in May she has subsequently finished third to Minding in the Nassau at Goodwood. The German filly Pagella makes up the field but may struggle in this company.
POSTPONED is at the height of his powers and a deserved ante-post favourite. Unbeaten since landing last year's King George at Ascot, he beat Found in the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June and Highland Reel and The Grey Gatsby when winning the Juddmonte International at York last time. Ascot Gold Cup winner Order Of St George drops back further in trip after failing to land the odds in the Irish St Leger while the Arc trial winners here last month, Silverwave and Left Hand, are others who may just lack an edge in this company. Andre Fabre's New Bay lost nothing in defeat behind Golden Horn and Flintshire in last year's renewal, however, and a couple of three-year-old Derby winners could also go well.Harzand is reportedly fully recovered from being struck into in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Epsom and Irish Derby winner will appreciate the return to 1m4f while Japan's Derby winner Makahiki went some way towards justifying a lofty reputation when beating Midterm in the Prix Niel trial here last month but has been drawn wide as he bids to win this for Japan for the first time.
MECCA'S ANGEL shrugged off any worries concerning the ground at York when winning the Nunthorpe in fine style and beating several of these in the process. Michael Dods' speedball will take the beating if in the same mood today and this is likely to be her last race. Last year's winner Goldream was one of those beaten at York and he was also behind runner-up Marsha in a trial for this over track and trip won by Just Glamorous. Profitable beat Cotai Glory with Take Cover further behind to win the King's Stand at Ascot in soft ground and the latter had earlier beaten Washington D C in a Group 2 sprint at Goodwood. Son Cesio won a Group 2 over course and distance in June and Maarek won this in 2013 but is not the force of old. Ardad returned to form in the Flying Childers at Doncaster but would be the first two-year-old to win this since 1978 if successful.
LIMATO is back for more having made a bit of mess of things at Longchamp last year when sent off favourite. A slow start forced him to come wide of the field in the straight but the winner had got away and he did well to finish second in the end. Henry Candy's charge beat Suedois to win the July Cup at Newmarket earlier this season and found only Meccas's Angel too good over a trip too short at York last time. A couple of the home team look dangerous with Spectre dropping back in trip having competed at the highest level over a mile recently and finishing runner-up in the Prix Moulin here last month ahead of Trixia, while Jimmy Two Times was placed in a Group 1 at Deauville in August when ahead of Suedois and Attendu. But Coulsty and Birchwood look to have a bit to find, as does Ed Dunlop's Same Jurisdiction.
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