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The Arc Weekend, Future Champions Weekend and Champions Day

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – 3.05pm Sunday 2nd October

With Baaeed confirmed for the Champion Stakes at Ascot, that leaves this year’s Arc wide open. Luxembourg heads the betting and he’s probably the right favourite on his Irish Champion Stakes win, where he narrowly got the better of Onesto.

I’ve a feeling Torquator Tasso’s victory in last year’s renewal was a bit of a fluke on that very heavy ground and I’m pretty sure Alpinista will find a couple too good.

The one in here that looks over-priced is Irish Derby winner Westover.

He was imperious that day, travelling powerfully and hitting the line even stronger, if he’d had a clear run of things at Epsom, he would have given Desert Crown plenty to think about too. His run in the King George, when 13/8 favourite, was a complete right off. Far too keen and sweating profusely beforehand, nothing went his way.

Lit up out in front, I’d say he’ll be ridden with a little more restraint at Longchamp.

The fact he was favourite for that race and is touching 20/1 for the Arc feels like far too big of a differential. Back to slower ground will help him based on his form as well, so he should have a far better run of things and on the ability, he showed in both Derby’s, I’d have him half the price he is now.

Recommended Bet

Back Westover @ 20/1 Each Way

Prix de l’Opera – 3.50pm Sunday 2nd October

The Prix de l’Opera has been kind to the raiders in recent years, with Hugo Palmer, James Fanshawe, Aidan O’Brien, Charlie Appleby, and Dermot Weld all making successful journeys over to Paris with their fillies since 2015. A couple of trainers have a great chance of enhancing that record even further.

Nashwa could run for John and Thady Gosden, having won the Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes on her last two runs.

As good as she’s looked, I think there is one that could improve past her.

Joseph O’Brien’s Above The Curve is one I’ve liked since the start of the season, having put her up for Oaks, where she sadly didn’t run.

Having won at the top level over the course and distance at Paris Longchamp in May, she had a break and returned in Group 2 company on Irish Champions Weekend, where she beat Insinuendo. The victory may not look Group 1-class on paper, but in reality, I think it was.

It was pretty clear on ITV Racing from Kevin Blake (Joseph O’Brien’s race planner), that Above The Curve wasn’t cherry ripe for this and was expected to be better for the run, so the fact she won is a huge positive.

She travelled well into the race before taking it up at the furlong pole, beating off La Petite Coco. Then Insinuendo came with her challenge really late, but Above The Curve found more again to fend her off as well.

I was really impressed, and you can’t help but think she’ll be even better in this upcoming assignment, especially given this has been mapped out as her target.

Recommended Bet

Back Above The Curve @ 7/1

Fillies Mile – 7th October – 3.35pm Newmarket

Looking at the market for this race, I think it has the potential to cut up. Statuette hasn’t been seen since June, which would have to be a concern.

Meditate has shown plenty of speed this year and the way Aidan O’Brien was talking after her Moyglare defeat, it would be a little surprising were she to step up to a mile.

Commissioning is next in the market, but it would be unlike John Gosden to send a horse to a Group 1 on their second start.

I think it’s worth chancing Bright Diamond here.

She was incredible on debut, when looking the first beaten on the July course, then the penny dropped, and she really started motoring to power clear by 9-lengths at the line. That stamped her out as a potential star. At Goodwood next time over 7f, she was held up last, but Fairy Cross went very slow up front and the first three throughout didn’t change places come the winning post.

The only one to make up any ground was Bright Diamond, from last, she really picked up to finish third, which is a sign of her ability to make up that ground off a slow gallop.

I think she’s value to improve past Fairy Cross, especially over a furlong further, which looking at her run, she’ll absolutely relish. Karl Burke has some really good juveniles this year so I don’t think he’ll be afraid of having a go at the Fillies Mile to see where Bright Diamond will slot into the pecking order.

He won it in 2017 with Laurens and I’m looking forward to seeing Bright Diamond unlock more potential at this distance.

Recommended Bet

Back Bright Diamond @ 20/1 Each Way

Alex Peperell