Talismanic among Arc preppers
The improving filly Kitesurf and the established veteran Talismanic, winner of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar, give Godolphin Racing and trainer Andre Fabre the favorites in two of the three major prep races for the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp Racecourse on Sunday in Paris.
The $5.81 million Arc de Triomphe will be run Oct. 7. Sunday’s program at Longchamp has three stakes at 1 1/2 miles expected to provide clues whether anyone can challenge the brilliant English filly Enable in the Arc. As of Friday, Enable was the 3-2 favorite to win the Arc for the second consecutive year.
Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Vermeille for fillies and mares is led by Kitesurf, who won the Group 2 Prix de Pomone for fillies and mares at 1 9/16 miles on Aug. 19 at Deauville. The $697,800 Prix Vermeille, the richest race on Sunday’s program, will be the first start in a Group 1 for Kitesurf since a fifth-place finish in the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak at Saint-Cloud Racecourse last October.
The 3-year-old filly Magic Wand, who won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June for trainer Aidan O’Brien, and Worth Waiting, who won her fourth consecutive race in the Group 3 Prix Minerve on Aug. 12 at Deauville, are Kitesurf’s chief rivals.
Worth Waiting is trained by David Lanigan and will start in her first Group 1 race in the Prix Vermeille. The race drew nine and has one Group 1 winner in Well Timed, who won the German Oaks on Aug. 5 at Dusseldorf.
Talismanic was the 5-2 choice in the future book on Friday to win the Group 2 Prix Foy at 1 1/2 miles over stablemate Waldgeist, at 11-4. Talismanic was ninth in the Dubai World Cup on dirt last March and won his comeback in the Group 3 Prix Gontaut-Biron at 1 1/4 miles Aug. 15 at Deauville.
The $151,190 Prix Foy, which is restricted to 4-year-olds and up and excludes geldings, drew a field of six, including the O’Brien-trained Capri, who won the Group 1 English St. Leger last September but was later 17th of 18 in the Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly. In his lone start this year, Capri won the Group 3 Alleged Stakes in Ireland, but was later sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Waldgeist is capable of winning and has shown peak form this year, winning three consecutive stakes at 1 1/2 miles. The Prix Foy will be Waldgeist’s first start since a victory in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris on July 1 at SaintCloud.
The $151,190 Prix Niel, for 3-year-old colts and fillies only, is led by Neufbosc.