Workforce stays in Arc shake-up

Workforce stays in Arc shake-up

Workforce was among 26 horses left in at the latest acceptance stage for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday.

Connections have stated they will delay a final decision on the Derby winner’s participation until Thursday.

The main contenders remain in France’s premier middle-distance contest, including ante-post favourite Behkabad, Planteur and Sarafina.

Fame And Glory and Cape Blanco head Aidan O’Brien’s team of seven with back-up supplied by Joshua Tree, Bright Horizon, Dixie Music, Midas Touch and Flying Cross.

Youmzain has finished second for the last three years and Mick Channon’s grand campaigner is on course for another attempt at lifting Europe’s prestigious prize.

Cavalryman is Godolphin’s sole entry, while John Gosden’s Prix Foy winner Duncan and Japanese challenger Nakayama Festa are among other’s in line to try for Arc immortality.

Lope De Vega, winner of the French 2000 Guineas and Prix du Jockey Club, is likely to be added to the field at Thursday's supplementary stage.

Since those Classic victories, the colt has suffered defeats in the Prix Jean Prat and Prix du Moulin, both over a mile, but his trainer Andre Fabre is a past master having won the Arc seven times.

Crispin de Moubray, racing manager for owners Gestut Ammerland, said: “I’ve always said this horse was brilliant, but he’s taken a rather unusual route to get here.

“He was a freak of a horse in the Jockey Club, in which he easily beat Planteur – I don’t think anything could have lived with him that day.

“I don’t see any reason why the horse shouldn’t stay, especially if there’s a fast pace which should help him settle early.

“I also don’t see why he should not mind it if it’s testing ground.

“The forecast is for six millimetres of rain on Saturday and five on Sunday, and that should be fine for him.”

Youmzain showed his well-being in his final spin on the Channon gallops at West Ilsley before setting off on his annual trip to Paris.

“I’m just relieved to be honest – he’s done plenty of work already and if he’s not fit now he never will be,” said Channon.

“It was just about getting him across the village to the Summer Ground for a change of scenery and coming home safe.

“So much can go wrong at any time but in the build-up to big races all sorts of factors play on your mind.

“He’s back in his box safe and sound now and he’ll just canter away until Friday when he leaves for Paris.

“I can’t wait now, it seems to have taken ages to get to this stage and you can sense everyone in the yard is getting excited.

“He’s in great heart and is the Arc’s yardstick, which he’s been for the past two years now.

“I’m as confident as ever that he’ll run another massive race,” the trainer told www.mickchannon.tv.

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