Kinane sweet on Scorpion

MICK KINANE is hoping St Leger hero Scorpion can sting Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe favourite Hurricane Run at Longchamp tomorrow.

Only half a length separated the two Coolmore-owned colts in the Irish Derby when Hurricane Run came out on top, although Scorpion has since gone on to post two impressive successes at the top level.

He trounced the field in the Grand Prix de Paris before his Classic success at Doncaster and punters have been latching onto Aidan O’Brien’s charge, who is now as low as 7-1 with Ladbrokes.

“I’m looking forward to it and hopefully too much rain doesn’t come,” said Kinane of his mount, who will race from stall 10.

“On his performance there in July - on similar ground - he would make them go. He put it up to Hurricane Run at the Curragh and there’s no reason to say he couldn’t do it again.”

The Andre Fabre-trained Hurricane Run heads the market, with owner Michael Tabor not wishing to swap his charge for anything else after he landed the Prix Niel earlier this month.

“He is fine and he’s with a top trainer so you couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Tabor.

“The filly (Shawanda) you’ve got to respect and Motivator as well. He’s a Derby winner and has run well in his races since - he ran well in the Champion against Oratorio.

“I don’t think I’d swap our chances, but if I owned Motivator I’d probably be saying the same thing.”

Shawanda, who hails from the yard of Alain de Royer-Dupre heads into the race after winning her last five starts, which included an impressive success in the Irish Oaks.

The Aga Khan’s filly scooped the Prix Vermeille on her only start since and will again be ridden by Christophe Soumillon.

However, the jockey rode Hurricane Run before his transfer to Tabor’s ownership and rates the colt as his main danger.

“We have a good chance in the Arc, but Hurricane Run should be favourite because the fillies are often not as good as the colts.

“I am very confident for my filly, though, but I am not too excited as I know that if she doesn’t win because she is not good enough, then that is life.”

Shawanda has been given the rail draw in stall one, which Royer-Dupre described as far from ideal.

“It is not the best draw you can get but Pride, my other representative, is drawn 14 which is even worse,” he said.

“Actually, I’d rather have it the other way around with Shawanda outside and Pride along the rail.

Motivator, drawn eight, leads a five-strong British challenge and Harry Herbert, spokesman for owners the Royal Ascot Racing Club, hopes the Michael Bell-trained colt can pick up the winning thread.

Since his Epsom romp, Motivator has twice chased home Oratorio over a mile and a quarter, most recently finishing runner-up in the Irish Champion Stakes.

“He is in great form, terrific shape and things could not have gone better with him,” said Herbert.

“He is a very clean-winded horse so we have just kept him ticking over since Leopardstown and it will be nice to get him back over a mile and a half.

“If you look at the Derby you would say that distance would be his optimum, but he has put up two cracking performances over 10 furlongs and all credit to the winner of those races.

“Hopefully he will be able to show his stamina and great speed as we have a very high opinion of him and whoever wins will rightly be the champion middle-distance horse in Europe.”

As well as the top two in the market, the French-trained hopes include last year’s winner Bago (13) and Ascot Gold Cup hero Westerner (four).

The latter’s owner, Alec Wildenstein, said of the Gold Cup winner: “He’s drawn on the inside and we have no problems with that, it’s a good position.

“Ideally we would have preferred a little more rain in Paris this week but he acts on most ground.”

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