Alain de Royer-Dupre’s charge won the Prix Vermeille effortlessly on her last outing and connections have been mulling over whether to supplement her for the end-of-season showpiece ever since.
The filly is owned by the Aga Khan’s daughter, Princess Zahra, and Christophe Soumillon would be contracted to ride due to his association with the Aga.
But the Belgian also has a fantastic association with Andre Fabre’s Shirocco, who currently heads the betting in some lists.
“There is no decision made at this point for Mandesha,” said Georges Rimaud, racing manager to the Aga Khan.
“The decision will be taken at the last minute, I think at Thursday at midday, unless his Highness decides to make the decision earlier.
“There is no reason why we should be pressured to make the decision before the deadline and at the moment that is what we are going to do.”
That means Shirocco’s partner will also not be decided until the supplementary stage
“No decision has been made whatsoever (on who rides),” said Paul Harley, racing manager to Shirocco’s owner Baron Georg von Ullman.
“We are just going to wait and see.
“If Christophe’s available he will ride and if he isn’t we will leave it up to Mr Fabre.”
Only 12 horses were confirmed for the feature at yesterday’s five-day declaration stage meaning a small field will be guaranteed.
Fabre’s Hurricane Run and Japanese superstar Deep Impact feature, as do Aidan O’Brien’s Irish Champion Stakes hero Dylan Thomas and dual Classic winner Alexandrova, although both are far from certain to take up the challenge.
Impressive Prix Niel winner Rail Link, who is also trained by Fabre, takes his chance for the Classic generation, along with Vodafone Derby runner-up Dragon Dancer and Best Name, second in the Irish equivalent.
De Royer-Dupre will definitely be represented by the consistent mare Pride, while Jeremy Noseda’s St Leger winner Sixties Icon is set to be supplemented.
Mick Channon’s Championship Point was among the dozen to stand their ground, but he will not be taking part as his inclusion happened by error.
“There’s another opportunity to take him out tomorrow. He shouldn’t be in the race,” said the trainer.
Coral have reported money for the mare Pride and she is now as short as 8-1 from 10-1.
“We saw some sizeable each-way bets on Pride from punters who clearly believe the race could cut up to seven or eight runners come Sunday,” said spokesman Simon Clare.
Ladbrokes, on the other hand, have seen support for Rail Link who will be bidding to improve the already fantastic recent record of Prix Niel winners in the Arc and he is now as short as 6-1.
William Hill believe it is a 4-7 chance that Fabre will have trained his sixth Arc winner by Sunday evening.
Hills spokesman Tony Kenny said: “We’re continuing to see strong support for the top three in the betting.
“The ‘Fallon factor’ should ensure that Hurricane Run goes off favourite, but if the Japanese and French pools are linked up, then Deep Impact could go off one of the shortest priced favourites in the history of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.”
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Coral bet: 11-4 Deep Impact, Hurricane Run, 3-1 Shirocco, 8-1 Rail Link, Pride, 10-1 Sixties Icon, 14-1 Mandesha, 33-1 Dragon Dancer.
William Hill bet: 5-2 Deep Impact, Hurricane Run, 11-4 Shirocco, 8-1 Rail Link, 10-1 Dylan Thomas, Pride, 12-1 Alexandrova, Sixties Icon, 16-1 Mandesha, 33-1 Irish Wells, Best Name, 40-1 Germance, Dragon Dancer.
Ladbrokes bet: 5-2 Hurricane Run, Shirocco, 3-1 Deep Impact, 6-1 Rail Link, 10-1 Pride, 12-1 Mandesha, Sixties Icon, 25-1 Germance, 33-1 Best Name, Irish Wells, 66-1 Dragon Dancer.
totesport bet: 5-2 Hurricane Run, 11-4 Deep Impact, Shirocco, 7-1 Rail Link, 9-1 Pride, 10-1 Dylan Thomas, 12-1 Alexandrova, Mandesha, Sixties Icon, 33-1 Irish Wells, 40-1 Best Name, 50-1 Dragon Dancer, Germance.