Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Sarafina is the market leader to exact her revenge on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained British raider having finished a luckless third in Europe’s premier middle-distance prize a year ago.
Workforce needs to bounce back having been beaten in the King George at Ascot on his latest appearance, but he was a big disappointment in the same race in 2010 before going on to claim Longchamp glory.
All of the other major initial entries have stood their ground, with So You Think and St Nicholas Abbey among a team of six entries for Aidan O’Brien.
The master of Ballydoyle broke his duck in the race with Dylan Thomas in 2007 and could also saddle Treasure Beach, Regent Street, Seville and Wonder Of Wonders in this year’s renewal.
Also poised to head across the Channel are Ed Dunlop’s star filly Snow Fairy and also Godolphin’s Casamento, who went some way to repairing his reputation when successful at the track earlier this month.
Royer-Dupre has a strong hand with Reliable Man and Shareta also in the mix, while Japanese raiders Hiruno D’Amour and Nakayama Festa are other intriguing contenders.
There is still the chance for horses to be supplemented for the race, but connections of those runners will have to stump up €100,000 by Thursday.
John Gosden’s King George hero Nathaniel falls into this bracket, but the Clarehaven handler will be keeping a close eye on the weather over the next 48 hours.
Gosden’s racing secretary, Peter Shoemark, said: “If he’s going to run he’ll have to be supplemented on Thursday, but we’re monitoring the weather.”
Even if Nathaniel does not take his chance, Gosden could still be represented by Arctic Cosmos, who has not been seen since winning last year’s St Leger.
Shoemark added: “He’s been left in at this stage. We want to have a look at it.
“He’s in the Arc and also in the Cumberland Lodge at Ascot on Saturday, so hopefully he runs somewhere this weekend.”
The other horse prominent in ante-post lists who would need to be supplemented is Meandre, who could bid to give Andre Fabre a remarkable eighth Arc victory, while German raider Danedream could also be added to the field.
* Freddie Head has decided Goldikova will not be joined by her stable companion Moonlight Cloud in Sunday’s Prix de la Foret at Longchamp. Incredible 14-time Group One-winning mare Goldikova will be bidding for back-to-back victories in the seven-furlong prize before heading back to America, where she will go for a fourth victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
* Roger Charlton has revealed leading ante-post fancy Keys is not a certain runner in the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday week following a dirty scope.
The four-year-old struck gold in a couple of decent handicaps in the middle of July and has been kept for this valuable prize since.
While Charlton is still hopeful his charge will make the race, he has moved to warn ante-post punters about the setback.
Speaking on his website www.rogercharlton.com, the trainer said: “After a routine scope today, Keys was found to have a few streaks of mucus in his lungs having given an occasional cough earlier this week.
“Anybody thinking of backing him should wait until nearer the time.”