Shawanda bids to cement Arc claims

Christophe Soumillon is hoping Shawanda can book her place in next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with victory in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on Sunday.

Christophe Soumillon is hoping Shawanda can book her place in next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with victory in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on Sunday.

The Aga Khan’s filly was a brilliant winner of the Irish Oaks and Soumillon reports Alain de Royer-Dupre’s charge to be in fine shape.

“She’s in good form. This is a race to give her good preparation for the Arc,” Soumillon told At The Races.

“It’s always hard for fillies to win the Arc de Triomphe but she is a bit special and I hope she can improve.”

Dash To The Top was only fifth behind Shawanda when favourite for the Curragh Classic and her trainer Luca Cumani believes place money is the best they can hope for.

“She’s in very good form and I think she’s come on for the Yorkshire Oaks when she was second to Punctilious,” he said. “The trouble is Shawanda is in the field. On all known form we are only running for place money.

“Dash To The Top has the physical scope and the make up to be a better four-year-old but the owners are also very keen to breed from her. We will discuss it at the end of the season.”

David Elsworth’s Vodafone Oaks runner-up Something Exciting is the other British raider in a six-strong field for the Group One race, one of three Arc trials over the big-race course and distance.

The Cumani-trained Alkaased is the only British runner among six declared for the other Group One race on the card, the Prix Foy.

“He did improve as a four-year-old and has improved further as a five-year-old. Let’s hope the improvement hasn’t stopped,” said the trainer.

“He’s a very straightforward horse.

“The race will definitely bring him on because he’s had a rest. He spent the whole of July doing very little and he’s only been back in training for the month of August.

“Although he’s fit enough to run he’d be about the same as he was when he won the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in the spring.

“He improved from that for his next two races so with a bit of luck he will improve after Sunday.

“We’ve got Kieren Fallon in the saddle and there’s a pacemaker in the race so I think the pace will be sensible enough. I’ll be happy with that.”

Fallon partners both Cumani horses and is also on Arc ante-post favourite Hurricane Run in the Group Two Prix Niel.

Michael Tabor and Coolmore Stud bought the colt a week before his victory in the Irish Derby and kept him at Andre Fabre’s stable.

Hurricane Run is likely to be long odds-on to beat four rivals in his first outing since beating Scorpion at the Curragh in June.

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