Workforce handed stall repeat in Arc

The first three home from last year‘s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will lock horns once again at Longchamp on Sunday.

The first three home from last year‘s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will lock horns once again at Longchamp on Sunday.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Workforce, last year‘s winner, will again break from gate eight under Ryan Moore.

Japanese raider Nakayama Festa, who so nearly pulled off an almighty shock when beaten just a head 12 months ago, was handed stall 16, widest of all.

Alain de Royer-Dupre’s filly Sarafina, third last year and ante-post favourite since the retirement of Investec Derby winner Pour Moi, will race from 13.

John Gosden’s Ladbrokes St Leger winner Masked Marvel was one of three supplementary entries and William Buick’s mount will leave from stall five.

Meandre is Andre Fabre’s representative this season and was also supplemented. The Grand Prix de Paris winner will be looking to put a lacklustre run in the Prix Niel well behind him from stall 10.

German challenger Danedream (two) was the other supplementary entry.

Ed Dunlop’s globetrotter Snow Fairy (11) will have the assistance of Frankie Dettori, with Freddie Head’s Galikova (four), half-sister to the mighty Goldikova, going for her second Group One win.

Aidan O‘Brien has three representatives, with Seamie Heffernan riding So You Think (14), Colm O’Donoghue on Treasure Beach (12) and the trainer’s son, Joseph, on St Nicholas Abbey (six).

The second Japanese challenger Hiruno D‘Amour is in stall one, while Royer-Dupre’s other two runners, French Derby winner Reliable Man and Shareta, are in seven and nine respectively.

Silver Pond (15) and Testosterone (3) complete the classy line-up.

No horse from the southern hemisphere has ever won the Arc, but those who have been close to So You Think believe the bigger field and lively ground will be a benefit to him, and that he will get the mile-and-a-half trip.

In his races in Europe since arriving at Ballydoyle from Australia, the most rivals he has faced has been six, in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, forcing him to do a lot of his own donkey work.

So You Think ran in the colours of Malaysian tycoon Dato Tan Chin Nam in Australia, including in the two-mile Melbourne Cup, and his racing manager, Duncan Ramage, believes the race will be run to suit.

Ramage said: “Reports from Ireland are that there are no negatives in his preparation.

“Because of the small field at Leopardstown he was left to do a lot of his own hard work from the front.

“Any horse left on their own in front for so long is bound to find it a bit tough, but once Snow Fairy eyeballed him he picked up again.

“In the Arc there will be more horses in the field which are able to take him along for a longer time.

“As he showed in the Eclipse, he was very effective when sitting behind Workforce before arriving late on.

“The Arc can be a rough race, but he’s a Kiwi and, like the rugby players have shown over the last couple of weeks, he’s certainly not shy of a bit of rough and tumble.

“It looks like there’s going to be minimal rain, which will not be a problem as he’s competed on some of the hardest tracks in Australia.

“It’s the first time he’s race beyond a mile and a quarter in Europe, but he has raced very effectively at two miles.

“Had last year’s Melbourne Cup been on a dry track we might also have got away with it.”

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