One more piece of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe jigsaw slotted into place on Wednesday when Frankie Dettori was confirmed as the rider of Ruler Of The World.
It had been feared the Italian, who missed the winning mount on Treve 12 months ago at Longchamp and has been replaced on the filly by Thierry Jarnet, would be forced to watch from the sidelines once again this Sunday.
There was speculation over which jockey would get the nod on Aidan O’Brien’s 2013 Investec Derby hero, although three-times Arc winner Dettori had been in the saddle when he registered his victory in the Prix Foy.
Al Shaqab Racing, which retains Dettori, is a part-owner of the Galileo colt along with the Coolmore partners, and O’Brien’s son, Joseph, had ridden him on his previous start in the Dubai World Cup.
Dettori’s agent, Ray Cochrane, said: “Frankie told me this afternoon he’s riding the horse, and hopefully he’ll have plenty more rides through the day.”
There was a great deal of interest from the Japanese media at Chantilly earlier in the day, when Naosuke Sugai’s two runners had a racecourse gallop.
Just A Way (Yuichi Fukunaga), who was the highest-rated horse in the world after his devastating performance in the Dubai Duty Free, worked alongside Gold Ship (Norihiro Yokoyama) on a misty morning outside Paris, with the former pushed out to finish slightly ahead.
James Doyle had been at Roger Charlton’s stable in Wiltshire to ride Al Kazeem, whose participation was confirmed by the Beckhampton handler.
The multiple Group One winner, sixth last year, has subsequently returned to training after a failed attempt at stud.
“He worked nicely in a routine piece of work,” Charlton told At The Races.
“James Doyle rode him, he was very happy with him, so we’ll send him to Paris.
“He seems to take his races very well. In the paddock before a race he’s very relaxed, he looks magnificent and he’s showing no signs of being a stallion. He’s very willing and able in his work.
“He’s always been a very noble, straightforward and intelligent horse. He never comes out in the morning looking anything other than happy and fresh and, indeed, moving as well as ever.
“I think the truth is, as he’s a year older he’s unlikely to have got any better and he needs to get better to win a race like the Arc.
“Last year we were given a very awkward draw and nothing was going to be good enough to beat Treve last year. I’m not sure that’s the same this year.
“It’s a very open race and you could find half a dozen horses at least with chances. There’s nothing outstanding.
“I have respect for the Japanese horses, but I think some of the others have it to prove a little bit and some of them are improving horses who turn out to be good enough.”
Likely outsider Shamkala was the only horse to drop out of the field at the latest forfeit stage, leaving 19 left, but there is still a final chance to supplement for €120,000 on Thursday.