Luxembourg heads 27 still in Arc contention

There is a strong Japanese challenge with Titleholder, Do Deuce, Stay Foolish, and Deep Bond all still in the mix
Luxembourg heads 27 still in Arc contention

LEADING CONTENDER: Having won the Irish Champions Stakes last time out, Aidan O'Brien's Luxembourg heads the market for the 2022 renewal of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Picture: Inpho/Morgan Treacy

All the major contenders stood their ground at the first forfeit stage ahead of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, with 27 horses remaining in Sunday's ParisLongchamp highlight.

Australian star Verry Elleegant is set to be supplemented on Wednesday with a maximum field of 20 allowed.

Aidan O'Brien's Luxembourg, the Mark Prescott-trained Alpinista, and Adayar from Charlie Appleby's yard are towards the head of the ante-post betting and all remain on course.

There is a strong Japanese challenge with Titleholder, Do Deuce, Stay Foolish, and Deep Bond all still in the mix.

Last year's winner Torquator Tasso, John and Thady Gosden's Mishriff and Mostahdaf, French Derby and Eclipse winner Vadeni, Irish Derby hero Westover and Grand Prix de Paris winner Onesto are all in a seemingly open renewal.

Clerk of the course Charles de Cordon said on Monday morning that with five millimetres of rain falling over the weekend, conditions were good to soft (3.4) on the penetrometer, with a Going Stick reading of 8.2.

The rail will be out at 17 metres on Saturday for the first day of the meeting, preserving a fresh strip of ground, and set back on Sunday to its innermost line.

There will be a five-metre cutaway in operation for the last 50 metres, which equates to just over two furlongs up the home straight, designed to ease congestion. This will also offer an additional five metres of fresh ground.

While the last three Arcs have been run on very testing ground, officials are hopeful that rainfall will be limited this week.

De Cordon said: "The target is to have good to soft or soft ground. No watering is planned as it stands.

"If there was no rain until Wednesday, then we would consider watering the track, but not a lot, because the main target is to have the ground good to soft."

Connections of promising filly La Parisienne are growing in confidence ahead of her bid.

Trained by Carlos and Yann Lerner, and co-owned by Kentucky-based Peter Bradley, the three-year-old daughter of Zarak won her first two starts and has been placed in three subsequent runs, the last twice in Group 1s.

Though her future may lay in America, the filly is set to take her chance in the Arc, for which she is as short as 12-1 with Paddy Power.

Yann Lerner said: "Everything is well with her. She looked well after her last race — it wasn't too hard on her. She was fresh and there has been no problem with her preparation for the Arc.

"She ran well behind Nashwa previously and last time she was very unlucky.

"The race was easy for her and after the race, she looked like she would improve a lot for it. She has worked very well and we are very happy with her. Gerald Mosse will ride her at Longchamp again."

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