Hanson: Spot Plays for the Oct. 3 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe card
Wagering on the terrific Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) program on Sunday will be available at TwinSpires.com, with Europe's premier weight-for-age event scheduled mid-card as Race 4 with a 10:05 a.m. (ET) post time.
Soft-to-heavy conditions are expected to persist at Longchamp through the weekend, which some will like and others won't. Here are several horses of interest on the card.
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) -- Race 4 (10:05 a.m. ET)
Although we looked long and hard at finding a longer price, we kept coming back to #4 TARNAWA (3-1) as the most logical winner based on current form and in the prevailing conditions. The Aga Khan homebred mare is 2-for-2 over the course having taken the Prix Vermeille (G1) and Prix de l'Opera (G1), the latter over heavy ground on the 2020 Arc undercard. American fans will of course remember her scintillating final push to win the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) at Keeneland to close out her four-year-old campaign.
Trainer Dermot Weld has stealthily prepared the daughter of Shamardal to peak for this race, with just two starts in advance of this. After a facile Group 3 score at Leopardstown, she cut back to 1 1/4 miles for the Irish Champion (G1) and was a solid second to the now-retired St Mark's Basilica. Back at what might arguably her preferred distance, and with an ideal prep behind her, she'll take some beating in this spot.
A longshot to consider for the exotics is #6 Raabihah (20-1). Although she drew a bad post (15), the Sea the Stars filly has never run a bad one in 10 lifetime starts. Second best to Tarnawa in the Prix Vermeille, she was subsequently beaten only fourth lengths in last year's Arc in testing conditions, and enters off a much-needed, confidence-boosting win in the Prix de Pomone (G2) at Deauville.
Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) -- Race 1 (8:15 a.m. ET)
#6 ACER ALLEY (20-1) is proven over soft and heavy ground, and enters off a come-from-behind victory in the Prix la Rochette (G3) against males in her first outing in 2 1/2 months. The form of that race has been flattered since, as Kellie Reilly noted in her Brisnet.com write-up earlier this week.
Prix de l'Opera (G1) -- Race 5 (10:50 a.m. ET)
She's fallen short on three occasions against Breeders' Cup heroine #5 Audarya, but #2 AMBITION (20-1) has never been far off that leading contender and will be a much better price here. Beaten only three lengths by Tarnawa in this event in 2020, she's had the benefit of only two runs this term.
Sixth of eight in the July 4 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) against the boys following a nine-month layoff, she finished two lengths fourth in the Aug. 22 Prix Jean Romanet (G1) last time, with #1 Grand Glory, Audarya, and #3 Thundering Nights ahead of her. She didn't have the clearest of runs after escaping a pocket near the back of the field, and with a little more luck might improve from the run.
Prix de la Foret (G1) -- Race 7 (12 p.m. ET)
Although he flopped as our selection in the 2020 edition of the 2000 Guineas (G1), #4 KINROSS (6-1) has shown marked improvement since being gelded earlier this year. Earning back-to-back group wins in the John of Gaunt (G3) and Lennox (G2), he was most recently fifth in a longshot-dominated renewal of the Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) over a straight 6 1/2 furlongs at Deauville. This seven-furlong trip around a bend might prove more suitable, and picking up Frankie Dettori is never a bad thing.