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Aidan O'Brien will leave seven in Sunday's Arc
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Aidan O'Brien will leave seven in Sunday's Arc
on 24 September 2017
Cracksman ruled out of the big Chantilly feature leaving stable companion Enable an odds-on chance

Aidan O'Brien has a team of seven to chose from for next Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.

While opposition to John Gosden's filly Enable appears thin on the ground, O'Brien seems intent on giving himself the strongest possibility of following up last year's success with Found.

Among his classy septet are last year's second and third Highland Reel and Order Of St George, as well as multiple Group 1 scorer Winter, who has yet to run over a mile and a half, and Irish Derby and St Leger hero Capri.

"We are going to leave seven in the Arc," said O'Brien at Naas on Sunday. "Order Of St George, Idaho, Highland Reel, Capri, Winter, Seventh Heaven and Cliffs Of Moher. That's what we are going to leave in and we will decide after that."

Earlier on Sunday it was confirmed that Cracksman will not run in the Prix de l'Arc.

Owner Anthony Oppenheimer said: "I think it had a lot to do with Chantilly itself. A lot depends on the size of the field. If it was at Longchamp, where the track is wider and the bends are not as tight, it may have been an easier decision."

The John Gosden-trained son of Frankel dominated his rivals in last month's Great Voltigeur at York and was just as impressive in the Prix Niel over the Arc course and distance a fortnight ago.

Cracksman still has the option of running again as a three-year-old in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 21st, but is far from certain to line up.

Oppenheimer said: "The horse is well, which is the main thing.

"He is in the Champion Stakes, which personally I would say is equally unlikely as the Arc, but that is still four weeks away.

"I haven't been down to Newmarket for a little while, but if the horse was bouncing out of his skin and let us say the ground came up heavy to soft and it blunted the speed of some of those mile-and-a-quarter horses, there could be some merit in it.

"He is a fresh horse, but I would say the Champion Stakes is a backstop as we've always said we wanted to run him as a four-year-old and we want him to be fresh for that."

Confirmation of Cracksman's absence has seen his stable companion Enable go odds-on with most bookmakers for the Arc. Winner of the Oaks, Irish Oaks and King George already this season, the three-year-old filly will again be partnered by Frankie Dettori at Chantilly.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Ulysses, who it was announced last week will be retired to Cheveley Park Stud at the end of the season, is a very likely runner at Chantilly. The Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International winner was well beaten by Enable when the pair met in the King George, but connections are keen for a rematch and also still intend to run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf as well.

The home challenge is not looking particularly strong, with Zarak, whose dam Zarkava won the Arc in 2008, and Brametot, the most prominent in the betting, each at around the 16/1 mark. Dschingis Secret is set to represent Germany. He won the Prix Foy in good style for trainer Markus Klug. Japan’s quest for an Arc winner took a blow in that race when Satono Diamond could only manage fourth in that trial. However, trainer Yasutoshi Ikee is still keen to let the dual Grade 1 winner take his chance.

Arc betting: 4/5 Enable, 13/2 Ulysses, 10 Higland Reel, Order Of St George, 12 Brametot, Winter, 14 Dschingis Secret, Satono Diamond, Capri, Zarak, 20 Waldgeist, 25 Eminent, Jack Hobbs, 33 bar.

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