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Princess Zoe heads strong Irish challenge on Arc weekend
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Princess Zoe heads strong Irish challenge on Arc weekend
on 30 September 2020
The Tony Mullins-trained mare is just one of a large number of Irish-trained horses who look to hold good chances at ParisLongchamp

PRINCESS Zoe, Pista, Make A Challenge, Pretty Gorgeous, Tarnawa and Fancy Blue are just some of the Irish-trained horses who have been left in some of the supporting Group 1 races on Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe weekend at ParisLongchamp.

There are two Group 1 races on the Saturday card - the Prix Royallieu and the Prix du Cadran.

The Royallieu, run over 14 furlongs and for fillies and mares, has just 12 entries and they include the Joesph O'Brien-trained Pista, who looks to have a leading chance.

Princess Zoe, trained by Tony Mullins, is as low as 9/4 for the Prix du Cadran. The favourite is local staying star Call The Wind.

Sunday's card has six Group 1 races, headed by the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe which could feature up to five horses trained by Aidan O'Brien.

The Ballydoyle trainer has two entries for the opening Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere - St Mark's Basilica and Wembley. Ken Condon has entered Laws Of Indices.

Clive Cox’s Nando Parrado is one of nine juveniles left in this race and could start favourite. The shock Coventry Stakes winner, runner-up in the Prix Morny since, may face fellow British hopes Megallan, for Gosden, and Mick Channon’s Cairn Gorm. The three-strong home team comprises Xaario, Sealiway and Selket.


Joseph O'Brien's Moyglare Stud Stakes runner-up Pretty Gorgeous has a leading chance in the Prix Marcel Boussac, a race which has also attracted Group 3 winners Mother Earth and Divinely (both Aidan O'Brien) and Ken Condon's Thunder Beauty.

There are still 19 two-year-old fillies in the Boussac – including Richard Fahey’s Deauville Group 2 winner Fev Rover as one of four possible British runners. The others are Mark Johnston’s Dubai Fountain, the Hills-trained Prado and Lilac Road, from Haggas’ Newmarket yard.

The Dermot Weld-trained Tarnawa has been left in the Prix de l'Opera, where her opposition could include Peaceful and Laburnum (both Aidan O'Brien), Fancy Blue (Donnacha O'Brien) and Alpine Star (Jessica Harrington).

Tarnawa was a very impressive winner of the Prix Vermeille here a few weeks ago, while Fancy Blue won the Prix de Diane in July in a tight finish from Alpine Star and Peaceful.

There are three British challengers, in the shape of John Gosden’s Terebellum, James Fanshawe’s long-priced Deauville Group 1 winner Audarya and Ralph Beckett’s long-absent Feliciana De Vega.

Leading the home contenders is Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and Jean-Claude Rouget’s unbeaten three-year-old Group 1 winner Tawkeel.


Former winners Battaash and Glass Slippers are heading to the Prix de l'Abbaye, and this sprint is also on the agenda for the Denis Hogan-trained Make A Challenge.

The five-year-old was unable to contain Flying Five Stakes winner Glass Slippers when only fifth at the Curragh this month, but previously won four of six starts up to Group 2 level this summer.

Among the home challenge in the Abbaye, after Wednesday’s forfeits but in advance of a supplementary stage which pertains for all Sunday’s Group 1s, bar the showpiece Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is the sole two-year-old still in the reckoning, Jane Soubagne’s filly Livachope.

Air De Valse (Corine Barande-Barbe) and Wooded (Francis Graffard), first and second over course and distance this month, also fly the French flag.

The British contingent is completed by Liberty Beach and Flying Five runner-up Keep Busy, both from John Quinn’s North Yorkshire yard, James Fanshawe’s Archer’s Dream, Robert Cowell’s Rocket Action and James Bethell’s Moss Gill.

Aidan O'Brien has left Lancaster House and Lope Y Fernandez in the seven-furlong Prix de la Foret. Joseph O'Brien's Speak In Colours is the only other Irish-trained entry for this contest.

William Haggas’ One Master is seeking a third successive victory in the race. Three fellow British contenders could stand in her way – Quinn’s Safe Voyage, who beat One Master at York last month, and Supreme Stakes one-two, Andrew Balding’s Happy Power and Richard Fahey’s Toro Strike.

Andre Fabre’s three-year-olds Earthlight and Tropbeau are the principal French hopes.

The ground at ParisLongchamp was described as very soft on Wednesday and the forecast is for more unsettled conditions.



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