Inside today's main piece you'll find a few words on Stradivarius and Arc Weekend.
Time has been called on Stradivarius' racing career. It was announced on Monday that the 8-year-old would be retired to stud and wouldn’t race on next year.
A winner of four Goodwood Cups, three Ascot Gold Cups, three Lonsdale Cups and the Doncaster Cup twice. During a seven year career he won 20 of 35 starts and won connections over £3 million in prize money. The preeminent stayer of the last decade. He lit up the staying division during his career and it was a pleasure seeing him race.
Get All of John's Selections
When you Trial his Victor Value service
Just £7 for 14 Days
Personally, I’m glad he’s been retired. I didn’t want to see him struggling on as a 9 year old against the younger upcoming stayers. He might well have won a fourth Yorkshire Cup, but he wouldn’t have won another Ascot Gold Cup which surely would be the only reason to keep him in training.
It will be interesting to see how he fares as a stallion. For a stayer he had a good turn of foot, and he has plenty of the attributes you want to see in a racehorse. I think if he gets a decent book of mares he can do well at stud.
There are just five days until the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. I don’t think you can overstate how good the racing is on Arc Weekend at Longchamp. There are so many Group 1 races, particularly on Arc Day. It’s a far better product than Champions Day at Ascot and although It’s hard to rival the Breeders Cup but Arc Weekend comes close to doing so.
OK, there’s no Baaeed in the Arc and it doesn’t look a stellar renewal of the race. However, there’s going to be a big field and the race looks very competitive with no standout horse. A few of the leading contenders are ground dependant so what sort of weather we have in the lead-up to the race will have a big impact on the result.
The going was being described as good at Longchamp. However, rain was being forecast for Monday. The weather is more uncertain for the rest of the week with more of the wet stuff being forecast for Friday but a mainly dry weekend. It looks like the ground will be anywhere between good to soft and soft on Arc Day. Although at this stage it doesn’t like it will be heavy like 12 months ago
Twenty seven were left in the Arc and Monday’s first forfeit stage. There’s another forfeit stage and any supplementary entries won’t be known until Wednesday. When we should also have a good idea of who the probable runners will be.
None of the fancied runners were missing at the first forfeit stage. The likes of race favourite Luxembourg, Alpinista, Adayar, Japanese challenger Titleholder, Vadeni, last year’s winner Torquator Tasso Onesto and Westover all remaining likely runners.
I will be taking a more in depth look at the Arc later in the week.
No eyecatchers this week. I’m now getting ready for the start of the winter jumps season for the next tracker horses which isn't far away now. Although I have to say that I thought Dual Identity ran a cracker from his low draw in Saturday’s Cambridgeshire. He was only headed in the final 50 yards by two who raced far side. He might go for the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day, and he would be of plenty of interest should he get into that race.
Another who could be worth noting before the season ends is Powerful Aggie. The filly hadn’t been seen at her best on three starts this season. However, she ran much better when a 5 lengths 10th of 30 to Waterville in Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh on Sunday. She hit winning form last October and finished a ½ length 2nd of 18 in the November Handicap at Naas. The latter race cold well be on her agenda again.
Marhaba The Champ drifted alarmingly prior to yesterday’s race out to 8/1. However, his weakness in the betting didn’t stop him from improving for a decisive success at Hamilton.
I must admit that not much catches my eye pricewise on Tuesday. Giladah is more progressive than most in the 1m handicap at Cork (4:20) and should give a good account of herself from just 3lb higher than when winning at Leopardstown last month. I would want a bit better than 100/30 to press the bet button though. Rather than put one up for the sake of it, I'm going to pass today.
Good luck with your Tuesday bets.