Sea The Stars, the favourite for the 2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Normally, we would be down in Paris for this first weekend in October, but we have been a bit busy of late, and will be travelling soon for half-term, so instead we are enjoying a free weekend at home. So, no wonderful hats to add to my photostream this year.
The big favourite for today's race is Sea The Stars, who won The Derby in June and went on to win The Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, The Irish Derby at The Curragh, The International Stakes at York and The Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, having previously won The 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. So, he has won six top grade Group One races showing himself clearly to be one of the best horses for the last 40 years. To be really one of the very best, like Nijinsky and Dancing Brave, he needs to win today, as Nijinsky failed (in 1971), but which Dancing Brave did (in 1986).
Will he do it? He has a good starting stall, the ground is good and he has beaten the best of the opposition. BUT, this is his seventh major race of a season which started five months ago and there are many other horses running today, in what is a very big field and it is over one-nad-a-half miles when maybe his best trip is over a quarter of a mile less. My favourite racehorse, Troy, came to the 1979 Arc as the major favourite having won The Derby and other major races and he only came third, after a long season.
My guess is that he WILL win and prove himself to be up there with Dancing Brave (and it would be so good if he could win in the manner of the great Dancing Brave).
The French always do well on tehir home soil and they have Stacelita and Cavalryman who could both run well, while the Brits have Conduit and Youmzain. I have backed Youmzain in teh last two Arcs at 80-1 and 25-1 and I have seen him come a close second both times. He LOVES this race with its fast pace and good ground. However, he doesn't seem to be quite so good this year, so I am quite prepared to see him finish down the field today, although I expect to see his French starting privece to be about 60-1.
I have really just about stopped betting and I think I have used up every penny I had left on my internet betting accounts. Otherwise, I think I might have done an each way bet on Conduit at a possible 12-1 (or more) on the Pari-Mutuel, still hoping that Sea The Stars WILL prove himself to eb an all-time great.
In a way, it is a pity to be mising out on this possible historic event, on the other hand one cannot be everywere, all the time...