Keep it where it is
Danny Scutchings on suggestions that the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe could be brought forward with aim of providing better ground
After a shock 80/1 win for Germany in the Arc on Sunday could the 101st version of one of the world’s best races be run earlier in the calendar? That’s the news coming out of France in the past couple of days.
Sunday’s race took place on heavy ground for the third year in succession, the last time that happened was in 1988.
Head of France Gallop, Olivier Delloye, stated that he recognised a desire to run the race on better ground and that staging it on the final weekend in September could benefit British Champions Day without affecting Irish Champions Weekend.
Therefore, any horse running in the Irish Champion Stakes would still have two weeks to prepare for Paris.
Now I don’t believe Tarnawa would have won on softer ground and, maybe, if the race had been a furlong shorter we might have been celebrating an Irish winner. Also, not all horses run well without rain so that could see less taking part .
The change might reduce the risk of heavy going but nobody can predict the weather with 100% accuracy. It could well rain at the end of September so moving the race forward a week would be meaningless and still turn Longchamp into mud.
This is a showpiece event and we don’t want to see horses pull out – we want to see the best go head-to-head and that will still happen regardless of when the race takes place.
Fingers crossed if there is enough opposition from trainers and owners this change won’t happen in the foreseeable future and we can keep the Arc where it is.
♦Gary McKenzie looks back at 100+ years of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the great winners, the extraordinary stories and the controversies http://wp.me/s8e3Dl-28486