Ideal Arc draw for Camelot, but all falling right for Great Heavens
Camelot has by far got the best of the Arc draw from among the leading favourites, but the soft ground at Longchamp is making Great Heavens appeal more as a darkhorse by the minute.
Not since Dalakhani in 2003 has a horse defied a double-digit draw to win the Arc, with a stall towards the inside considered a major advantage.
It is no surprise then that Epsom Derby winner Camelot is the new stand-alone favourite at 5/2 given that he and Frankie Dettori will race from stall five.
Things could not have developed much worse for previous joint-favourite Orfevre, who has now drifted to 11/4 as he will start widest of all from stall 18.
Aside from the draw, the other factor set to play a deciding role in the outcome of the Arc is the ground, with many of the entrants seemingly at their best on a fast surface.
Saonois looks to have strong credentials given the turn of foot he showed to win the French Derby and stall two is optimum position from the gate.
But soft ground will be a major disadvantage and there is a possibility that conditions could even be heavy by race day in Longchamp.
Therefore, punters may want give it some extra thought before piling into his chances at 7/1, even if this does look like fine each-way value.
Better each-way value must surely come in the form of Great Heavens, who has already been backed into 12/1.
A week ago, the filly was not even truly being considered for the Arc, with John Gosden planning on running Nathaniel instead after making this race the horse’s priority for the whole of the season.
However, an unsatisfactory blood test ruled out Nathaniel and so as a slight afterthought, Great Heavens was supplemented late to ensure Gosden still had a runner.
Great Heavens will start from close to the middle of the track in stall seven, but is by far the most proven in the field on soft ground.
She has never raced on anything quicker than good to soft and quickened smartly to win the Group One Irish Oaks in Ireland last time, making the likes of Princess Highway, Shirocco Star and Was look pedestrian in the process.
Stall six has been a lucky Arc stall in recent years, housing three of the last seven winners, and it is 50/1 hope Solemia that is positioned here this time.
All odds and markets correct as of publication