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ITV Racing Tips: Tarnawa can return in triumph and deliver Arc glory for Weld and Aga Khan

| 29.09.2021

A big bonus arrives for punters and racing fans on Sunday with the live screening of the richest race run in Europe, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

ITV has sent the cameras over to Paris where the 100th edition of the international championship race takes place at Longchamp.

This year’s event has lived up to expectations by bringing together the best middle-distance colts, fillies and mares from Europe plus two talented raiders from Japan.

From the Classic generation, we have the Derby and King George winner Adayar, the Oaks and Irish Oaks winner Snowfall and the Irish Derby and St Leger winner Hurricane Lane.

The older brigade is headed by Tarnawa, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf winner, while Japanese hopes are led by Chrono Genesis, a four-time Group 1 winner in her own country.

ITV will also show three supporting races with two juvenile Group 1 races, the Prix Marcel Boussac and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere preceding a race for Pure Arabians.

Coverage begins at 13:00 on ITV and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.

13:15 – Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac (Group 1)

France’s eight-time Arc-winning trainer Andre Fabre is unrepresented in the big race and if he is going to make a statement on French racing’s biggest day, it should come in this race.

Fabre has three runners in this prize for two-year-old fillies, Raclette, Fleur D’Iris and Zellie, but has made no secret of the one he likes best. Raclette, who is by Frankel, followed up a debut success by winning a conditions event by four lengths.

Stepping into Group 1 company is a big leap but her trainer is in no doubt she can do it, describing her at this early stage as probably one of the best fillies he has ever trained. If he is right, and he usually is, there is no reason to look anywhere else for the likely winner.

13:55 – Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Group 1)

With a string of 1s to his name Akkaba puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Goldikova colours of the Wertheimer brothers. He won a Group 2 last time and together with Fabre’s Ancient Rome leads the home defence.

But there is very little Group 1 form in this edition which could work in Ebro River’s favour. The colt returned his trainer Hugo Palmer to the top table with his victory in the Phoenix Stakes and he has continued to run with credit, finishing third in the National Stakes.

Qatari owners Al Shaqab Racing are heavily invested in Arc weekend as headline sponsors so naturally want to be represented on the track, but Ebro River is no social runner. He has what it takes to win.

15:05 – Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Group 1)

The highlight of the day, if not the year, as the world’s best middle-distance horses line up at ParisLongchamp for this annual showdown. It is a hugely competitive renewal with Adayar bidding to become the first Derby winner since Golden Horn to win the Arc.

He is one of two very strong candidates for Godolphin who also run Irish Derby and St Leger winner Hurricane Lane. Third in the Derby, there is not a lot between the Charlie Appleby stablemates. Snowfall, the 16 length Oaks winner, will lead Aidan O’Brien’s challenge, with Love and Broome, but her surprise defeat in the Prix Vermeille last time has left question marks.

Japan’s Chrono Genesis comes into calculations having finished second to Mishriff when they met in Dubai in March. She is female, which has been a significant advantage in recent Arcs. Of the last ten Arcs, seven were won by a filly or mare, and that trend looks set to continue with Tarnawa the one to be with.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf winner has been laid out for this race ever since she won the Prix de l’Opera on this card 12 months ago. In trainer Dermot Weld there has been no better exponent of how to prime a horse for a major international target. Who else has won the Melbourne Cup, a US Triple Crown race and the Derby?

The Arc is one of the few prizes to elude him, but he has never had a better chance than with Tarnawa. She will be one of the freshest in the field having run only twice this year and came very close to defeating St Mark’s Basilica, the top-rated horse in Europe, in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Having had to miss the Breeders’ Cup after testing positive for COVID-19, Christophe Soumillon won’t want to waste his first opportunity for 12 months to ride Tarnawa, who is favourably drawn, and return the Aga Khan to the Arc winners’ circle for the first time since Zarkava’s victory in 2008.

 ITV Racing Schedule, Sunday 3rd October

13:15 Longchamp – Prix Marcel Boussac

13:55 Longchamp – Prix Jean-Luc Lagerdere

14:25 Longchamp – Arabian World Cup

15:05 Longchamp – Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Jonathan Lees