It’s a great weekend for sports fans. The Ryder Cup is in full swing, another great weekend of Premier League football and the Rugby World Cup continues. Plus, it’s Arc weekend. For two days Europe’s elite head to ParisLongchamp for Europe’s biggest prize named after one of the city’s most famous landmark. Who will win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe? And there’s the small matter of the Cambridgeshire too.
Saturday – Newmarket
A Pot of Fortuna
2:25 – Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes (Group One) – Porta Fortuna @ 15/2 (William Hill)
Relief Rally is a really unfortunate non-runner, as she has been the standout this season. But the race opens up and, despite the market headed by a talented French filly, I think one at a price can nab this. Porta Fortuna has been placed twice in her two Group One races and steps back to a more suitable six furlongs. She’ll appreciate the firmness at Newmarket today and jockey Oisin Murphy gets the leg up on her once again.
Another filly that will appreciate the quickness of the ground is Symbology. She’s ran green a few times, and didn’t help her cause at Salisbury last time out. She wasn’t too far away in the Lowther, which is the form you have to consider for this race, and Clive Cox does have a decent crop of two-year-olds in his stable. Not without hope at 22/1 (William Hill)
Take Them To Task
3:00 – Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Group One) – Task Force @ 6/1 (Betfred)
As of last night, Task Force has been backed in to single figures. And with good reason. Already a Listed winner by winning the Ripon 2-Y-O Trophy, he is bred to act on the ground.
He may be by Frankel, but his Dam, Special Duty, won the Cheveley Park Stakes on Good-to-Firm ground. If that’s not an omen for this seventh foal of hers, I don’t know what is. Seven Questions is the next best horse to come out of the race and he can really act to beat the two big guns today.
Jasour is another I really fancy. He’s proven on firm ground, with two wins including a Group Two on the quick stuff. He disappointed in the Prix Morny and led all the way, which showed he was green on the day. He has won races before from the rear of the field, which may be the way to ride him on the Rowley Mile. Double-figure price at 10/1 (William Hill)
Identify This Winner
3:40 – Cambridgeshire Heritage H’cap – Dual Identity @ 11/1 (General)
When it comes to a 35-runner handicap, there shouldn’t be a 7/2 favourite. Ever. So I’ve immediately discounted Greek Order from my thinking for this race. And it didn’t take me long to find my main pick. Dual Identity had a great third in last year’s race and has only risen four pounds up the weights since then. A fantastic performance at Sandown aimed him squarely for this race, and looks in ideal nick to go better this time around.
Majestic won last year’s event, and in some fashion too. Young Aiden Brooks has been overtaken by Benoit de la Sayette for this year’s crack, and won’t be too far away this time round. He will carry more weight this year, but a mark of 89 is suitable, particularly since he has been in the 90’s all this season.
His best performance came at Epsom when second to Cadillac on firm ground, so has that in his favour this year too. He could become the first horse since Prince De Galles in 1970 to win the race back to back, 14/1 (Betfred, William Hill) says he doesn’t.
And three-year-olds begin to come into their own in handicaps at this time of year, so it would be remiss to not back one here, despite the last youngster to win was Lord North in 2019. Terwada for Ed Walker looks interesting after a rather a good season in the form book. His first big runner handicap at York was a baptism of fire, finishing in the top half of the field.
He’ll have to rely on a nine length win in a maiden to win here, but he’s only five pounds higher than his previous winning mark for a horse continuously improving. 18/1 (General) is a price worth having.
Sunday – ParisLongchamp
Rewrite the History Huk-s
3:05 – Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Group One) – Hukum @ 6/1 (William Hill)
The last horse that was above the age of six was Motrico in 1932. The last horse to win from stall 14 was Golden Horn’s miracle win in 2014. The stats are firmly against him. But I think stats have their place. I rely on stats all the time, but when you fall in love with a horse like Hukum you can’t escape it.
A winner over further, a tough a ready winner when he won the King George in July, he looks set for the race. He’s been kept fresh and this was the clear aim, in what could be his last race in his career. He might not go down as one of the greats, but if he wins he’ll certainly be popular.
The very best of luck!