Eight years ago Montjeu won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. One year
later, Sinndar, the last winner of the English Derby to claim the
biggest middle-distance race in the world, beat Montjeu on the same day
in Paris. On Sunday, this year’s Derby hero, Authorized can match both
feats and stake his claim to be at least the equal of his illustrious
The Racing Post report on the 1999 Arc is fascinating reading. Montjeu
was ”always in touch on inside, 5th straight, headway and switched out
over 2f out, went 2nd over 1 1/2f out, driven to lead 100y out, ran on
well.” On Sunday, it could well be a case of like father, like son.
Authorized has an impressive cruising speed, which means he can stay in
touch with a fast pace and out of trouble. But, even more crucially,
when other horses are tiring, he can pour on the gas.
The trends fascists will lay Authorized all day. Other than Godolphin
inmates, no British raider has won an Arc since 1989 and no runner in
the Eclipse Stakes has left Paris victorious for more than 20 years. If
enough trendoids back their abacuses, the horse may even represent some
value (it always pays to compare the odds from British bookies with
those available on the Paris-Mutuel at the Arc meeting). Trends have
their place. But a simpler betting strategy is to find the best horse.
On form, that horse is Authorized.
If the Arc is truly sublime, the totesport.com Cambridgeshire does
rather nuzzle up to the ridiculous. Here is a small sample of the
imponderables: thirty-five runners, an idiosyncratic distance, a
potential (but unknown) draw bias and a 100/1 winner just three years
ago. It takes a brave, or supremely arrogant, tipster to recommend a
maximum wager in this sort of race.
The plus side is that there is plenty of value, especially when there is
a warm order at the top of the market such as Pipedreamer. He is an
improving horse, but 5/1 is a pipedream price. Greek Wells (each-way) is
the percentage call. Four-year olds running in the bottom two-thirds of
the handicap have a decent record. On the same impressive Newmarket card
it is hoped that Nannina can put a final gloss on her impressive career
and win the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes.
3:20 Newmarket: Nannina (win)
3:55 Newmarket: Greek Well (each-way)
3:40 Longchamp (Sunday): Authorized (win)