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The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is Europe’s premier horse race and, if one thinks that there is merit in historical trends, the market on the event has an excellent shape for punters.
Last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up, Orfevre, is the fairly warm favourite for this year’s renewal. Orfevre had the 2012 edition at his mercy inside the final furlong before he idled and hung right under Christophe Soumillion and allowed Solemia to overtake him in the last few strides.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe punters have supported Orfevre to make amends on Sunday 6 October 2013 but there is a killer statistic that says that, while the Japan-trained entire can win the Longchamp contest, one should not rush to take short odds about him. Since the late 1980s, 60 runners that failed to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe have gone on to run in it again. All 60 of those runners have failed to triumph.
Tony Bin was the last Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner to buck the trend. Cash Asmussen rode Tony Bin to second place in the 1987 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in which he finished two lengths behind Trempolino. Twelve months later Tony Bin returned with a different jockey, John Reid, and held off Mtoto by a neck to win the 67th running of the race.
Five entrants in the 2013 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe have competed on the big stage previously and failed to pass the winning post first – Camelot, Haya Landa, Meandre, Orfevre and Yellow And Green. Camelot, Haya Landa, Meandre and Yellow And Green are outsiders with bookmakers but Orfevre heads the market and looks like staying there until the stalls open given the support that it has received lately.
Another Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe statistic against Orfevre is the fact that, since Toby Bin triumphed in 1988, only one more five-year-old runner has been victorious even though many have tried. Marienbard won the 2002 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at the age of five, stepping back in trip after competing in staying contests such as the Ascot Gold Cup, Irish St Leger and Melbourne Cup in his previous campaign.
Orfevre warmed up for its tilt at Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe redemption with an easy three-length victory in the Prix Foy that told punters little more than he has four legs. Orfevre is trading at odds of 3.50 with Bet365, and given the data cited above it is great that bookmakers have the Japanese raider as the favourite.
Opposing Orfevre in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – he is a noted difficult ride as well – is the way to go and backing Novellist at odds of 6.50 with Coral is the value option.
According to Timeform, Novellist is the joint highest rated Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner when one takes into account weight-for-age scales, with the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner level with Treve on a mark of 141.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe second favourite Treve will have her supporters – she represents the classic generation that has won 15 out of the last 19 editions of the event, she is unbeaten and she won impressively over 12 furlongs last time out in spite of having to wait for a run – but Novellist is a much more straightforward ride that is far less likely to require luck in running to put his best hoof forward.
A typical Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner is a runner that has a very high cruising speed that can produce a boost of acceleration at the business end of the race. Novellist ran some quite extraordinary late sectionals off a hot pace in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and he has shown himself to be equally effective on firm and soft going. The forecast is for ground worse than good.
Against Novellist is that, as a four-year-old colt, he is not a member of this year’s classic generation but there does not appear to be a stand-out three-year-old of either gender, unless Treve is it. At the current Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe odds, Novellist is a better option than Treve.