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Arc Preview | Superfectablog v3.0

Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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Arc Preview

Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe may well be the most talented group of horses to face off at any point this year. Just the showdown between Duke of Marmalade and Zarkava should be enough to get anyone excited about the race, but with Soldier of Fortune and Youmzain (last year’s runner-up behind Dylan Thomas) entered as well, it’s going to be quite exciting. Here is the field as it stands today:

  • Youmzain
  • Zambezi Sun
  • Song of Hiawatha
  • Ask
  • Schiaparelli
  • Meisho Samson
  • Soldier of Fortune
  • Duke of Marmalade
  • Papal Bull
  • It’s Gino
  • Red Rock Canyon
  • Getaway
  • Vision D’Etat
  • Kamsin
  • Blue Bresil
  • Cima De Triomphe
  • Zarkava

The wealthiest horse in the 17-strong field will be Japanese star Meisho Samson. This will be his second attempt at the Arc, although the first time he’s actually started in the race – last year he contracted equine influenza and could not make the trip to Paris – he’s been out of the winner’s circle for nearly a year now.

is the only filly, but not the only 3-year-old entered; she has four other agemates and the rest of the field is comprised of 4 and 5-year-olds. She does get the lightest weight in the field (54.5 kg) but it’s not that far off from the other 3-year-olds at 56 kg. All the older horses will carry 59.5 kg.

Many have noted that should Zarkava win, she will be the first filly to win the race since 1993, and the first 3-year-old filly to win since Akiyda in 1982 — who was also owned by the Aga Khan. Others have suggested that her tendency to be sluggish at the break opens a door for Duke of Marmalade, although perhaps Julian Muscat phrased it best:

The difference is in the twin towers of greatness: Zarkava was born with what Duke Of Marmalade has acquired along the way.

Indeed, after her last race (video here – still the performance of the year, in my opinion), it’s hard to imagine her losing. Here’s hoping she turns in a history-making performance.

And where, you might be wondering, can I actually see this race? It looks as though it will be televised in the US on HRTV, although it takes a lot of digging to discover this, and it does not seem that the whole card will be on. (In the past, TVG has shown the whole Longchamp meet – although that was before I could actually receive the channel – and there is nothing on their site as of now to indicate they will show any of the day’s races).

Allez Zarkava!

2 comments to Arc Preview

  • Anonymous

    This may be of use/interest to anyone who does not have access to HRTV. I’m not sure if the race can be seen live on the following site, however, they seem to have a link “WEB-TV” which opens a new window which appears will, at the very least, have the race replay if not the live race itself.

    Thanks again for following International racing as well as here in the US. I’ll be pulling for Zarkava.

  • Keith - Triple Dead Heat

    What a brilliant filly…Zarkava dominated. I just hope they bring her back for 2009. She has raised the bar, and with experience, who knows how much better she could be.

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