The ground at Chantilly for Arc day on Sunday is currently given as soft with further rain forecast although in my experience the French Racing authorities like to describe conditions as much softer than they actually are.
That said there is heavy rain forecast for Paris on Sunday and BetVictor have pushed out both Limato (11/2 from 5/1) for the Foret and Marsha (3/1 from 11/4) for the Abbeye in light of the current forecast. If the rain does not materialise those prices could look very big come Sunday evening.
The listed Foundation Stakes is the feature race of Goodwood’s seven-race card and Promising Run would be of interest for Godolphin if the ground dries out. The vote, however, goes to Monarchs Glen (3.45) who will, hopefully, be less keen this afternoon than he was at Sandown earlier in the month on his first run back since being gelded. It is possible that the son of Frankel will never fulfil his potential as he is too headstrong for his own good, but he certainly possesses an engine and is likely to be a fair old price.
Ten furlongs is a long way for juveniles and Setting Sail (2.10) is not guaranteed on breeding to need this trip at this stage of his development, but he looked a sure-fire future winner when finishing second over a mile at Leicester on debut. James Doyle keeps the ride and one would imagine the jockey has advocated this step up in trip.
Road To Dubai (3.10) has his quirks but he is only 2lbs higher than when scoring over today’s C&D back in June and this trip might suit more than the additional couple of furlongs he went last time out. Champion jockey-elect Silvestre De Sousa doesn’t have the best of records on the colt but he can right that wrong in this competitive event.
Star Guide is not guaranteed to get this 1m 6f trip but she is clearly going the right way and remains open to further improvement. The same can be said of Sir Mark Prescott’s Melinoe but I hope to see Graceland (4.20) go one better than when runner up at Haydock last time. The selection is up 1lb in the weights this afternoon, but she is a tough and consistent sort who has been a credit to connections this term.
The ground looks sure to be testing at Perth and Well Above Par (2.50) can take the 2m Novices’ Chase on debut with Blair Campbell taking off a valuable 7lbs from his welter-burden of 12st 4lbs. Trainer Lucinda Russell wastes little time getting her five-year-old over fences given he was paying scant respect for his hurdles. He has the scope to improve for the switch to the larger obstacles.
Irish raider Urtheonethatiwant is sure to have his supporters in the 3m Handicap Chase but Malcolm Jefferson has his string well-forward and Ballyben (3.55) can take advantage of the 6lbs he receives from Arctic Gold. The selection was beaten on this card a couple of years ago and has little, if anything, ahead of the handicapper but he just might be able to cope with conditions better than his three rivals might this afternoon.
Ballypoint could be very well handicapped for Nigel Twiston-Davies who does so well with his string at Perth at this time of the year, but he must give a stone to Moorstown (5.05) and first time out might be the time to catch the Lucinda Russell-trained seven-year-old who won at Bangor on his shade debut back in November. Note the selection is fitted with a tongue-tie for the first time today having suggested at Wetherby on his last start over Christmas that he might have a breathing problem.
Sarookh (7.10) looks sure to appreciate today’s extra furlong at Kempton tonight having shaped with considerable promise when fourth on debut (6f) at Newcastle. Jim Crowley takes over in the saddle this evening for Roger Varian’s all-weather bred colt.