Longchamp Sunday: Garrity's picks 4 Group 1 turf stakes races from France, starting with l’Arc de Triomph
Sunday is a great for global racing: it’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day at Longchamp in Paris. This is a true fall highlight on the global racing stage; the Arc is one of the world’s truly great races, and the supporting card is terrific too.
Unfortunately, the weather is going to be an issue. The turf course at Longchamp was soft for the Saturday racing, but a goodly amount of rain is scheduled to fall overnight into tomorrow, and we are expecting heavy, boggy conditions for both the Arc and the undercard races. These races are always tests, but they will be even more so this year, as the going will make the races play even longer than they do when the grass is firm.
We have plays in four races, all Group 1 stakes, starting with the Arc, which goes to the post at 3:05 pm local time, which is just after 10 am in New York. There’s money to be made, so let’s go.
Longchamp Racecourse, Race 4, 10:05 am ET
Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, 1 ½ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
The 2021 running of the Arc drew fifteen entrants. The going is going to be a major handicapping factor, as races, even in Europe, are seldom run over courses this soft. We’re looking for the runner who is in good form, and who will take to the ground.
We do not think that will be 4-Tarnawa, who parlayed a win in last year’s Prix de l’Opera into victory in the Breeders Cup Turf. She’s a world-class race mare, but the ground will be softer than she prefers, and she has not been quite as good this year as she was last year. At a relatively short price, she is a throwout.
We like 11-Hurricane Lane. He is a 3-year-old with seemingly immense talent, having won 5 of 6 starts this year, and we like the fact that he seems to be on the come, with high-quality wins in Group 1 races in each of his last three starts. He should relish the ground, and the fact that he’s a Godolphin homebred, and trained by Charlie Appleby, doesn’t hurt -- the stable has been on an incredible run this year, and we think it will continue when Hurricane Lane wins the 2021 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. We will bet him to win at 5-1. The bet: Longchamp, Race 4, $40 to win on 11-Hurricane Lane.
Longchamp Racecourse, Race 5, 10:50 am ET
Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Opera, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Fifteen fillies and mares line up for the Prix de l’Opera. We like 9-Joan of Arc, an Irish-bred 3-year-old Coolmore filly who is trained by Aidan O’Brien. She finished second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, which was run at the Curragh in May, and that was both an excellent effort and an indication that she likes wet ground, as the turf course in Dublin that day was heavy. She has disappointed in her last, and will have to rebound here, but we think she has it in her, especially since her pedigree (by Galileo, out of a Storm Cat mare) is the stuff that dreams are made of. We will bet her to win at 9-1. The bet: Longchamp, Race 5, $30 to win on 9-Joan of Arc.
Longchamp Racecourse, Race 6, 11:25 am ET
Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamps, 5 furlongs, Turf, 2 & Up
Another mare from last year’s Breeders Cup, 9-Glass Slippers, who took the 2020 Filly & Mare Turf Sprint, runs here, and while she’s always had the tendency to run better in the fall than in the spring and summer, her 2021 form is far too weak to back here, especially in a field of 15, running against males, and at very short 5/2 odds. We think she is a a play-against.
We like 5-Berneuil. He’s an Irish-bred 4-year-old gelding who has been running well and consistently all year, having hit the board in all six of his 2021 starts, and who ran particularly well in his last, when he prepped for this race with a sharp win in a Group 3 stakes on Sept. 12. That race was at Longchamp, so he likes the course; we like that recency, and the fact that he should thrive on the boggy turf. We will bet Bereuil to win at 5-1. The bet: Longchamp, Race 6, $35 to win on 5-Berneuil.
Longchamp Racecourse, Race 7, 12:00 pm ET
Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Forêt, 7 furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up
Ten males and six females make up the field of sixteen for the Prix de la Forêt. We like one of the females: It’s 11-Sagamiyra, who is a strong pick. She’s a 4-year-old filly who was bred in France by the Aga Khan, who also owns her, and she comes into this race in impeccable form, having run five races this year, and running first or second in all of them, one of them on heavy going at Longchamp. She is 2-for-2 lifetime at this distance, so she checks all the handicapping boxes; so we are going to bet her to win at 4-1, and and loosen the rubber band around the bankroll a bit in the process. The bet: Longchamp, Race 7, $50 to win on 11-Sagamiyra.
That’s all for now. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.