William Buick will ride Adayar in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday, 3 October after the Epsom Derby winner underlined his wellbeing with a strong gallop midweek at Moulton Paddocks.
Buick made the early call after the son of Frankel continued to please at home, with the colt indicating he had shrugged off the minor setback that prevented him running in an Arc trial earlier this month.
But stablemate Hurricane Lane’s participation is still to be confirmed— he faces a crucial piece of work under James Doyle tomorrow (Saturday), the colt’s first serious gallop since winning the G1 St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, 11 September.
Both multiple G1-winning colts have pleased Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby, who emphasised three important factors that come into play in the build up to what could be the strongest running of the Arc since Dancing Brave won in 1986.
“A week is a long time in racing, particularly when you are coming into a race such as the Arc,” Appleby said. “We obviously have to take on board the well being of both horses, but also the way the race is taking shape, and, very importantly, the ground at Longchamp.”
In Adayar and Hurricane Lane, Godolphin have outstanding colts for all seasons. Adayar triumphed in slower ground at Epsom yet he was brilliant on Good to Firm in Ascot’s G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
But Appleby pointed out: “The one thing Hurricane Lane does not want is a quick surface. Adayar comes into the versatile category, but we have always felt ease in the ground enhances Hurricane Lane’s prospects. Unfortunately, the weather in Paris is out of our hands.
“Hurricane Lane gallops tomorrow. Adayar will also gallop. Then there will be discussions with the team, and we will see where we stand during the week, whether we will have one or two Arc runners,” he said.
Appleby said Buick was the envy of his weighing room colleagues having to chose between two multiple G1-winning Derby heroes, who had enjoyed stellar three-year-old campaigns.
“It’s a hard choice but William is confident he’s picking the right horse,” the trainer said. “I’m always happy for jockeys to be able to choose the horse they would like to ride. That means they have confidence in the horse and they take that into the race.
“James (Doyle) will partner Hurricane Lane in a simple piece of work tomorrow. Then discussions will take place next week on his participation,” he added.
Appleby said that if both colts line up, it could add another dimension to the 100th year of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s most prestigious all-age contest.
“The exciting part is that it could be history in the making. Adayar has already made his mark becoming the first in 20 years to complete the Derby/ King George double, while Hurricane Lane would be attempting something that’s never been done, winning the St Leger and the Arc in the same year,” he pointed out.
Appleby singled out the Aga Khan’s Tarnawa among an impressive band of fillies and mares entered as the biggest threat. “Fillies at this time of the year, if they are going in the right direction, can be very hard to beat.
“Tarnawa is a G1 winner over course and distance (Prix Vermeille), she’s a Breeders’ Cup winner and finished a very good second in the Irish Champion Stakes. Her credentials are first class,” he said.
On a busy Arc weekend at Longchamp, Appleby also flagged up five other runners of interest.
Ever-reliable Space Blues will be joined in the G1 Prix de la Foret by stablemate Glorious Journey, who is to be supplemented.
The G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere is under consideration for Noble Truth, who bounced back to winning form in Doncaster’s Flying Scotsman, while impressive last start winner Manobo is set to join Royal Ascot winner Kamari in the G2 Prix Chaudenay.