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Prix du Cadran preview

It's not just the Arc in Paris on Sunday, there are several other top races for various age groups and distances. The feature race for stayers gets detailed coverage from Adam Webb, @adamwebb121


Prix du Cadran
Longchamp, 4000m
Group 1, 1820 Paris time, 1720 London, 0320 Melbourne

The staying race on Longchamp’s Sunday card is the Prix du Cadran ran over two and a half miles and is essentially the French equivalent of the Ascot Gold Cup. Sadly the horses that fought out the finish to that race, Leading Light and Estimate (subsequently disqualified) are being aimed at the stayers’ race on Champions Day and with the late news that last year’s winner Altano misses the race, it doesn’t look the strongest renewal on paper.

The favourite is the Dermot Weld trained Pale Mimosa who came out of quarantine during the week to go for this race instead of the Melbourne Cup. She has been in good form including when travelling well on return before looking to need the run behind Leading Light in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan in May before missing the Ascot Gold Cup due to fast ground in which she was fancied to run well. < br>
She returned to the track in July and won at Leopardstown over a mile and six furlongs beating Manalapan by two lengths with Mutual Regard back in third who went on to land York’s Ebor Handicap. At the same meeting, Dermot Weld’s mare won the Lonsdale Cup over two miles beating Estimate before running in the farce of a race which was the Irish St Leger at the Curragh where the whole field bar Ballydoyle’s pacemaker allowed Brown Panther a ten length head start and he wasn’t to be pegged back once he kicked for home.

All the jockeys that day were guilty of allowing a horse who stays very well a huge advantage, especially based on his run in the Ascot Gold Cup where he came there cruising after not settling but just failed to see out the trip whereas the Irish St Leger was six furlongs shorter and nothing else got the chance to be put in the race due to the baffling decisions of most riders. Take Brown Panther out and she ran a shade disappointingly when weakening into fifth.

There are several concerns that I have about her chances. This race looks to have been an afterthought having gone into quarantine to go to Australia before being taken out to come here. Whilst she looked a good stayer over two miles, the extra half mile could also be a concern and her price looks short enough.

Andrew Balding had an excellent day at Ascot with Intransigent and Dungannon. He saddles Whiplash Willie who returned this season having not been seen since the Melrose Handicap at York back in 2011. For him to win on his return in a Salisbury handicap over a mile and six furlongs back in May is testament to Balding’s patience. The worry after that was whether he would be able to go on for that and pleasingly he did with an excellent effort in the Henry II at Sandown when third to Brown Panther. br>
He then missed several engagements due to fast ground with connections not willing to risk him on genuine fast ground before he returned over a trip short of his best at Chester where he was given the best ride by David Probert when second behind Big Orange who has since gone on and won a Listed contest recently at Ascot. His most recent effort in the Doncaster Cup was probably a career best when second to Estimate, staying on stoutly and doing his best work late on. The extra two furlongs will help here and the forecast rain won’t harm his chances at all.

The French challenge is headed by Bathyrhon who for most of the season had been running over ten and twelve furlongs which included a fifth behind Spiritjim in a Group Two with the German Arc contender Ivanhowe behind him in sixth. His last two starts have both been just shy of two miles with the first effort at Deauville where he looked not to stay on very soft ground when last behind Melbourne Cup bound Protectionist.

His last start links a few rivals that reoppose here when he won the recognised trial for this race on Arc Trials Day in the Prix Gladiateur with Kicky Blue, High Jinx, Trips To Rhodos, Going Somewhere and Domeside all reopposing. The faster ground probably brought a better performance from the winner but stamina doubts are the main concern here.

High Jinx has been a wonderful performer over the years for James Fanshawe and he finally got back into the winners’ enclosure two starts back at Maisons-Laffitte in a Listed race beating Trips To Rhodos. Before that, he had ran consistently including a good fifth behind Gospel Choir in the Yorkshire Cup and also has form with Whiplash Willie from Sandown when he finished ahead of him when second to Brown Panther back in May. He ran well enough last time out and the extra distance tomorrow should help him more than others but for win purposes I think he will struggle.

Going Somewhere looks an interesting contender after contesting the Arc last year with ninth to Treve. His best run this year was on Grand Prix des Paris day when third behind Terrubi and Brown Panther over a mile and six furlongs in the Prix Maurice de Nieuil however ran below par last time out in the Gladiateur. If seeing out the distance tomorrow he could be very interesting however most of his best form comes with cut in the ground so he would need a fair bit of rain.

Kicky Blue came back to form last time out after a couple of low key efforts. She is one that won’t mind the conditions tomorrow but is another with stamina questions to answer, Trip To Rhodos has ran consistently all season but any rain will be a negative plus the extra five furlongs are a concern as well and Domeside has disappointed on both starts this season and will need a lot more to figure here.

The final contender that hasn’t been mentioned yet is the grey Fly With Me who has done all his running on softer ground but looks very interesting for this race. He won three starts ago at Longchamp beating Goldtara a nose before a laboured effort behind Terrubi in July at the same track before finishing second last time out to Protectionist at Deauville showing more promise. If handling better ground, he seems capable of seeing out the extra distance.

Pale Mimosa is short enough in the betting and with a few questions to answer she is opposable. WHIPLASH WILLIE however comes into this off a career best effort in the Doncaster Cup, shouldn’t mind the ground and is for me the strongest stayer in the race so I think he is the likely winner with Fly By Me and High Jinx fighting out the placings.


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