As for winning the Arc -- it is the race of the year. It's the toughest race with the strongest fields. Used to be, U.S. trainers sent some of their best runners to compete and they didn't do badly at all - in fact Tom Rolfe ran quite a great race in the Arc. Nowadays you see the strongest turf horses in the Arc and the field is not only elite but huge. Longchamp also tends to be on the soft side, so it's not ideal for all horses.
Consider this, Flintshire has never won an Arc. In fact no Galileo foal has won the Arc yet despite Galileo's dominance in all other races. High Chaparral, Ouija Board, Cape Blanco, Stacelita, Conduit, Dar Re Mi, Found, Orfevre, Intello, Taghrooda, Kizuna, Kingston Hill, Al Kazeem, Dolniya, St. Nicholas Abbey, Joshua Tree, Youmzain, Snow Fairy, Sea Moon.. the list of great horses, many multiple G1 winners, some in several different countries, have attempted to win the Arc and failed. It's incredibly difficult.
Also, La Cressonnière hasn't been raced at the Arc distance, so there is a question of whether she'll get it - although with her breeding it seems like she should.
In her last race of 2015 in the Listed Prix Herod La Cressonnière defeated Jet Setting by 2 3/4 lengths. Jet Setting went on to win the G1 Irish 1,000 Guineas by a head to Minding. Both races were on ground that was more ideal to Jet Setting and many will be quick to point out Minding hit her head on the gate. It's not *really* reliably comparable, but it does give you a first hint.
On 5/15 in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches La Cressonnière defeats G3 Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Nathra in 2nd and eventual G1 Coronation Stakes and G1 Prix Rothschild winner Qemah in 3rd. Aidan O'Brien's Alice Springs came in ~3 1/2 lengths back in 7th in that race. The G3 Prix Imprudence winner and G1 Prix Jean Prat 3rd and G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois 4th, Spectre, was in 5th!
On 6/19 La Cressonnière defeated G2 Prix De Sandrigham winner and G1 Prix Rothschild 2nd Volta by 1 3/4 lengths in 3rd. Coolmore was 3 lengths back in 5th and Ballydoyle was behind her. Jemayel was ~4 lengths back in 9th.
On 7/30 Jemayel came in 2 1/2 lengths behind Minding, placing 3rd in the G1 Nassau Stakes. Earlier today La Cressonnière came in 2 lengths ahead of Jemayel and she wasn't even really being pushed.
Basically, the overall form suggests that there wouldn't be much between La Cressonnière and Minding. I'm not the only one who's wondered which would win in a 1 on 1 race.
I've noticed her workouts have switched over to dirt. I wonder if this means she'll be racing on dirt?
Actually, I feel I should point out that while Darkova is unraced, her dam, Darkara, is a winner at 3000m at least twice and won the Listed 2400m Prix Des Tourelles. I'd say there's a good case for him aside from his dam being a Maria's Mon mare. Although like you I prefer to see proof in action before a major race such as the Arc.
Yeah, I think Postponed has a great chance here. Although we do know La Cressonnière does fine on Chantilly, so there is that. I wish Rouget would've taken a different route to what he did with Avenir Certain, although I do feel that La Cressonnière is better.
Then again this seems like it's Rouget's year - he's massively ahead of everyone else in the trainer standings in France. Like several million ahead.
I agree with you on the fillies potentially not doing well in the Arc. Though it will be interesting to see if it being held at Chantilly will make any sort of difference to the race.
I have no idea if you know much about what's going on or not, but yes, La Cressonnière is a serious contender for the Arc. By all I've seen she looks as good as Minding.
That doesn't mean that either of O'Brien's fillies OR La Cressonnière will make the top 3, though. If there's one thing about the Arc it's how notoriously difficult it is and horses that look otherwise dominant find themselves unable to take it except in rare instances. The one thing that could give any of them a better chance than usual this year is it's not held at Longchamp - it might actually be easier for some at a different venue.
I agree on all points, although I do think it's possible for Almanzor to get 2400. I just think ~2000 will be his ideal distance.
I'm not terribly happy with the thought of La Cressonnière's first step up to 2400 being in the Arc, though. If she comes in the first 5 I'll be delighted, but I'd much prefer a proper prep race for her and it sounds to me like that's not going to happen.
A very easy win for her, I don't even think she went all out. I just love her. :)
Ward has taken her on a similar path to most of his other big turf runners that he's brought over to race in Europe, and I get the feeling he sees her as a turf runner from what I've heard him say in interviews. That seems unlikely to change now since she's doing so well at the highest level.
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