Laurent Barbarin

Laurent Barbarin struck with 3/1 winner Skalleti on Saturday and returns to preview a top-class Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Sunday card, putting forward seven bets.

Sign up to bet365 using bonus code ATR100

It seems that time has flown since last year and Enable’s second victory in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. This Sunday has probably been the most awaited race-day of the year for many and I’m sure we are in for a feast that will be long remembered in racing history.

What we have learned from Saturday’s racing is that the aptitude to handle very soft ground will be of paramount importance in order to be successful today.

Is it really sensible to go against Enable in the Arc? She has been amazing this year and hasn’t met any setback in training like in 2018. The combo Gosden and Dettori has had tremendous success throughout the season. So, from a realistic point of view, can she be beaten?

This year’s Arc (15.05) is particularly exciting and will stay in memories whatever the outcome. However, there is no good game without good rivals and I think the French can be just that to Enable.

Firstly, I must say that WALDGEIST has been very good to me all season and it would be a mistake not to back him each-way at what seems a big price (20/1). I won’t make a case for him anymore as I did it already twice at Ascot when he brought profit to his each-way supporters. He may do so again today.

The other serious French contender is obviously SOTTSASS, whose turn of foot is definitely one of a remarkable horse. If anyone remembers how Persian King was perceived prior to the Prix du Jockey-Club, then please also remember that Sottsass made him look ordinary that day and I don’t think André Fabre’s horse lacked stamina on this occasion.

If Sottsass can reproduce such a performance on Sunday, he should not be too far off at the finish.

Watch the 2019 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Sunday 6th October.

The proceedings will start with the Prix Marcel Boussac at 13.15. And as I mentioned above, it will take a filly with real aptitude to come out of this ground and MARIETTA could be just that sort of horse.

She is out of a mare whose only career success came in very soft ground at Fontainebleau in 2014. Marieta is a half-sister to Cigalera who produced her two best efforts this year in testing conditions.

Many of the candidates in the race do not appear bred to handle that sort of ground and therefore I’m sure that there is room for this filly to make a big impact. Siyouni has had amazing success with his two-year-olds and I’m sure Marieta is a good bet each-way bet.

The Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (13.50) is another great contest and I’m glad to see VICTOR LUDORUM on the runners list as I must say I fell in love with the horse when he won impressively first time out at ParisLongchamp.

He made his debut relatively late in the season and was never going to have much time to prepare for this big race but still, André Fabre has managed to run him once more prior to this contest.

The point was to give him experience more than anything else and teach him how to use himself as the potential is definitely there. A strongly run race should favour him and I think the home straight at ParisLongchamp is just perfect for a horse with such a tremendous turn of foot. 

And to be honest, Earthligt’s victory in the Middle Park has seriously boosted my confidence in Victor Ludorum. Let’s hope he will handle the ground which remains questionable on paper.

In the Prix de l’Opéra (15.55), WITH YOU is the one for me. She has not won a race in three runs this season, but she posted a solid runner-up effort behind Coronet at Deauville on the August 18 and showed that day that she is back on the right path.

She has been fitted with blinkers in her last two starts and the headgear seems to have worked very well so far. Once again, she is one of the few runners that is confirmed adaptable in very soft/heavy ground and although the race is highly competitive, she must be given some serious consideration.

Freddy Head has had a very difficult season up until late August but a third of his 2019 victories have been registered in the past five weeks. His horses are running well at present and With You could be a good each-way player in a competitive renewal of the Opera.

I have always considered the Prix de l’Abbaye (16.30) like a small piece of English territory in the Bois de Boulogne. The French horses have managed to come out on top in three occasions only in the past 20 years.

However, Pascal Bary has two candidates in the race, and I like SPINNING MEMORIES’s profile. She has improved nicely throughout the season and her last win over 6f at Deauville was good enough to suggest she can run a big race over 5f.

She handled the very soft ground well at ParisLongchamp when she won a Listed over 7f. In a race which seems promised to the foreign horses, I remain confident she can be a big each-way player.

The Prix de la Forêt (17.05) runs on the “toboggan” at ParisLongchamp and is another exciting contest in which I see CITY LIGHT as the main protagonist.

Just a couple of facts about the horse. He won his first start at two in September 2016 over a mile at Saint-Cloud and did it very easily. Then he gradually turned into a sprinter, probably because he was running too keen in his subsequent starts.

However, I found him very relaxed over 7f when he bolted up in the Prix du Pin three weeks ago. He has the required early speed to get into a good position from draw one and seems to be a much more matured and relaxed horse than he was.

I’m even sure he would have a big chance in the Breeder’s Cup Mile at Santa-Anita if he went but that is another story. I’ll definitely side with him and Soumillon.

Sign up to bet365 using bonus code ATR100
Up to £30 in free bets
Get £20 in free bets
£20 Risk Free First Bet
Up to £30 in free bets
Up to £30 in free bets
Up to £50 in bonus funds
Up to £25 in free bets
£20 Free Exchange Bet