Watch video analysis of the Qatar Prix Foy won by Waldgeist at ParisLongchamp from The Verdict and read Geoffrey Riddle's report on Godolphin's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hopes.
Andre Fabre has long been the master of preparing a horse for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and it is a case of full steam ahead for the Godolphin pair of Cloth Of Stars and Talismanic, according to racing manager Lisa-Jane Graffard.
Cloth Of Stars was two and a half lengths adrift of Enable at Chantilly 12 months ago when giving the filly 10lbs, and will clash once again with the Evens favourite 7lbs better off on Sunday.
Last year Cloth Of Stars was lightly campaigned and following his Group One Prix Ganay win in the spring he did not run again until he was second in the Prix Foy, the traditional Arc prep on Arc trials day that is staged three weeks before Europe’s most prestigious race.
This season the five-year-old son of Arc winner Sea The Stars has been winless in six starts, but performed to a similar level as last year’s when behind stable companions Talismanic and Waldgeist once again in the Foy.
Cloth Of Stars was a 20-1 chance last year, but can be backed at 50-1 with Bet365 and is reported to be in a similar vein of form.
“The performances of Cloth Of Stars this year haven’t been on a par with his 2017 season,” Graffard admitted.
“For, last year, he delivered three exceptional performances, having twice lowered the course record at Saint-Cloud and run a blinder in the Arc – a race in which he gave his all. He gave of himself 100 per cent on each occasion.
“He has been unlucky this year, and things haven’t gone his way, but he has more to prove this year than last season.
“Monsieur Fabre has been giving him special attention since the summer so as to ensure that he is mentally in the right place for the task which awaits him on Sunday. After the Qatar Prix Foy, he told me that he thought the horse would be going into Sunday’s race in the same condition as last year.”
Talismanic proved his credentials on the world stage last year when scooping the Breeders’ Cup Turf and a defence of his crown at Churchill Downs next month remains the priority.
Talismanic, who is a best priced 40-1, was drawn in stall nine under Mickael Barzalona at Thursday’s post position ceremony, while Cloth Of Stars will break from his inside with Vincent Cheminaud on top.
Fabre said after the Foy that the 12 furlongs at ParisLongchamp would stretch Talismanic’s stamina, something that Graffard agrees with.
“Talismanic and Cloth Of Stars are completely different in terms of mentality and their way of running,” she said.
“Talismanic is very straight forward and very relaxed. Cloth Of Stars is a horse with a real turn of foot but, his energies have to be harnessed accordingly during a race, so that this comes into play. It’s still a little difficult to put a finger on Talismanic’s optimum trip as he can pick up very quickly in terms of acceleration, although his turn of foot isn’t a lasting one.”
Watch the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe from ParisLongchamp live on Racing UK.