Rachel Candelora's top tips for Wednesday: Ronaldo ready to score

By Rachel Candelora
Wed 3 Oct 2018

This Sunday at ParisLongchamp is one of the great days of racing around the world with seven Group 1 events, eight million euros in prize money up for grabs and horses from six countries converging on the bois de boulogne.

This year sees the 97th running of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and features “Le moment de vérité” for defending champion Enable.

She was breathtaking on her comeback run at Kempton and John Gosden and Frankie Dettori are said to be thrilled after her lone turf workout a few days ago, but easy races and work are very far removed from the rough race of the Arc.

 Enable impressed when winning the September Stakes on her return at Kempton (FocusOnRacing)
Enable impressed when winning the September Stakes on her return at Kempton (FocusOnRacing)

I believe Enable will win, but do not necessarily forget about maestro Andre Fabre, who has won the Arc a record seven times and who may field four runners on Sunday.

His main contender is the resurgent Waldgeist, the easy winner of the Foy. However, only two horses have pulled off the Foy-Arc double in the same season.

Do not forget, at the price and at your peril, Talismanic who ran second in the Foy as back in 1992 Subotica, for Fabre, finished runner-up in it in before going one better in the Arc – becoming and remaining Fabre’s only non three-year-old Arc winner.

Below are four fancies for Wednesday.

5.25 Salisbury: Rio Ronaldo

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Rio Ronaldo and Atzeni clicked at Salisbury in June

In the season closer at Salisbury expect to see Rio Ronaldo’s nose-banded head cross the line first.

This quirky sprinter is returning to the site of his last victory and is returning to the grade of this success for the first time in four starts.

Even better is the jockey booking of Andrea Atzeni, who got on with him well in their win here in June.

Stall nine will not be an issue as Rio Ronaldo is a deep closer and with the likes of Awesome, Equimou and Kodiac Express in the field there will be plenty of pace for him to aim at.

5.30 Newcastle: On Fire

This five-year-old has shown a real liking for the Tapeta surface at Newcastle, having won once and finished runner-up twice in just four starts at the track and posted a personal best effort when winning over two miles at Ripon in May.

He looks the kind of stayer that trainer James Bethell has had plenty of success with over the years and this may be the start of a lucrative all-weather winter campaign.

6.30 Newcastle: Madam Devious

Specialist 5f sprint trainer Robert Cowell sends this three-year-old daughter of Dutch Art back up to Newcastle, where she ran a very solid third, in a big field, last time out.

She may represent a bit of value in this short field given that her main dangers on paper – previous winner Debawtry (had a year off) and Go Roo (already beaten in similar events) – have question marks over them. The addition of in-form Joe Fanning in the saddle is another positive.

7.00 Newcastle: Improve

This half-sister to Group 1 winner Persuasive has been given more than three months off since her victory at Haydock in late May, but one gets the impression that may have been by design given her connections fondness of the all-weather championship series.

Top all-weather performer Grandeur also ran in the owner’s silks, while trainer William Haggas likely sees this daughter of Iffraaj as a potential all-weather Finals candidate. She took her time to get going at Haydock so this stiffer mile here should suit.

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