Arc light falls on Dettori

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Balanchine, who had much of her gut reduced last autumn after illness, yesterday had something more pleasant cut, her price for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The filly, who belongs to those people who make folk yellow and valuable by touch, Godolphin Racing, was a short- head second to Carnegie in the Prix Niel, which took her down to 9-2 joint- favourite for Paris in October.

Lanfranco Dettori, who took the mantle of golden boy into the race after his exploits the previous day, seemed to be quite impressed by this performance and may now face a foxy decision between the filly and Lammtarra, the Derby winner, for his Arc mount. The Italian seemed to think that a false start had cost Balanchine the race. "She was completely relaxed when they came out of the stalls first time, but she was fizzed up second time and took too strong a hold," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed will presumably have Arc day off from his duties as Dubai's Defence Minister for, as well as Lammtarra and Balanchine from his Godolphin operation, he has Carnegie, Swain, Winged Love and Tamure primed to run in his own maroon and white colours.

Other Arc considerations are Houseamix, who captured the Prix Niel, and Carling, the winner of a Prix Vermeille won in the fastest time of the day.

One beast who will not enter the equation is Pentire, who beat an impressive field in the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday. The colt quickened past Group One horses as if they were dustbins, but that is the end of his programme for the year. "He is a tremendously gutsy horse with one hell of a turn of foot, but that may be it for the year," Michael Hills, the winning jockey, said yesterday.