Golan proves credentials for Arc excursion

In the space of 24 hours the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has been transformed from a pallid impostor of the autumnal championship of Europe to a contest which now has a colourful palette of possibilities.

In the space of 24 hours the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has been transformed from a pallid impostor of the autumnal championship of Europe to a contest which now has a colourful palette of possibilities.

In Britain and France over the weekend, all four favourites won their Arc trials and mobilised their supporters. At the same time, an engrossing balance emerged with protagonists from Britain, Ireland and France now jostling for prominence. The Arc, once again, will be a compelling adventure.

Milan had started the programme with an awesome victory in the 225th St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday. Yesterday there came more from the vanguard at Longchamp.

Aquarelliste maintained her unbeaten record in the Prix Vermeille, Hightori cemented his place at the top of the lists in the Prix Foy, but the most persuasive performance came from the rejuvenated Golan, winner of the Prix Niel. The last-named event has become a neon signpost for the Arc. Four of the last five winners of the big one have been winners of that particular trial and the fifth, Peintre Celebre, should have won the Niel.

Golan, the 2,000 Guineas winner and Derby runner-up, had been in the wilderness in recent months, but yesterday a dream was revived. Michael Stoute's colt pushed to the front just after the entrance to the straight and held on when pressed by the leading French colts Anabaa Blue and Chichicastenango. It could, according to Kieren Fallon, have been even more impressive.

"He was in front too soon," the jockey said. "I got a perfect opening and I had to take that. He felt good and loves it round here. He is definitely an Arc horse if he gets a low draw and a good gallop."

This performance, and the weight of history, was enough to persuade Coral to go 3-1 about his Arc prospects. Ladbrokes offer a lighthouse price of 10-1. That was the same station William Hill had found for Milan after his devastating win on Town Moor. The price no longer exists, though the memory of victory for Aidan O'Brien's colt will be harder to erase.

Michael Kinane, Milan's jockey, had been outmanoeuvred in his homeland the previous weekend, made to look as if he had just climbed out of the cradle when he partnered Galileo. Here, though, Kinane demonstrated that the most significant part of jockeyship can occur out of the saddle.

Saturday's was virtually a two-mile race, the starched flags at Town Moor informing us that the wind was blowing directly down the straight. Kinane understood he would need cover from the elements, and tucked himself behind the equine windbreak of the main body of the field. By the time he emerged two out there was much work to be done, yet he was in front by the furlong pole.

It was a day which almost certainly confirmed Aidan O'Brien as the champion trainer of Britain. It is not an honour which will alter the man's hat size. That is not his way. On Saturday, he could be seen brushing the flanks and mane of Milan in the Doncaster pre-parade ring. He was hands on and hands in, washing himself down in a bucket before stepping out to see his four charges perform.

Afterwards, the trainer took self effacement to new levels, crediting everyone but himself from the Ballydoyle operation.

Michael Tabor, Milan's joint-owner, was more forthcoming about O'Brien's championship. "It's a phenomenal feat and I'm sure you could have got fair odds about it at the beginning of the season," he said. "It's all credit to Aidan because he pays all the sort of attention to detail you would wish for in somebody handling your bloodstock. He's a man devoted to what he does. A good man to have in the camp, big-time."

Tabor had flown in that morning from the sales in Kentucky and displayed the swiftness of movement that was to characterise his horse later in the day. Tabor's private jet landed at Farnborough at 8.15am and, following a sprint across the capital, he caught a train to Doncaster. He arrived just in time to see the Leger and Kinane putting on the Humpty Dumpty cap reserved for the winner. Now he can look forward to another breathless day out with Milan in Paris.


Going: Good

2.45: (1m 4f Group 2 Prix Niel)

1. GOLAN (K Fallon); 2. Anabaa Blue; 3. Chichicastenango. 7 ran. Storming Home (7th). 3/ 4, 2. (Sir M Stoute). Pari-Mutuel: 2.30; 1.80, 2.60. SF 11.60.

3.15: (1m 4f Group 1 Prix Vermeille)

1. AQUARELLISTE (D Boeuf); 2. Diamilina; 3. Mare Nostrum. 12 ran. Mot Juste (4th), Zanzibar (6th), Inchiri (9th) sht-nk, 2 1/ 2. (E Lellouche). Pari-Mutuel: 2.60; 1.20, 1.30, 2.00. DF 3.50

3.45: (1m 4f Group 2 Prix Foy)

1. HIGHTORI (G Mossé) 2. Idaho Quest; 3. Slew The Red. 6 ran. Little Rock (4th). 1/ 2, 3/ 4. (P Demercastel) Pari-Mutuel: 1.50; 1.30, 2.50. SF 10.10.


PRIX DE L'ARC DE TRIOMPHE: (Longchamp, 7 October). Coral: 3-1 Golan, 7-2 Aquarelliste, 6-1 Hightori, 8-1 Milan, 10-1 Morshdi, 12-1 Anabaa Blue, 14-1 others. (5-2 Sakhee with a run).

William Hill: 4-1 Aquarelliste, Golan, 5-1 Milan, 13-2 Hightori, 8-1 Maille Pistol, 10-1 Anabaa Blue, Nayef, 14-1 others. (3-1 Sakhee with a run)

Ladbrokes: 7-2 Aquarelliste, 4-1 Hightori, 6-1 Milan, 10-1 Golan, Maille Pistol, 12-1 Egyptband, 14-1 Anabaa Blue, Morshdi, 16-1 others. (5-2 Sakhee with a run).

Tote: 4-1 Milan, 9-2 Aquarelliste, 6-1 Golan, 7-1 Hightori, 9-1 Anabaa Blue, 12-1 Maille Pistol, Morshdi, Nayef, 14-1 others.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?