Montjeu for Longchamp lesson

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe trials meeting tomorrow is a card which, like so many at Longchamp, the Parisian
turfistes treat with contempt by their non-appearance. Serious form students cannot make the same mistake.

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe trials meeting tomorrow is a card which, like so many at Longchamp, the Parisian turfistes treat with contempt by their non-appearance. Serious form students cannot make the same mistake.

There may be few spectators in the stands, but on the track clues will be fluttering like confetti. History says that the Arc winner is likely to be on show and the ante-post market suggests the trend will continue.

Six of the last 10 Arc winners have emerged from the rehearsals three weeks before the big day, a figure which should be improved in this the reign of Montjeu.

Last year's Arc winner and the victor in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot this season takes in the Group Two Prix Foy rather than the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown this afternoon. This preference comes because Montjeu has recently suffered a slight setback, but unless he emerges with a leg missing tomorrow his winning run should be extended.

The four-year-old faces just three rivals, one of whom is his pacemaker Stop By. John Gosden's Commander Collins is at least assured of some easily earned place money.

The Prix Vermeille has attracted an array of the leading fillies, including Love Divine, Henry Cecil's Oaks winner, and Egyptband, who won the French equivalent, the Prix de Diane. Godolphin's Melikah, the runner-up at Epsom, is also in the field.

It is, however, the Prix Niel which deserves the closest scrutiny as it has fallen to four of the last six Arc winners, including Montjeu 12 months ago. If he is to succumb next month, this is a rare stick with which to beat him.

Foremost among the field for the Niel is Sinndar, one of the few who might fell the champion. The Derby and Irish Derby winner has a pacemaker, Raypour, as he conducts his sighter in the Bois de Boulogne. John Oxx, Sinndar's trainer, has warned that his colt is not fully primed, but then he issued a similar caveat before Enzeli's victory in the Doncaster Cup on Thursday.

* Sunday Grandstand on BBC2 will show the Prix Foy live and recordings of the Prix Vermeille and Prix Foy.

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