Hernando leaves the Arc to Lammtarra

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A total of 26 horses stood their ground for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, including the British-based contenders who head the betting market, Lammtarra and Balanchine. But that number will be whittled down as doubts surround several horses including other British acceptors in Strategic Choice, Luso, Jural and Richard Of York.

The South American pair, Patio De Naranjos and Much Better, Germany's Monsun and home contenders, Rifapour, Poliglote and El Tenor are other doubtful runners.

The most notable absentee from the list of acceptors is last year's second, Hernando, who heads instead to Belmont Park for the Turf Classic.

Carnegie, last year's Arc winner, Freedom Cry and Winged Love all had pipe openers at Chantilly yesterday under the gaze of Andre Fabre, who is reportedly very sweet on the chances of Swain. Fabre could have as many as seven runners.

The Argentinian champion, El Sembrador, worked over 10 furlongs under his big-race rider, Guillermo Sena, at Chantilly racecourse yesterday morning.

Acceptors: Richard Of York (J Gosden), Strategic Choice (P Cole), Tot Ou Tard (S Wattel, Fr), Lando, Monsun (H Jentzsch, Ger), Patio De Naranjos (A Bagu, Chile), Partipral (E Sarasola, Fr), Much Better (J L Maciel, Bra), Gunboat Diplomacy (E Lellouche, Fr), Balanchine, Lammtarra (Saeed bin Suroor), Sunrise Song (F Doumen, Fr), Rifapour (A de Royer-Dupre, Fr), Carnegie, Freedom Cry, Housamix, Muncie, Swain, Winged Love, Valley Of Gold (A Fabre, Fr), Luso (C Brittain), El Tenor (A Spanu, Fr), Poliglote (Mme C Head, Fr), Jural (M Johnston), Pure Grain (M Stoute), Carling (Mme P Barbe).