Racing: Arazi favourite for tilt at Moulin

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The Independent Online
AMID optimism from his trainer, jockey and even the bookmakers, Arazi returns to the track on Sunday for the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp, writes John Cobb.

The confidence from Francois Boutin and Steve Cauthen is somewhat predictable. 'He's running very well, he's relaxed,' Boutin said yesterday about the horse who has not run since 15 June when he was fifth to Brief Truce at Royal Ascot.

More surprisingly, William Hill have installed Arazi as the 3-1 favourite for the Moulin and have priced Brief Truce at 7-1 for the one-mile event. The Henry Cecil-trained All At Sea is offered at 100-30 and they then bet 5-1 Cardoun, 6-1 Shanghai, 13-2 Hatoof and 10-1 Kitwood.

Arazi has not won since a facile success at Saint-Cloud in April, his prep race for the Kentucky Derby in which he faded into eighth place. If he is to fulfil the promise of his phenomenal victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile he must win impressively on Sunday.

The Kentucky Derby was 'a very bad experience', Boutin said. 'Arazi ran badly in England because he hadn't recovered from the Derby. I thought six weeks would be enough for him to recover but it wasn't. The races were too close together.'

Walter Swinburn is another who has run out of time and will miss the ride on the 1,000 Guineas winner, Hatoof, at Longchamp. Out of action for the last 10 days after a bizarre accident at the end of a night out in Newmarket in which he hit his head when knocked over in a collision with a passer-by, Swinburn had been hoping to return in time to partner Hatoof as well as Sheikh Albadou in the Haydock Park Sprint Cup tomorrow. The Doncaster St Leger meeting, which begins on Wednesday, is the jockey's fresh aim for a return.

His place on Sheikh Albadou has gone to Bruce Raymond, who has ridden the colt before, while Gerald Mosse takes over on Hatoof.