EAGLE Top will defend the honour of older British horses when he lines up for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday where Golden Horn and Treve, the flagbearers of British and French racing, will clash.
The John Gosden-trained four-year-old earned his place with a terrific effort in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July when losing out by a nose to Postponed, although he has since been beaten by The Corsican at Newbury on very testing ground.
With Postponed taken out of Europe’s premier middle-distance event after changing stables, Eagle Top has been left to represent the older brigade in the raiding party which includes superstar stablemate Golden Horn.
Hugo Lascelles, racing manager to owner Lady Bamford, said: “Eagle Top is fine. He’s taking his chance on the back of a good run in the King George.”
Golden Horn is the only other British challenger after Gosden withdrew Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs.
As expected, Golden Horn was supplemented by owner Anthony Oppenheimer at a cost of 120,000 euros, on the back of a season that has included victories in the Dante Stakes, Epsom Derby, Coral-Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes. However, Frankie Dettori’s mount will need another career-best effort as the French filly Treve seeks to win Europe’s premier Flat race for a third successive year.
n The first two races at Redcar’s meeting tomorrow have been renamed in honour of the town’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign.
The move follows the mothballing of the town’s steelworks earlier this week by Thai-owned SSI with the loss of 1,700 jobs.
Meanwhile, Malton trainer Richard Fahey’s Mayfair Lady is favourite to win the feature Totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy as the in-form stable seeks to win its third major handicap in as many weeks following the victories of Don’t Touch in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup and Third Time Lucky in the Betfred Cambridgeshire.
The primary supporting race, the Guisborough Stakes, features Brian Ellison’s stable star Top Notch Tonto.
n Yorkshire jockey David Nolan has been hit with a 23-day ban, seven of which were deferred, after incurring his fifth whip ban in six months. Nolan, who rides mainly for Richard Fahey and David O’Meara, is on course to have his most successful season as he is currently level with his best-ever tally of 36 winners.
n Gary Moore’s 2014 Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Sire De Grugy could reappear on Sunday week at Chepstow. Not much went right for the nine-year-old last season, but the trainer reports the horse “to be as good as ever”.