Fillies favoured in thrilling Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Last year’s Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe saw the fairer sex fill the first three places for the first time in a very long time in Europe’s premier middle-distance contest. Germany’s Danedream stormed home from France’s Shareta and British star Snow Fairy, and the likelihood seems to be that one of this trio of tremendous performers will once again grace the winners enclosure at Longchamp on October 7.

Danedream is currently a 9/2 joint-favourite in the ante-post list with several horse racing odds setters, for the race with the Japanese Triple Crown winner Orfevre, and has looked every bit as good this season as last, nosing out the gallant Nathaniel in a thrilling renewal of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July, before coasting home in Group 1 company on home turf at Baden Baden to complete a perfect Arc preparation. Her trainer, Peter Schiergen, is very bullish that his star will win again on what will be her final racecourse appearance.

Shareta (10/1), beaten five lengths into second place in last year’s showcase contest when an unconsidered 66/1 shot, has proved that run no fluke by winning her last two starts in great style. She beat The Fugue in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire last month, then easily accounting for classy rivals when landing Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Vermeille over the Arc course and distance. Her trainer, Alain de Royer-Dupre, is convinced she is now a much better filly than last season.

Snow Fairy (7/1) needs no introduction, the darling of Newmarket trainer Ed Dunlop’s string having recovered from a near career-ending tendon injury to bounce back to her brilliant best with a win in Group 1 company in France last month followed by her great success over the unfortunate Nathaniel in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown earlier this month. A victory for the bargain basement mare would be hugely popular and she is reported in great shape ahead of her repeat assault on the French prize.

With three such talented performers, several horse racing news experts believe that the colts may once again have to look to their laurels next month and may be playing for places at very best.