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Horse Racing Tips - Racing: Robbie Wilders' Longchamp tips

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe represents arguably the biggest race in Europe and with five other Group 1s on a brilliant card at Longchamp on Sunday, Robbie Wilders from the Racing Post shares his four best bets.


1.15 Longchamp

Shartash @ 3/1
1pt win

3.05 Longchamp

Titleholder @ 15/2
1pt each-way

3.50 Longchamp

Above The Curve @ 3/1
1pt win

4.25 Longchamp

Castle Star @ 20/1
1pt each-way 

Murtagh can claim career first

The Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere kicks things off at Longchamp (1.15) and I'd be slightly concerned about early favourite The Antarctic.

This brother to Abbaye winner Battaash would be no guarantee to get seven furlongs, while this is a quick turnaround as he ran in the Middle Park just eight days ago.

Preference instead is for Shartash, who can provide Johnny Murtagh with a first Group 1 success outside of Ireland.

Shartash had been exclusively campaigned over six furlongs on his first four starts but saw out seven furlongs strongly when third in the Group 1 National Stakes last time.

That was an upgrade on anything he had previously achieved and he encountered something of a troubled passage that day. Conditions will suit and he is a major player. 

Japanese to end long Arc wait

My long-range fancy for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (3.05), Alpinista, has been well found in the market now and a better bet at the prices and enhanced place terms with bet365 is Titleholder.

The Japanese long for a first Arc and this colt appears to possess as good a chance as any they have unleashed in recent seasons.

Titleholder is on a real roll this year and has proved highly versatile in terms of distance, landing Group 1s over 1m3f and 2m on his last two outings.

While testing ground is an unknown for these Japanese stars, Titleholder's proven ability to stay much further will be an advantage in the conditions and stall 10 could be worse for this immensely talented front-runner who will not fail for a lack of stamina.  

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Above can continue upward curve

Nashwa is a favourite I'm keen to oppose in the Prix de l'Opera (3.50) given her wide draw in stall 13.

The feeling is the Opera also has greater depth than the Nassau and Diane she landed earlier in the season as well.

The filly to oppose her with is Above The Curve, who has drawn well in stall five and it is worth taking the hint that Ryan Moore rides her over Oaks winner Tuesday.

Above The Curve was very weak in the betting in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes at the Curragh on her return from a 105-day break this month and looked to be carrying a bit of condition.

However, that did not stop her and she warmed up for this in the best style when finding extra to hold off the late challenge of the race-fit Insinuendo, who is 2lb worse off this time.

There should be stacks of improvement to come from Above The Curve and she can add another Group 1 to her already impressive CV. 

Castle to Star in Abbaye

The Prix de l'Abbaye (4.25) looks as volatile as ever and I'm keeping my loyalties with Castle Star at a huge price each-way with five places up for grabs.

It is difficult to predict the effect of the draw in this race and Castle Draw's position in box 14 could be a negative, but he arrives in fair form having shaped better than the result on both starts this season.

This strong traveller failed to find as much as looked likely on his seasonal return at the Curragh in July before hitting trouble in running when on the wrong part of the track in the Flying Five last time.

Jamie Spencer can produce him late in the picture and given he relishes testing conditions and arrives a fresh horse, there are reasons to expect a decent performance.

By Robbie Wilders

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