Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

The Punter: Sole destroying times for Japan

It was agonisingly ‘sole' destroying for backers of the Japanese horse Orfevre in the last 50 yards of the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

Few if any fancied the 33/1 winner Solemia who gave the layers a ‘skinner' in a race run in porridege-like conditions which put paid to Camelot's hopes even before the stalls opened.

Losing three shoes and suffering a cut to his hind leg didn't help his cause either. But at least he stays in training next year and Aidan O'Brien remains very bullish as to what he can achieve as a four-year-old. Time will tell as his reputation and standing has taken a knock since his Derby victory.

The unfancied three-year-old filly upset the applecart big time denying the 7/2 favourite in the world's richest turf race in a dramatic final half furlong which saw the Land of the Rising Sun's understandable victory cheers sink in the mud as Solemia who looked beaten when Ofevre swept past, rallied in the glue-pot to snatch the spoils much to the delight of bookmakers. It's the third time the Japanese have finished second in the Arc.

When Orfevre soared up the centre of the course a furlong and a half out, he traded on Betfair at the smallest possible price of 1/100 for £20,000 while Solemia hit 109/1 in-running.

Meanwhile Olympic Glory's victory in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Sunday over seven furlongs paid a handsome tribute to the only horse to have beaten him, namely Dawn Approach who goes in Saturday's Dewhurst Stakes. Trainer Jim Bolger has won the Dewhurst in four of the last six years and supporting him again is strongly advised, despite likley short odds.

Backing Dawn Approach at 6/1 for next year's 2000 Guineas before he wins the Dewhurst is recommended as is What A Name for the 1000 Guineas at 14/1 after she finished a length and a quarter behind Olympic Glory.

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