ThoroughBred Racing

No Arc for Verry Elleegant

No Arc for Verry Elleegant

 

Verry Elleegant will not contest this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after connections opted not to make a supplementary entry for her on Wednesday night.

It follows a number of days of controversy where it was discovered she would not make the final field of 20 after her rating was lowered.

 

 

It’s a bitter blow for Verry Elleegant’s ownership who are currently in France ahead of Sunday’s race.

Star Victorian jockey Mark Zahra had been booked to ride in the Arc. She has, however, maintained an entry for the G1 Prix Royallieu.

Her Australian mark of 120 was lowered to 113 by French authorities who have made the assessment with the benefit of Verry Elleegant’s two defeats under trainer Francis Graffard.

Verry Elleegant’s French adventure started by finishing last of seven in the €250,000 G1 Darley Prix Jean Romanet (2000m) at Deauville on August 21.

She then attempted to lead throughout in the €130,000 G2 Prix Foy (2400m) at Longchamp on September 12, running a fighting third to multiple French stakes winners Iresine and Bubble Gift.

“There needs to be significant analysis and explanation for why it was necessary to drop Verry Elleegant’s rating so dramatically and so quickly on her first two starts off a long layoff,” Graffard said on Twitter on Tuesday.

“If all horses were reassessed that quickly racing would be very different.”

The key reason for the 20-horse limit in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is not due to safety but rather the Quinte bet type which does not support fields greater than 20.

Prior to the creation of the Quinte in 1989, the Arc field regularly exceeded 20 starters.

1983 Cox Plate winner Strawberry Road ran fifth in the 1984 Arc won by Sagace in a field of 22 while 24 horses contested the Arc in 1988.

The Quinte is a bet type which operates on one race per day in France – on either a selected thoroughbred or harness race – that generates participation from non-racing followers and has lottery qualities, accounting for up to 20 per cent of daily turnover.

Punters are required to correctly select the first five placegetters in order with an added sweetener of a huge dividend, usually above €1 million, if their bet slip has a matching drawn number from one to 3,000.

Racing.com will broadcast the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting on Sunday night.