Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dermot Weld fearful of Chantilly draw impact for Arc raider Harzand

Published 21/09/2016 | 11:41

Harzand
Harzand

Dermot Weld would rather the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe be staged at Longchamp than its temporary home of Chantilly ahead of Harzand's date with destiny on Sunday week.

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With Longchamp undergoing significant developments, Chantilly has stepped into the breach for the next two years.

But Weld told the Irish Times: "I would personally much prefer if the Arc was run at Longchamp. My experience of Chantilly includes Famous Name getting beaten by a head there for the French Derby when he was drawn 17. The draw has a huge impact at Chantilly, including over a mile and a half."

Harzand, the dual Derby winner, earlier this month returned home from the Irish Champion Stakes, in which he could only finish eighth, with a sore hind leg.

His trainer has, however, issued an upbeat bulletin on the colt's well-being as the son of Sea The Stars builds up towards the Arc.

Weld added: "Pat Smullen rode him for the first time since Leopardstown (on Tuesday morning).

"They did a bit of work and the horse went nicely. This horse is as tough as teak, that's the great thing about him.

"He is a very healthy horse, both mentally and physically."

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