Tuesday 21 February 2017

Dermot Weld fearful of Chantilly draw impact for Arc raider Harzand

Published 21/09/2016 | 11:41


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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