Irish Leger winner Flag Of Honour taken out of Arc

Kitesurf and Bateel also miss the race

  • Tuesday 02 October
  • News
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Flag Of Honour was one of three withdrawals from Sunday’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at the second forfeit stage for the ParisLongchamp showpiece.

Aidan O’Brien’s Irish St Leger hero was removed from the reckoning for the 12-furlong prize, although the Ballydoyle handler still has five options headed by Doncaster winner Kew Gardens and Capri.

Andre Fabre is another to have narrowed his team a little with Prix Vermeille winner Kitesurf taken out. Three stablemates stand their ground in the shape of Cloth Of Stars, Waldgeist and Talismanic.

The other contender to miss out is Bateel, winner of last year’s Prix Vermeille for Francis Graffard, leaving 19 contenders for the middle-distance championship.

Wednesday marks the supplementary stage for the Arc, with William Haggas confirming on Monday that he expects Sea Of Class to be added to the field.

The ground at ParisLongchamp since its reopening has come in for criticism.

And on Tuesday it was revealed the rail which has been in use all season will be pushed out for Saturday’s races, while it will be taken away completely for Sunday, leaving a strip of fresh ground.

France Galop’s managing director Olivier Delloye said: “It is our duty to provide the best possible ground for all competitors so that they can all give their best.

“The introduction of the open stretch, even without a widened rail, would not allow us to take full advantage of a portion of ground completely new next to the rail.

“The open stretch naturally leads the horses to a section of the track that has been used intensively since the spring. We have decided to give up the open stretch the day before too.

“The open stretch has considerably improved the regularity of the races, but the top priority is the quality of the course we offer. When the two do not prove compatible, the choice imposes itself.”

Irish Leger winner Flag Of Honour taken out of Arc
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