Ghaiyyath ‘unlikely’ to take Arc chance
Charlie Appleby has confirmed Ghaiyyath is unlikely to line up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp on Sunday week.
The five-year-old has been one of the stars of the season so far, completing a Group One hat-trick with a trio of tremendous front-running displays in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket, the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and the Juddmonte International at York.
He suffered his first defeat of 2020 when Magical reversed the International form in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown earlier this month – and Appleby feels a trip to France just three weeks later might be the wrong call.
Appleby said: “I think it is probably more a negative than a positive at the moment – I think we are saying the Arc is probably an unlikely next start for him.
“He has put up four big performances this year and the first two or three were nicely spaced out. We know that was one of his quickest back ups all season – from the Juddmonte to the Irish Champion Stakes.
“To go for the Arc and then look for a target afterwards, i.e. the Breeders’ Cup – that would be a big ask for a horse like him, in my opinion, as he puts in so much.”
Ghaiyyath could make his next appearance over a mile and a quarter in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 17, or wait for a return to a mile and a half in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in early November.
We've seen what he can do over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half
“Without having a rubber stamp, we are looking like missing the Arc and looking towards Champions Day or the Breeders’ Cup,” Appleby added.
“Plans will be dictated by the conditions. The horse had a quiet week after Leopardstown, as he has done after each race this year, but we’ve been pleased that he is showing his wellness again. Ascot is there as a possibility for sure.
“We’ve seen what he can do over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half. When you win an Eclipse, then a Juddmonte and then go and run a great race in the Irish Champion over 10 furlongs, I think people tend to forget what he can do over a mile and a half.
“He has only run three times over a mile and a half. He has broken the track record twice – in Germany and here in the Coronation Cup.
“We are in a lucky position. He is competitive over 10 furlongs and he is very good over a mile and a half in my opinion, and that brings the Breeders’ Cup into strong contention.”
Another Appleby-trained star who will not be heading to Paris is Pinatubo.
The Prix de la Foret was mentioned as a potential target following his fast-finishing second in the Prix du Moulin last month, but he is set to run in either the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot or wait for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.
Appleby said: “Pinatubo is not going to go to France next week – he is having a break after the Moulin.
“All being well, you’ve got the two options – Champions Day at Ascot over the mile or the Breeders’ Cup. Again, without having a rubber stamp on it, you would say the percentage call would be to look towards the Breeders’ Cup.
“The Breeders’ Cup Mile could be tailor-made for him. We will go where the percentage call is right.”