Torquator Tasso, ridden by Dettori, receives a tough draw to defend the Arc crown

Frankie Dettori’s hopes of a record-breaking seventh Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe suffered a setback on Thursday when defending champion Torquator Tasso was handed a tough draw.

The 51-year-old legendary Italian jockey and his German driver – an upset 80-1 winner last year – will start in pit 18 of 20 for Sunday’s €5m feature at Longchamp.

Stay Foolish, one of four Japanese record runners, has least favorite stall 20 as Japan tries to finally win the arc on their 18th attempt, their first in 1969.

It’s not uncommon for Arc winners to come from underdogs, although few and usually exceptional talents like Golden Horn (14) ridden by Dettori in 2015.

Five-time Arc winner Aga Khan will perhaps have the biggest smile when his French Derby winner Vadeni breaks out of stall two – six winners have broken out of this gate since 1980.

However, there are doubts as to whether he will make the 2400m journey.

Two of those vying with him for the favor have also scored a favorable draw in the race, which has a 20-max field for the first time since 2015.

The England runner Alpinista – who is trying to give veteran trainer Mark Prescott a first arc winner – will burst out of stable six – which has produced five winners since 1980.

Record-breaking Irish handler Aidan O’Brien’s Luxembourg, who defeated Vadeni and another French runner Onesto in the Irish Champion Stakes earlier this month, has been warned.

O’Brien’s other runner, the battle-hardened Broome, who finished the field last year, is in stable 14, which has produced four winners since 1980.

O’Brien, so dominant in other big races like the Epsom Derby and the Oaks, has found the Arc to be a tougher nut to crack and is only looking for his third winner after Dylan Thomas (2007) and Found (2016). .

– ‘Always been a dream’ –

The Westover Derby winner of Ireland, who was coached in England by Ralph Beckett, is in seventh place but has plenty of ground to gain on Torquator Tasso, judging by the corresponding runs in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in July to serve.

Torquator Tasso finished a respectable second place while Westover finished a desperately disappointing fifth of six.

Mendocino, the German compatriot of Torquator Tasso who beat the 2021 Arc winner last time out, is drawn into the indoor stable.

Mendocino will be ridden by Rene Piechulek, who was on Torquator Tasso last year but has to change shifts due to his contract.

Understandable since Mendocino’s coach Sarah Steinberg is his girlfriend.

“It will be wonderful to win for Sarah,” he said.

“It would be the first time a trainer and jockey who are also a couple would be on the Arc podium!”

Staying Foolish’s chances of landing the arc may be even slimmer, but two of his three Japanese followers got every chance after the draw.

The most popular of the quartet, the multiple Group 1 champions, is drawn in 10th place – despite arriving at Longchamp without a preparatory race.

Japanese Derby winner Do Deuce – a disappointingly beaten favorite at Arc Trial Prix Niel earlier this month – will break out of stable three under Yutaka Take.

Take, a legend in Japan, has experienced some real lows in the race but admitted on Wednesday that at 53 he is finally gaining the arc that keeps him going.

“It’s always been a dream and winning the Arc is a motivating factor for me to keep going,” he said.

Deep Bond, the fourth Japanese runner, can at least hope to do better from stand five in the 2021 edition than its weakened last of 14.

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