Arc Expert Eye: A dark horse to back at big odds for the Longchamp highlight

It's not all about the favourites for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, with one dark horse in particular catching the eye of our resident expert.

A quality Arc looks assured with the likes of Tarnawa, Hurricane Lane, Adayar and Snowfall set to line up for Sunday's 1m4f Group 1 at Longchamp.

It's long odds-on that one of that quartet will be called the winner at around at around ten past three UK time, and I'm liking Tarnawa most of all as she's been trained to peak at Longchamp - something which can't be said of her main rivals.

Tarnawa has ben trained to peak in the Arc
Tarnawa has ben trained to peak in the Arc

Her record at the Paris track is a perfect 2-2 and she has looked as good as ever at the age of five this season season, losing nothing in defeat in the Irish Champion Stakes last time out, with the 1m2f trip clearly not playing to her strengths.

Back over an extra two furlongs and with no worries should the ground come up soft, she's surely going to be involved at the finish and I wouldn't put anyone off backing her at the current 11/4 with Planet Sport Bet.

The question is whether she is truly value at that price with the Charlie Appleby-trained pair up against her, not to mention Aidan O'Brien's Snowfall who is getting the fillies' allowance. The answer has to be an emphatic 'no'.

So I'm going to venture further down the betting list for one who could potentially outrun their odds and land us a nice each-way payout, or even hit the jackpot if turning in a career-best effort.

One such horse is William Haggas' Alenquer who looks to have plenty in his favour and absolutely has the ability to win a Group 1 at this trip, if not Sunday next season as a four-year-old.

Alenquer in full flight
Alenquer in full flight

The winner of the Sandown Classic Trial in April from a certain Adayar, who did the form no harm at all when going onto Epsom glory, he looked even better when stepped up to 1m4f for the first time at Royal Ascot, seeing the trip out strongly on ground that was officially 'heavy'.

He has been beaten on both his two starts since, which helps explain his big price for Sunday's race, but those efforts were at the highest level and can be marked up.

Only third and over seven lengths adrift of Hurricane Lane in the Grand Prix de Paris in July, he was the only one to make inroads off the pace, having been hampered by a sluggish start from a wide gate, and can be viewed as second best on the day.

He then ran a blinder to chase home King George runner-up Mishriff over an inadequate 1m2f on the Knavesnire, where he lacked the winner's speed on faster ground than he was used to but stayed on well close home to take second from Love.

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The return to further on Sunday will see him in a much better light and the one thing he wouldn't want, fast ground, is now looking extremely unlikely, while we know he handles very testing conditions should they materialise.

That was certainly the case 12 months ago when Sottsas prevailed by a neck from In Swoop, who like Alenquer is a son of German sire Alderflug, and the current odds on his sibling going one better are too big to resist.

Alenquer is a first Arc ride for Tom Marquand, who has partnered the colt on five of his six starts (form figures 12112) and is sounding quietly confident about a big run on Sunday.

Tom Marquand is renewing his partnership with Alenquer
Tom Marquand is renewing his partnership with Alenquer

"He's a horse who hasn't been seen to his full potential yet. He's been second in a Juddmonte and won at Royal Ascot, so he holds some brilliant form," he said this week.

He added: "I'm really looking forward to seeing him back over a mile and a half and fingers crossed things fall our way and we can get a good gate. Every inch can make the difference."

Here's hoping his wish is granted - a single-figure gate would suffice.

With the race being shown live on ITV, punters can place their bets with a litle more confidence thanks to Planet Sport Bet's latest free bet offer, which works like this.

Get up to £20 back as a free bet if your horse places second and is beaten by a neck or less - applies to ALL ITV RACES!

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