Horses To Follow » Planteur


Behkabad enhanced his Arc de Triomphe claims when he won the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on Wednesday, no question, but runner-up Planteur emerges with at least as much credit as the winner, and the discrepancy in their respective odds for the Arc may be a little too great now. Behkabad held the best position in the race, on the rail just behind the leading pair, while Planteur was held up by rider Anthony Crastus, well out the back. Planteur showed a fine turn of foot and looked like he was going to win when coming wide on the outside in the home straight, but Behkabad found plenty in front, and Planteur actually hung to his left inside the final furlong before straightening up and closing the winner down all the way to the line. The pair dominated, finishing five lengths clear of Jan Vermeer.

Behkabad ran a cracker in behind Lope De Vega in the Prix du Jockey Club last time, he was the only one to get into the race from well off the pace and he showed improved form again here for stepping up to a mile and a half, as it always looked like he would, but he enjoyed the run of the race. In fact, the Jockey Club tactics were effectively reversed, with Planteur ridden at the back this time and Behkabad ridden prominently. Planteur still looked like he was going to win coming into the final two furlongs, before he hung left, and the Elie Lellouche-trained colt emerges with just as much credit as Behkabad from the race. They are both big Arc players, and the Arc is a three-year-olds’ race these days (six of the last seven winners of the race and 13 of the last 16 were three-year-olds). If you are not on Behkabad at the 20/1 that was available before the Grand Prix de Paris, at current respective prices (10/1 and 16/1) Planteur represents the better value.

14th July 2010