CHARLIE APPLEBY has warned punters to hold their bets on Ghaiyyath for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – with Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes “under very strong consideration” .
The Godolphin five-year-old is as short as 5-1 third favourite for Europe’s middle-distance championship decider in Paris on October 4 after earning the accolade of the world’s best racehorse in landing the Juddmonte International at York last month.
But Leopardstown – not Longchamp – could be Ghaiyyath’s target after a workout on Wednesday.
“As we stand at the moment, I can’t give you any negatives as to why we won’t potentially be looking towards the Irish Champion Stakes,” Appleby said.
“It is under very strong consideration. He will be left in at the forfeit stage tomorrow morning and then have another easy piece of work midweek.”
Ghaiyyath’s jockey Will Buick would not be required to go into COVID-19 quarantine if riding at Leopardstown – but would have to serve two weeks’ self-isolation after competing in France.
Regarding an ambitious bid for both races – Ghaiyyath finished 10th in last year’s Arc – Appleby added: “I personally would be sitting on the fence.
“If we’re lucky enough to win – or run a very big race – in the Irish Champion Stakes, one could then decide whether to go to Ascot for the Champion Stakes or whether you would potentially look at a Breeders’ Cup.”
The trainer’s Pinatubo flew home in Sunday’s Group 1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp – but had to settle for second behind André Fabre’s Persian King.
“What we saw Pinatubo do there was very exciting to see, but unfortunately when you finish second it’s a bitter pill to swallow,” said Appleby.