Olivier Peslier steps in to ride Stadivarius in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as Andrea Atzeni misses out due to Covid-19 quarantine rules
- Olivier Peslier will ride Stradivarius instead of Andrea Atzeni due to Covid rules
- Atzeni would have to sit out an eight-day quarantine on his return to Britain
- Enable will be looking to claim a third victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Olivier Peslier says he is thrilled to have picked up the ride on Stradivarius in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday.
The top stayer is on course to join fellow stable star Enable in Paris next Sunday, with the great mare bidding to become the first horse to claim a third victory in Europe’s premier middle-distance contest – under Frankie Dettori.
Having steered Stradivarius to win the Goodwood Cup on two occasions, Andrea Atzeni was due to be reunited with him.
Olivier Peslier says he is thrilled to have picked up the ride on Stradivarius this Sunday
The top stayer is on course to join fellow stable star Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
However, he is expected to miss out because, under the current Covid-19 guidelines, he would have sit out the eight-day quarantine period on his return to Britain – and he is required to ride for retaining owner Sheik Mohammed Obaid at Newmarket the following week.
In his anticipated absence, Gosden has turned to veteran French jockey Peslier, who won the Arc three years running in the 1990s aboard Helissio, Peintre Celebre and Sagamix, before adding a fourth success aboard Solemia in 2012.
Peslier said: ‘It’s fantastic to pick up the ride – Stradivarius is a super horse.
‘There are a lot of very good horses in the race, of course, but I think this week there is a lot of rain coming – and I don’t think it will be a problem for him.
‘He is a stayer and a very famous horse.
Andrea Atzeni was due to be reunited with him but will miss out due to Covid-19 guidelines
‘I have the experience and know the track well. I am very confident, and we need to fight for that (fifth Arc win).’
Triple Gold Cup hero Stradivarius is a general 14-1 shot for the Arc, with Aidan O’Brien’s Love the marginal favourite ahead of Enable.
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has not given up hope, meanwhile, of making the trip to Paris – where his potential mounts include Telecaster in the Arc – without having to quarantine on his return.
He told Sky Sports Racing: ‘Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori have been lobbying the BHA, and particularly Dr Jerry Hill, to get dispensation – like professional footballers – that if they passed a certain number of Covid tests leading up to next weekend, and after the weekend and they flew privately etcetera and came into contact with literally nobody, would it be possible not to participate in the quarantine?
‘We don’t have a firm answer yet, but we’re certainly hopeful – and it would be fantastic if we were granted that privilege, because I feel like we wouldn’t be putting anybody at risk.’
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has not given up hope, meanwhile, of making the trip to Paris
A definitive response appears imminent, Murphy adding: ‘We’ll have a clearer picture on Monday.
‘I hope I’ll be part of it. There’s Deirdre (in the Prix de l’Opera) and Telecaster – I love Telecaster, but until we know, I can’t go to connections and say ‘I’d love to ride your horse’.
‘I think we’ll know in the next day or two. We do (need to), because it’s unfair on connections if things are left up in the air.
‘These are top races, and you want to be sorted and confirmed for certain horses.’