EVERGREEN Gerald Mosse, 46, has spoken of his delight at picking up the ride on St Leger winner Leading Light in Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
With trainer Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph, who was in the saddle when winning the Classic at Doncaster and the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, unable to get down to 8st 11lb, the allocated weight for three-year-olds in the race, Mosse’s services have been snapped up.
Now considered a veteran of his trade, Mosse won the 1990 Arc on Saumarez and has claimed plenty of the biggest races in the world, including the Melbourne Cup and several of the major prizes in Hong Kong, where he rode for a long period.
Leading Light was supplemented yesterday morning by his Coolmore owners, along with Criquette Head-Maarek’s Treve and Meandre, at a cost of €100,000 each. O’Brien will also run the Investec Derby winner Ruler Of The World, who will maintain his partnership with Ryan Moore, but both Camelot and Kingsbarns have been taken out of the race.
Mosse revealed he threw his hat into the ring for the ride when he learned Chicquita, the Irish Oaks winner, was being sent to the sales rather than running in the Arc. “I’m extremely happy to have got the ride,” said Mosse. “I put my services forward for the ride some time ago when I learned that my ntended mount, Chicquita, was to be sold by her owner and would not be running.
“They rang me back and, obviously, I’m very grateful. I have ridden for Mr O’Brien before but not in the Arc. I would not have a worry about the ground if it turned soft. Today the ground was just on the soft side of good but we are expecting rain tonight.
“The horse looks extremely strong and solid and that is just what you need to win an Arc. I’ve won the race before and it would be good to put my name back up there among the winners again but this is not about me, it is about doing my best for the horse. He gets a three-kilo (8lb) allowance as a three-year-old, which is very helpful and I’m very happy to be riding him.”
The Fugue has been left in by John Gosden and not declared for the Prix de l’Opera, leaving a field of 19 with the final chance to withdraw this morning, when the all-important draw takes place. The Irish Champion Stakes winner has been cut to 16-1 from 20s by Coral.
“With the Prix de l’Opera no longer an option for The Fugue, it’s either the Arc or nothing for Lady Lloyd Webber’s filly and her presence would add further spice to what promises to be one of the most exciting Arcs in recent years,” said Coral’s David Stevens. “Orfevre is a rock solid favourite to go one place better than last year, while Novellist has been well-backed this week to give Johnny Murtagh more big race success.”
Just as important as the draw is the going and rain is expected before the weekend, with the weather forecast to improve and a fine day anticipated on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori’s agent Ray Cochrane expects the Italian jockey to aim to be fit for the Dubai Carnival after he broke his ankle at Nottingham on Wednesday.
The injury could not have come at a worse time for Dettori as he was due to ride one of the favourites, Treve, in the Arc. “I spoke to Frankie at 11.30am and he was still in quite a lot of pain,” said Cochrane. “The difficulty is he has done a lot of soft tissue damage around the ankle which affects the tendons and muscle fibres – sometimes you are better off with a [clean] break. It’s too early to say when he’ll be back riding, but I imagine he’ll be aiming for the Dubai Carnival.”
LATEST BETTING (Coral): 5-2 Orfevre, 7-2 Treve, 9-2 Novellist, 7-1 Kizuna, 10-1 Intello, 12-1 Ruler Of The World, Flintshire, 14-1 Al Kazeem, 16-1 Leading Light, The Fugue, 25-1 Ocovango, 40-1 Very Nice Name, Penglai Pavillion, 50-1 Meandre, 66-1 Joshua Tree, Pirika, 100-1 Going Somewhere, Haya Landa, 150-1 Sahawar.