Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: Al Kazeem can surprise in 'open' race

By Aly RowellBBC Wales Sport
Al Kazeem wins at Sandown
In 2013 Al Kazeem won three consecutive Group One races: the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Prince of Wales's Stakes and Eclipse Stakes.

Jockey James Doyle believes Al Kazeem should not be written off ahead of Europe's premier flat race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

The six-year-old is as big as 66-1 for Sunday's £3.9m race, having returned to training this summer after a short and unsuccessful stint at stud.

"It's one of the hardest horse races in the world to win," Doyle said.

"But it's a very wide open race, hopefully he'll have a clear run... and we can nick a bit of the prize money."

Al Kazeem was bred at Oakgrove Stud in Chepstow by his owner, John Deer, and enjoyed three wins at the highest level last season.

After finishing sixth, beaten 11 lengths behind Treve in last year's Arc, the horse was retired and was sold to stand at the Queen's Royal Studs in Sandringham.

However, plans were shelved for his career as a stallion after he proved sub-fertile. He returned to training in the spring with Roger Charlton at his Beckhampton yard.

After finishing fourth on his comeback run in the Doom Bar Stakes at Newbury, Al Kazeem broke the track record at Windsor on 24 August, winning a Group 3 race.

"The fact he beat the track record that had stood for many years has to mean something," Doyle said.

"He ran well in the Irish Champion Stakes last time, finishing fifth in what is a tough race. Whether he's quite back to his best is hard to say, but he's certainly not far off."

Al Kazeem will start from stall seven for Sunday's race, with leading British hope Taghrooda drawn wide in stall 15.

John Gosden's Epsom Oaks and King George heroine heads the market in the race which also has last year's winner Treve, St Leger hero Kingston Hill and last year's Derby winner Ruler of the World amongst the 20 runners.

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