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Dublin: 4°C Friday 22 January 2021

Defending champion Danedream withdrawn from the Arc

Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot remains in contention following Tuesday’s declaration stage for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

Image: Michel Euler/AP/Press Association Images

DANEDREAM, THE WINNER of last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, will not defend her title in Paris this Sunday after a stable infection forced her withdrawal from the French flat showpiece .

Peter Schiergen’s filly has been placed in quarantine following the outbreak of the potentially fatal “swamp fever” at her stable base in Cologne.

Although the four-year-old is not thought to have been affected by the equine disease, restrictions have been imposed which prevent any horses from travelling in or out of the stable.

Eighteen horses, including race favourite Orfevre and Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot, remain in contention for the prestigious Group 1 following Tuesday’s declaration stage.

O’Brien – who has won the Arc just once with Dylan Thomas in 2007 – has yet to make up his mind whether to run his stable star, who has collected the English 2000 Guineas and Epsom and Irish Derbies this season.

However, he had a really hard race in the English St Leger last month as he failed to emulate the great Nijinsky’s Triple Crown feat achieved in 1972 in finishing second behind longshot Enke.

The main problem for O’Brien is not so much the race itself and whether Camelot has recovered from his St Leger exertions but who he can get to ride the horse as his son Joseph is unable to.

Joseph had ridden him in all his races this term but because of his height – six foot – he has a constant battle with the weight. Whilst he could get down to 9 stone for the classics the Arc allows three-year-old runners to go to post at 8st 11lbs.

“Bar we cut off one of his arms, he will not be on Camelot,” his father said at The Curragh on Sunday.

“Nine stone or 8st 13lb is the lowest Joseph will do, so that weight in the Arc (8st 11lb) is not an option.”

The jockey options is not a lengthy list as O’Brien’s favoured first option Ryan Moore is taken by Michael Stoute’s Sea Moon while Belgian ace Christophe Soumillon is claimed by Orfevre’s connections.

– Additional reporting by AFP

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Niall Kelly

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