Japan Offers Solid Each Way Value Against Enable in Arc

The entire week has been built up around Enable aiming to win the Arc for a third time, and today is the day we find out whether she can make history or not. She has a great chance, and is odds on to win the race for a good reason but is her chance as clear cut as the betting suggests? My answer is no, factored into her price is the fact that people love this horse and they want her to win, making her a lot shorter than she should be. When there is a favourite like that, you will always find something else that is longer than it should be, usually offering each way value and to me that is the Aidan O’Brien trained Japan.

At the start of the week, and for the past few weeks, I’ve been looking forward to this race. From a personal point of view I would love to see Enable win, but from a purely betting point of view I was always far more interested in Japan.

The prices have surprised me, I didn’t expect to be able to get an each way price on the O’Brien runner, let alone one as big as the price currently available. This is all due to the popularity of Enable, how many people are backing her because they want her to win, and the bookmakers are running and taking cover.

If you take emotion out of the whole situation, and what you actually want to happen, there is a form line from recent weeks that suggests that Enable and Japan should be pretty much the same price.

In his last race, Japan beat Crystal Ocean by a neck. That came at York over 1m2f, so a shorter trip than today, and it was probably the best run of his career. Two runs ago, Enable beat Crystal Ocean over 1m4f by a head, so they both beat the same talented horse by roughly the same margin.

The difference between them that goes in Enable’s favour is that we have seen her run slightly better than that, and we have also seen her do it on multiple occasions, so she is more likely to run to that level of form again here.

However, the positive for Japan is that he is showing all the signs of being a horse that is still improving, he started this season slowly but has really come to life in his last few runs. If he is a late developer then there could be even more to come from him.

On top of that, I think the step back up in trip will also help this horse. His win over Crystal Ocean came over 1m2f, I think if that race was over 1m4f then he would have won by an even bigger margin. This is a horse who looks to have plenty of staying power, and straight after his solid effort in the Epsom Derby, I had him down as a potential St Leger horse. You will need to get this 1m4f trip strongly today, with the ground being very soft, but I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t based on what we have seen from him at the distance this season.

The Arc at Longchamp looks set to be a thriller, and there will be many people out there who are desperate to see Enable come home in front and make history by being the first horse to win three editions of this race. I would love to see that too, but from a betting point of view she makes no appeal at all.

On one form line, Japan should be a very similar price to her, and there is a chance that the O’Brien three year old has a little bit more to offer on top of what we have seen.

This should be a fantastic race, and my bet will be going on Japan, who looks over priced and offers punters with a value each way alternative to Enable.

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