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Ground concerns for Shareta

Sat, 06 October 2012

Jockeys reported the Longchamp ground to be distinctly on the soft side on the opening afternoon of Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe weekend.

The news was not welcomed by the Aga Khan, whose Shareta is bidding to improve her second placing from last year, although it was not expected to pose any problems for the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sea Moon.

What was already testing going by the first Group race on Saturday was exacerbated by steady rain throughout the afternoon.

Darryll Holland described the ground as "proper soft", while Pat Smullen said: "It's quite holding, particularly in the straight."

Considering his three runners for a race he has won three times since the turn of the century, the Aga Khan said: "I think Bayrir should handle it, and I think Kesampour should probably be able to handle it, but if it stays like it is, it won't suit Shareta.

"They are calling it holding, and Longchamp is always difficult if it starts to dry out. That is what I would be worried about. In a way, it might be better if it just continued raining."

Sea Moon, who took the Hardwicke Stakes in impressive fashion, will be having his first start since finishing fifth in the King George.

Ryan Moore, who only returned from a wrist injury on Friday and has had just a handful of rides, will be aboard and owner Prince Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: "The ground won't be a problem for Sea Moon - we don't mind it raining at all."