Behkabad New Arc Favourite But Trials Far From Conclusive.

The Aga Khan's Behkabad is the 7/2 favourite for next month's Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe, even though the colt's Prix Niel victory was far from impressive.

The 2010 Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe looks like being a wide open contest after Sunday’s trials’ failed to produce any outstanding performance.

The clear favourite at 7/2 is the Aga Khan’s colt Behkabad who collared Planteur close home to win the Prix Niel by a head, with Kidnapping four lengths back in third.

Although far from impressive in victory trainer Jean-Claude Rouget was more than satisfied saying: " Everything went exactly to plan. He is a brave and very good horse and a kind one as well. The race was only a trial and he will be spot on for the Arc in three weeks’ time."

The Qatar Prix Foy was won by John Gosden’s Duncan who paid a huge compliment to King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Harbinger, who beat yesterday’s winner pointless in Royal Ascot’s Hardwicke Stakes.

Duncan’s owner, Phillipa Cooper, is keen to run the Dalakhani colt in the Arc, after paying 6,000 Euro to enter him in France’s showpiece, during the spring.

Duncan is currently a 25/1 shot for the Arc, the same price as Youmzain is quoted by William Hill, who are offering new customers a free £25 bet.

The strongest of Longchamp’s three trial races was undoubtedly the Qatar Prix Vermeille, won by the brilliant Midday, who was winning her fifth Group 1 contest.

Trainer Henry Cecil, however, is sticking to his original plan of defending her Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare title, with a run in the Arc not a consideration.

The two fillies who filled the places behind Midday however, are both expected to be in the line-up next month, with connections more than satisfied with yesterday’s outcome.

A spokesman for the owners’ of runner-up Plumania said: " We’re extremely pleased with how she ran and she was beaten by a champion. She was very brave."

Alain de Royer-Dupre trainer of the third Sarafina, was also happy saying:" It was a comeback race, as she hadn’t been out for three months. She got a little keen just before the straight and there are several kilos of improvement in the filly. She’s on course for the Arc, unless the ground comes up testing."

With leading fancies, Fame and Glory and Derby winner Workforce, both missing the trial’s the Arc picture is a far from clear one, and the great race looks like being one of the most open and competitive in recent years.