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Prix Niel mooted for Jack Hobbs Arc prep

Jack Hobbs and William Buick win the 150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
Image: Jack Hobbs: Could go for the Prix Niel

Impressive Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs could have his next run in France after the Prix Niel was mentioned as a potential target by trainer John Gosden.

The Clarehaven handler said the mile-and-half Group Two at Longchamp on September 13 could act as a stepping-stone for the three-year old before the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe over course and distance a month later.

After finishing second to stablemate Golden Horn in the Dante and the Derby, the son of Halling gained compensation when becoming the first British-trained winner of the Irish Classic in more than 20 years with a five-length victory at the Curragh.

Gosden said: "Jack Hobbs is a lovely horse who has come all the way through. He got unlucky running into Golden Horn in both the Dante and the Derby. He is having a short holiday now and is just trotting.

"A race like the Prix Niel could be for him before the Arc. He is a Halling so if the ground is soft it should help him."

Star Of Seville is to be targeted at the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood next month in a bid to claim back-to-back Group One wins after having landed the French Oaks last month.

Gosden said: "Star Of Seville will head for the Nassau. She is in super form and is currently having a freshen up. She ran a fabulous race at Chantilly.

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"They don't always handle the track at Goodwood as it can make them off-balance, but is she handles it she certainly has a chance."

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Golden Horn 7/2 for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe!

Gosden will aim to maintain his superb record in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on Thursday after giving Mr Singh the go-ahead to contest the Group Three prize.

The Newmarket handler has won the race in three of the last four seasons, including back in 2011 with subsequent St Leger winner Masked Marvel.

Mr Singh showed he is worth his place at Pattern level after finishing second in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last month to emerge as his trainer's chief St Leger hope.

Gosden's entries in principle juvenile races are thin on the ground during the three-day meeting, but he will be represented in the Arqana July Stakes by maiden winner Shalaa.

The trainer stressed a late decision will be made over the participation of Johnny Barnes in the Listed Hastings Direct Sir Henry Cecil Stakes. The three-year old, runner up in last year's Criterium International, made a satisfactory comeback on his sole start to date this term when finishing fifth behind Consort in the Heron Stakes at Sandown.

He said: "I am not sure about Johnny Barnes in Henry's race. I'd like to run him if there is no jar in the ground. He was second in a Group One last year and he ran well in the Heron on ground a bit quick for him.

"We will walk the track beforehand and if we are happy we will run but he is a horse that likes a bit of juice in the ground. The track should be in good nick for the first day of the meeting."

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