where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2019-04-17 15:42:58  
Almond Eye out of Arc contention

The wait for a Japanese horse to win the €5 million ($7.88m) Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2400m) is likely to continue for at least another year with Almond Eye set to bypass Europe's prestigious race.

Owners Silk Racing issued a statement on their website on Wednesday afternoon addressed to 'everyone who supports Almond Eye'.

The statement outlines that the decision to bypass the Arc was made after considering multiple factors, including her most recent Dubai expedition and the changes in her physical condition during long-distance transportation.

The statement also outlined concerns over the suitability of the distance and possible track conditions at ParisLongchamp on the first Sunday of October before concluding that the race was not the best choice for Almond Eye.

"We are very sorry that we are not able to meet your expectations," wrote Silk Racing representative director Masafumi Yonemoto in the statement.

Almond Eye is currently stabled in Japan, completing her quarantine after winning the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) at Meydan on March 30 at her first race outside Japan.

Primary registration for a Japanese horse running in the Arc required notice to the Japan Association for International Racing and Stud Book before April 18.

Almond Eye has raced eight times for seven wins and one second, her only defeat coming in her lone two-year-old run over 1400m.

Six of her seven starts in Japan were on ground considered 'firm' whilst her only other domestic outing came on 'good' ground. Almond Eye won the Japanese Fillies Triple Crown before winning November's G1 Japan Cup (2400m).

Curiously, Silk Racing are yet to make a determination on the time and place of Almond Eye's next start.

Almond Eye was $6 equal second favourite with last year's Arc runner-up Sea Of Class at the time of Wednesday's announcement.

Enable, who has raced 11 times for 10 wins, was $4 favourite prior to the announcement to become the first horse to win the Arc three times.

Enable's trainer John Gosden coincidently foreshadowed Almond Eye's potential weakness on rain-affected ground in an interview with RacingTV on Tuesday.

"I hope it's a very wet Longchamp because she goes well on fast ground, but we don't know about Almond Eye on soft," Gosden said.

"With the fillies, these clashes are fantastic for the sport. You're not sitting there worrying about stallion value.

"I would absolutely welcome that race - on soft ground."

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