Rain could scupper Duke's Arc bid


RACING:Duke Of Marmalade's bid for Arc glory could be scuppered by soft ground at Longchamp. The five-times Group One winner will be declared for Sunday's showpiece along with stablemate Soldier Of Fortune but if the ground comes up soft then he may not run, with jockey Johnny Murtagh switching to his stablemate.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien told The Racing Post: "If the ground is going to be on the good side, then it's most likely Johnny will ride Duke Of Marmalade and Seamie (Heffernan) will ride Soldier Of Fortune.

"However, if the ground changes after declaration time and it comes up soft, then there is every chance Duke Of Marmalade might not run, and in those circumstances Johnny would switch to Soldier Of Fortune."

Soldier Of Fortune had been heavily backed for the Arc on Thursday, in anticipation of the ground coming up soft for Sunday.

Duke Of Marmalade's end-of-season target meanwhile is the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita.