The prospects of the St Leger winner and James Doyle at Longchamp have been improved by fate in the race buildup

When James Doyle rode Sea Of Class from an outside stall in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2018, Lester Piggott – the father-in-law of the filly’s trainer, William Haggas – had some words of advice for her jockey. “Drop her out the back,” he said, “and pray”. It nearly worked. Doyle turned sharp right out of the stalls to sit last against the rail, was still there rounding the home turn and then passed 17 rivals in the straight. They passed Enable as well but a stride too late, to enter the all-time list of unlucky losers in the Arc somewhere close to the top.

Three years on, though, Doyle’s luck seems to be on the turn. Hurricane Lane, his first ride in the Arc since Sea Of Class, was not even certain to line up in Paris until rain arrived last weekend to guarantee some give in the ground.

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