Make A Challenge has been backed for the Prix de l’Abbaye on the Arc undercard at Longchamp on Sunday after connections took Battaash out of the race because of the very soft ground.
Battaash is the sprinting superstar of European racing but now cannot confirm that status. The +125 favourite in the ante post betting has been withdrawn due to worries about the testing ground.
Just as the going has changed in favour of Enable in the Arc, boosted by the absence of Love, soft going at the Paris track this week was a negative for Battaash. Conversely, Make A Challenge will relish testing conditions and the money has come for the Irish trained runner.
Battaash had the form and class over the race distance of five furlongs to deal with the far from ideal ground. His current Official Rating is 126 and Make A Challenge races off 112 at Longchamp. Battaash could now run in the Breeder’s Cup Sprint.
Glass Slippers won the Abbaye in 2019. He finished 18 lengths ahead of Battaash 12 months ago but Battaash ran well below his best and the value of the form is questionable. Glass Slippers finished two lengths ahead of Make A Challenge at the Curragh receiving three pounds so these horses are evenly matched.
Battaash won the Abbaye three years ago and was also fourth in the race in 2018. The former favourite won Group 1 races at the three major Flat festivals this summer. However, he won’t run at Longchamp on Sunday and that scenario opens the door for Make A Challenge.