Carson joins Course & Distance

Course & Distance are delighted to be able to announce that Classic-winning jockey Willie Carson will be joining our tour to this year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October.

Carson, the former five-time champion Flat jockey, who rode a total of 3,828 winners during his glittering career, is the fourth most successful jockey in Great Britain and was no stranger to success at Longchamp.

Carson told "I'm delighted to be able to give the guests of Course & Distance an insight into what to expect when they travel to Paris for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

"Racing at Longchamp always produces a wonderful atmosphere, and I have to say it's a super day with championship races throughout the afternoon.

"But it's very much a one-off day and not something that we see here in the UK - I'd describe it more like a rugby match where the crowds seem go to support their 'team' as it were. The Japanese for instance, who travel in their masses, will bring banners and wear the same colours that the horses will carry and of course around the paddock you'll never be far away from an English accent! It's a truly international race meeting.

"The Arc itself is a race to savour but we shouldn't forget that there are four Group 1 races in the build-up and people will be able to witness some of the potential stars of next year in the Prix Marcel Boussac (Carson won on Ashayer, Salsabil and Shadayid) and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere - Grand Criterium.

"Then of course there is the Prix de l'Abbaye (Carson won on Habibti and Dayjur) which is always well- supported by the British runners and usually half the field are from England," he concluded.

Looking ahead to this Saturday's St Leger, which Carson won three times, the Scot added: "I like the look of the top two in the betting market - Sea Moon and Blue Bunting.

"Sea Moon was a very impressive winner at the York Ebor Meeting, a typical Sir Michael Stoute type which is improving and has been slowly brought on by the trainer, although it's not a lucky race for the trainer.

"I think that Frankie Dettori's mount Blue Bunting for Godolphin is a lovely filly and actually two of my winners Dunfermline (1977) and Sun Princess (1983) were fillies.

"Blue Bunting has shown she had the speed to win the 1000 Guineas but if you look at her Irish and Yorkshire Oaks wins she was only just getting there towards the winning post. The step up to a mile and six furlongs will very much suit her and she might just be the one to lower the colours of Sea Moon."

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