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Brian O'Connor

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It will be a case of never mind the quantity and just feel the quality in Sunday`s Prix de l`Arc de Triomphe as the smallest field in over 50 years will line up for Europe`s all-aged showpiece.

A maximum of just 10 runners can now be declared for the Arc and they will include Sinndar`s pacemaker, Raypour, who was supplemented for a whopping £38,425 yesterday.

The John Hammond-trained Stop By, a pacemaker for the favourite Montjeu on his last start, will miss out as will the John Gosden-trained Commander Collins.

The result is the smallest Arc since Caracalla beat eight others to win in 1946 despite the likelihood of perfect ground at the Longchamp track.

Rain in Paris yesterday was happily greeted by the Longchamp clerk of the course, Gerard Grandchamp, who said: 'The forecasters have been getting it wrong all week and I was beginning to get worried about our decision not to water the track.

'The penetrometer is reading 2.9 which means ground just onthe fast side, though there is more rain expected on Saturday. Sunday is expected to be dry and that should leave perfect conditions for the Arc.'

Montjeu remains the 4 to 7 Arc favourite with Paddy Power, who have Sinndar on 5 to 2. Raypuor has been given a 150 to 1 quote by the firm, but while his job may not be to win, he is still regarded as vital by trainer John Oxx.

'We would not have spent so much if we didn`t think it was important to have a pacemaker with the small field this year,' Oxx said. 'The race is usually run at a good pace but it usually has 20 runners too!

The third best in the betting is the German Derby winner, Samum, who is on 9 to 1 while the Prix Vermeille winner, Volveretta, is on 12 to 1.

The track at Tippeary is waterlogged and Sunday`s meeting has been transferred to Cork. The two chases will not be run but the two-year-old maiden will be divided.