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Supplemented Serpentine will improve again says O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien has faith Serpentine will handle testing ground at Longchamp after connections paid €72,000 to supplement the shock Derby winner for Sunday's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The front-running winner at Epsom in July will be one of five in the race for Aidan O'Brien, in a team which includes Love, whose price continues to drift and is now as big as 11-4 with some firms.

Serpentine has raced only once since his shock five-and-a-half victory at Epsom, when finishing fourth behind stablemate Mogul – also an Arc runner – in the Grand Prix de Paris.

O'Brien was delighted with Serpentine's run there, indicating that it should bring him on a lot for this weekend's assignment.

Serpentine, photo Dan Abraham

Christophe Soumillon is in line to retain the ride on the general 14-1 shot, whose chances are unlikely to be compromised by the ground at Longchamp which on Wednesday was described as very soft.

O'Brien said: "We don't know about the ground for him but we've always hoped he'd be a horse that could handle dig in it. At this stage we don't know how the ground will be exactly but hopefully he'll be okay.

"We were very happy with his run in the Grand Prix de Paris and we had always thought that if he ran well there we'd supplement him for the Arc. 

"We cut down on our initial entries in the Arc on purpose because we were happy to supplement later on if we needed to. It costs a lot to enter horses in the Arc and there's always the chance to supplement nearer the time." 

Should Serpentine triumph on Sunday he would be the first Derby winner to claim both races in the same season since Golden Horn in 2015. O'Brien has won the Arc twice; with Dylan Thomas (2007) and Found (2016).

Coral spokesman David Stevens said: "Although Serpentine is a Derby winner, he remains a relative outsider for Arc glory following a fourth place finish in last month's Grand Prix de Paris, his only start since his surprise Epsom triumph." 

More rain is forecast for the remainder of the week at Longchamp, where the son of Galileo is one of 16 horses remaining on course for the Arc. 

Unlike Serpentine, connections of the David Menuisier-trained Wonderful Tonight have opted not to supplement the mare for the Arc. 

Enable is on course to make history in Paris and she is a 6-4 chance to record a third victory in the race. Persian King, Stradivarius and Sottsass are among the other big names on course for the race.

There were few surprises elsewhere on the Longchamp card at the final supplement stage, with Battaash heading 14 for the Prix de l'Abbaye. 

Nando Parrado, Wembley and St Mark's Basilica are on course for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, while 19, including Fev Rover and Pretty Gorgeous, remain in the Prix Marcel Boussac.

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