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Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Is There A Way To Play The Arc?

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Is There A Way To Play The Arc?

With Treve going for an unprecedented third consecutive victory in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the Paris-Turf is asking readers if this is the most important event in the history of French racing.

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It's Not A  Race, It's A Monument.

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It's Not A Race, It's A Monument.

Named for the victory parade that took place abound the Arc de Triomphe following the end of WWI in 1919, 1920 was to be the inaugural running of the race as we know it today – the race that on the first Sunday in October, unveils the world's best thoroughbred over a mile-and-a-half.

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Treve to go for Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe treble

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Treve to go for Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe treble

Trainer Criquette Head-Maarek has announced that Al Shaqab Racing's Treve (Fr) (Motivator), who joined an elite group in winning her second Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last weekend, will stay in training next year and aim for a third Arc.

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Treve Scores Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Double

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Treve Scores Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Double

Sent off at odds of 14-1 that would have been scarcely believable 12 months ago, Al Shaqab Racing’s Treve (Fr) (Motivator {GB}) once again turned Longchamp’s G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe into a procession to become only the seventh horse to win the great race twice, and the first since Alleged in 1978.

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TRIUMPHANT TREVE TO REMAIN IN TRAINING

Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani and trainer Criquette Head-Maarek with Treve
Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani and trainer Criquette Head-Maarek with Treve

Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani (L) and trainer Criquette Head-Maarek (R) with Treve

(Photo : Aljazeera)

“She ran the last 400 meters faster than the winner of the

Prix de l’Abbaye (1000m) and the Prix de la Foret (1400m)”

Sunday’s G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine, Treve (Fr), will remain in training as a 4-year-old and will target a repeat bid for the Longchamp showpiece, trainer Criquette Head-Maarek revealed yesterday. “Treve ate up everything last night and hasn’t lost any weight,” reported Head-Maarek. “She won the race very easily. They pushed her to the outside, but when she came there in the false straight, I knew she was going to win. I know Thierry Jarnet’s riding very well, I could see he had a lot of horse underneath him and when he let her go, they were never going to catch her. It’s her turn of foot that is so unbelievable. When you look at the times, she ran the last 400 meters faster than the winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye (1000m) and the Prix de la Foret (1400m), which is incredible after a long-distance race like the Arc.”

“She will stay in training next season and I don’t think we will run her again this year. If she does have one more run, it will be in Hong Kong, as the Breeders’ Cup is too close and the ground in Japan is always very hard. Owner Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani bought her to win the Arc and she did it. Now we have to try to win it again next year. She will run in the spring and even though she stays the 12-furlong distance well, she has so much pace she could easily run over 10 furlongs or even over a mile. She can do everything.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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ADMIRE THE MAN... AND THE WOMAN

Treve - Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Treve - Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Watch Treve winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1)

(image : Times Union - Footage : UCK)

PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

Sunday 6 October 2013

Mick Goss - Summerhill CEO
Mick Goss - Summerhill CEO

Mick Goss

Summerhill CEOYou might ask why a couple of maiden winners by a locally-based stallion can be coupled in the same article as a report on a race of the international stature of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The one is an epic for the racing world at large and to the French in particular, the other a personal vindication of Summerhill’s faith in the only son of Sunday Silence on the African continent.

Since this evening’s audience is as likely to comprise as many international readers as it will our local brethren, let’s talk about the Arc first. We did suggest on Friday that with their long history of success in the big race, you couldn’t ignore the claims of the fillies: the only thing is, we picked the wrong one, as The Fugue was promptly scratched, leaving Treve as the only realistic alternative. We may also have been off the mark in suggesting it wasn’t a vintage line-up; only time will tell us just how good the field was, but certainly, in the manner of her obliteration of this field, and in particular, the way she disposed of the favourite Orfevre, suggests that Treve at least, is something extraordinary. It’s probably fair to say the brilliance which characterised Orfevre’s stretch-run last year, was not there this time, but take nothing away from the unbeaten daughter of Motivator, it would’ve taken a Frankel-like performance to lower her colours on the day. Missing in action were Al Kazeem (either too far or too long a season,) the “King George” hero, Novellist, and the English Derby ace, Ruler Of The World.

There were those that were astonished when the Qatari ruling family, the Al-Thanis, coughed up €9million to the Head family for Treve earlier in the year, but on yesterday’s evidence, they won’t feel short-changed. The Al Thanis have been looming as a gigantic new presence in the sales rings of the world for a while now, and on the back of this, you can expect some serious opposition going forward to the hegemonies of the Maktoums and the industry’s longest upholders of value, Coolmore. You have to ask yourself, given the money they’re splashing on thoroughbreds right now, whether this doesn’t signal a new order in the Middle East, too, given the well-publicised woes which Dubai has experienced in recent years. The Qataris have been in buoyant spending form, not only in the world of racehorses, but in all their ventures, scheduled as they are to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

There are a couple of things that got our hearts fluttering this weekend, not the least of which the clash between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Ellis Park. We’d be lying if we didn’t confess to a moment during the match, when the Springboks snatched the lead with their fourth (and bonus point) try, that we fantasised that this could “be” the Rugby Championship. While there seemed to be a certain inevitability to the eventual outcome, there was just a brief interlude when South Africans had regained their pride, and in our own small way here at Summerhill, we felt a similar optimism when Admire Main racked up his fifth winner in a matter of just over a fortnight.

Let’s face it, he came here with some sparkling credentials, not only for his uniqueness as the only son of one of the world’s breed-shaping stallions, but as the joint second-rated racehorse of his generation. It says something for relationships that the Yoshida family wanted to send as accomplished a racehorse as Admire Main to Summerhill, but for all that, astonishingly, there were not too many local breeders who understood the significance of it. It seems that Japan’s remoteness from the rest of the world has left them with a mountain to climb when it comes to spreading the Sunday Silence gospel, and by locating several sons and grandsons of the “emperor” in various other parts of the world, Shadai have done a sterling job in getting the word out.

Of course, Admire Main started with a handicap which all 2400m performers seem to struggle with, wherever they stand these days, unless it’s Coolmore or Darley in Europe or Japan itself, and even then there are “Doubting Thomases”.

Outside of Summerhill, there were just a few discerning “internationals” like Bridget Oppenheimer, Ronnie Napier, Alan Magid, Winston Chow, Alesh Naidoo, Keith Russon, Ian Todd, Albert Rapp and Michael Roberts who understood what the word “Sunday Silence” meant. As a result, there were only 49 foals in his first harvest. They were always going to want some ground and they were always going to get better with age and distance, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen. Yes, he did have a Group One-performing juvenile in his first crop (Admiral’s Eye, a winner again at Turffontein on Saturday) but even then, she registered her best performance when she eventually got to run over 1600m in the Thekwini Stakes (Gr.1). Like the Visionaires in America, they’re not just winning, they’re winning by good margins. Here is the fortnightly record.

#

Horse

Trainer

1st

ADMIRAL’S EYE

Charles Laird

1st

TOO MUCH FUN

Gavin van Zyl

1st

SENSEI

Tony Rivalland

1st

BAREFOOT LADY

Lucky Houdalakis

1st

GENTLE DESIRE

Stuart Pettigrew

The standout of the weekend (perhaps the year) though, came from George Strawbridge’s Moonlight Cloud. Carrying the white and green colours the Summerhill sire of old, Imperial Dilemma, once did, she produced one of the most astonishing Group One performances I’ve seen in the centuries-honoured Prix de la Foret. Held up in the rear a dozen lengths off the pace in a comparative sprint (1400m,) her jockey never moved till the final furlong and a half against some of Europe’s best racehorses at the trip. The man either has ice in his veins or he was dead scared of his trainer’s retribution, but when she was asked as late as the 250 metre mark, it was lightning. She must’ve been two or three clear at the death, and by that I mean just that. The rest were “dead”. Watch the movie here.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

Enquiries :

Linda Norval 27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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PRIX DE L'ARC DE TRIOMPHE : NOT SO MUCH A RACE AS A MONUMENT

Orfevre - Prix de l'Arc de Tripmphe
Orfevre - Prix de l'Arc de Tripmphe

Watch a teaser of the 2013 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

(Image and footage : France Gallop TV)

PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

Sunday 6 October 2013

When the French inaugurated the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1920, its intention was a celebration of the virtues of Continental racing. It was designed to unearth the greatest thoroughbred of each year with a view to the upliftment of French breeding. It was to be run at Longchamp, the temple of their racing, on the first Sunday of October, and while their plans were grand, no-one could’ve imagined it would become the mile and half championship of the world. A quick glance at Sunday’s field and its principal protagonists, tells you plainly enough, the “Arc” is just that: a Japanese favourite, a German second favourite, a dual Gr.1-winning English raider in third slot, and an armada of Group One and Classic heroes from Ireland.

The Japanese have twice come agonisingly close, with El Condor Pasa in 1999 and Orfevre last year, a salute to a breeding programme which has its genesis in a decision made by the late Zenya Yoshida (founder of the internationally celebrated Shadai Farm) to get in where the Europeans were getting out. In brief, when the likes of Sir Ivor and Nijinsky first demonstrated the virtues of American speed in Europe, British and European breeders were quick to jettison the mile and half champions which had served their breeding industries so well for so long. Never one to forsake an opportunity, in typical Japanese fashion, Yoshida and his colleagues took up where the Argentineans had left off in the thirties, lassoing the best mile and a half blood in Europe, the Derby and Arc heroes of that era, and founded one of the most formidable breeding industries in the world.

With 200 meters left in the Prix l’Arc de Triomphe last year, it looked certain that Orfevre, the Japanese star with the French name for “Goldsmith”, would erase his nation’s past disappointments in this special race. But with the field in his explosive wake, the Japanese Triple Crown winner hung to the right hand rail. His acceleration dwindled, he sulked against his jockey’s whip, and slowed as if stuck in a bog.

He bumped the rail meters from the finish, but by then the race was already, incredibly, lost. Wertheimer et Frère’s filly, Solemia, obliterated only moments earlier, caught Orfevre. For the 2,000 Japanese fans who had travelled to Paris and his rapt audience back home, “disappointment” was an inadequate adjective. Since 1969, 12 Japanese horses had run in the Arc. None had won.

In the aftermath of the heartbreak came foresight. Orfevre’s trainer, Yasutoshi Ikee, immediately laid his plans for this year, hoping to fix his mercurial charges’ enigmatic ways. This week, Orfevre is back at Longchamp, with none of his lustre lost. With a rare shot at redemption, he is ruling favourite again.

While they’re not new to the inside of the Arc winner’s box (Danedream is the record-holder), the Germans celebrated their first King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gr.1) ace earlier this year, and Novellista is a deserving second favourite. England’s dual Group One winner, Al Kazeem, who’ll be making his way to the Queen’s Sandringham Stud when this is behind him, is the third chalk, while the Irish send a brace of Classic stars, the Derby and St. Leger winners, Ruler Of The World and Leading Light, into battle. Never discount André Fabre (Ocovango) in the Arc, and in a race which counts Corrida, Allez France, Ivanjica, All Along, San San, Three Troikas, Detroit, Pearl Cap, Gold River, Akiyda, Urban Sea and Zarkava among its heroines, never discount a filly: The Fugue has done enough this year, to come right into the reckoning.

It may not be the greatest renewal in the history of the Arc, but it could certainly be as competitive as any, and if you’re anywhere near the television around 5pm on Sunday, you’d do well to tune into channel 239.

Final Field

#

Horse

AGE

Trainer

Jockey

TS

RPR

1

VERY NICE NAME

4

A De Mieulle

Pierantonio Convertino

113

128

2

NOVELIST

4

A Wohler

Johnny Murtagh

135

136

3

AL KAZEEM

5

R Charlton

James Doyle

124

136

4

JOSHUA TREE

6

E Dunlop

Richard Hughes

93

124

5

MEANDRE

5

A Savujev

Umberto Rispoli

-

126

6

ORFEVRE

5

Y Ikee

Christophe Soumillon

131

138

7

GOING SOMEWHERE

4

D Smanga

Gregory Benoist

33

126

8

HAYA LANDA

5

M Audon

Franck Blondel

109

124

9

PIRIKA

5

A Fabre

Pierre-Charles Boudot

103

122

10

FLINTSHIRE

3

A Fabre

Maxine Guyon

96

131

11

LEADING LIGHT

3

A O’Brien

Gerald Mosse

106

128

12

OCOVANGO

3

A Fabre

Stephane Pasquier

95

127

13

PENGLAI PAVILION

3

A Fabre

Mickael Barzalona

95

124

14

KIZUNAS

3

S Sasaki

Yutaka Take

87

129

15

RULER OF THE WORLD

3

A O’Brien

Ryan Moore

109

131

16

SAHAWAR

3

C Ferland

Thierry Thulliez

64

114

17

INTELLO

3

A Fabre

Olivier Peslier

124

132

18

TREVE

3

C Head-Maarek

Thierry Jarnet

128

133

www.prixarcdetriomphe.com

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THE ARC : A POST-MORTEM

Solemia - Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Solemia - Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Solemia wins the 2012 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe from Orfevre

(Photo : Irish Times)

QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE (Group 1)

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

7 October 2012

All sorts of statements have followed in the wake of Sunday’s shock outcome to Europe’s most famous horserace, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr.1). Some of them have to do with breeding, others with talents, and others with the preservation of value, but they all point to the intricacies that keep us bewitched with the sport.

Firstly, the race was an acknowledgement of the value of old fashioned private breeding programmes, and it is something of a lament that so many of these great entities have rather quickly disappeared as features of the international breeding scene. For centuries past, the sport of racing was a contest between men and women whose primary interest lay in victory, not in the commercial spoils of their enterprises. Within the last century, we recall the names of Lord Derby and the “first” Aga Khan, the Frenchman Boussac, the Italian Tesio, the Americans Phipps, Hancock and Calumet Farm, and South Africa’s Oppenheimers and the Ellises of our own Hartford. Latterly though, the cost of maintaining these establishments has made fossils of the bulk of them, and there are now just a handful around the world who still have the luxury of maintaining their operations. In France there are just two major private breeding operations left, one belonging to the art magnates, the Wildensteins, and the other the Wertheimers, who’ve made their dough with Chanel.

Sunday’s Arc winner, Solemia is a salute to the Wertheimer’s perseverance, coming as she does from a family they’ve kept the faith with since the 50s, and whose real eminence came initially in the form of the French 2000 Guineas hero, Green Dancer, a successful sire first in France and then inevitably for those days, at Gainesway Farm in the United States. This family bowed not once on Sunday, but twice, as the same female line produced the heroine of the Two-Year-Old fillies Group One, the Prix Marcel Boussac in the form of Silasol. Solemia is one of six Stakes winners of her “Blue Hen” mother, the Shirley Heights mare, Brooklyn’s Dance, who in turn is the grandmother of the juvenile ace. It is also the family that gave us the excellent English Derby winner, Authorized, who has a very attractive filly in next month’s Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale.

As for the Arc itself, the big disappointment was obviously Camelot, who had appeared earlier in the year to be the only horse with any pretence at rivalling the great Frankel, if only their aptitudes would slot into the same kilometre. He was unbeaten until his failed attempt at becoming Britain’s first Triple Crown winner in 42 years, and now he’s flopped in the Arc, inexplicably for a horse whose forte’ was his “juice” in the closing stages of a race. He was beautifully poised just off the pace as they turned for home, but when Frankie Dettori pressed the button, he simply came up empty. That hasn’t deterred his trainer, Aidan O’Brien, who insists he remains ‘the best horse he’s ever trained’, and that’s saying something when they include Galileo, Giant’s Causeway, Henrythenavigator, Dylan Thomas, Duke Of Marmalade and Rip Van Winkel. Let’s not forget though: it even happened to Nijinsky, who after winning the Triple Crown, collapsed in the Arc and again in the Champion Stakes.

But there was another horse in the race whose performance suggested he was something special, and that was the Japanese-bred and owned Orfevre, like our own Admire Main, a descendant of Sunday Silence. There was no lack of gas when he put his head down in the straight, obliterating the best Europe could offer in a matter of strides. In the event, he was caught in the last 50 metres, but that didn’t discourage his champion rider, Christophe Soumillion, from proclaiming him “the best horse I’ve ever ridden. Once I had the lead, no-one could’ve imagined we’d be beaten. The horses overconfidence defeated him and 50 metres from the line, I saw I’d have difficulty getting him going again. I hope he will run against Frankel in the Champion Stakes or else in the Japan Cup”. Brave words, but you can’t take them lightly, because Soumillion has thrown his leg over a few in his time.

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SOLEMIA : PRIX DE L'ARC DE TRIOMPHE SHOCK WIN

Solemia win Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Solemia win Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Click above to watch Solemia winning the 2012 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

(Image: Courier Mail - Footage: At The Races)

QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE (Group 1)

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

7 October 2012

Firmly under the radar despite a latest third in the G1 Prix Vermeille over the same track and trip September 16, the Wertheimers’ filly Solemia (Ire) (Poliglote) caused a shock of major proportions in the G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when wearing down Orfevre (Jpn) (Stay Gold) in the final strides under Olivier Peslier. In doing so, the home-bred provided trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias with a first renewal of the great race and her rider with a record-equaling fourth at a huge 41-1.

Always traveling easily in a prominent fourth against the rail, the bay was left in front at the top of the stretch but was soon swamped by Orfevre as Christophe Soumillon committed on the Japanese raider with 300 meters remaining. Although he quickly gained two lengths on her, he veered right to the rail and gave Solemia a chance which she took with relish as she broke the hearts of the raider’s followers with a withering effort close home. At the line, there was a neck separating the duo, with seven lengths back to Masterstroke (USA) (Monsun) in third and a further length back to Haya Landa (Fr) (Lando) in fourth.

www.prixarcdetriomphe.com

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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THE FRANKIE FACTOR - 16:25 TODAY!

Frankie Dettori and Camelot
Frankie Dettori and Camelot

Frankie Dettori and Camelot

(Image : Stan James/Telegraph)

QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE (Group 1)

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

7 October 2012

There was a sense of inevitability when Frankie Dettori was handed the spare ride of the season on Camelot (GB) (Montjeu), and a flying dismount after today’s G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe would be a dream end to an unusually average year for the famed Italian.

The record of the 3-year-old generation in this Longchamp feature speaks for itself, and G1 Epsom Derby winners to have come here and triumphed in recent times include Sinndar (Ire) (Grand Lodge), Sea the Stars (Ire) (Cape Cross) and Workforce (GB) (King’s Best), while Frankie’s first of his three Arcs came on the ‘Blue Riband’ winner Lammtarra (USA) (Nijinsky) 17 years ago. If he is able to guide Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor’s talented and much-vaunted colt to the post first, he will also equal the joint-record of four winning rides held by Jacques Doyasbere, Freddy Head, Yves Saint-Martin and Pat Eddery.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien was unequivocal in his praise for the rider at Dundalk on Friday evening. “We’re delighted to have got a great rider like Frankie - as everybody knows, he has all the experience in the world,” O’Brien said.

www.prixarcdetriomphe.com

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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COOLMORE vs DARLEY : THE WINDS OF CHANGE

Coolmore vs Darley War
Coolmore vs Darley War

“Rumblings within the Godolphin Camp”

The announcement this week that Frankie Dettori would be taking the mount on Camelot in Sunday’s renewal of Europe’s greatest horse race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr.1), was pretty matter-of-fact. Yet there is a strong underlying political message in it. You see, Frankie Dettori is one of the world’s top jockeys of all time, and for well over a decade, he has been the unrivalled favourite of his employer, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai. His annual retainer was rumoured to be in the millions of dollars, and besides being rewarded for every ride and the commissions that accrue to jockeys on their prize money, he was showered with lavish presents for big race victories.

Some seven or eight years ago, Sheikh Mohammed’sGodolphin racing operation was pretty much at the summit of the sport’s most successful racing operations. Ironically, the Sheikh chose that time to declare war on their principal adversaries, Coolmore. Nobody really knows the reasons behind it, but it was suspected that the Sheikh felt the commercial traffic between the two operations was “one-way”. He was providing liberal patronage for the Coolmore stallions, and was spending vast sums on their progeny at sales venues around the world. Coolmore were seldom if ever seen to put their hands up in the auction ring for a Darley (Sheikh Mohammed’s breeding arm) sired yearling, and they never sent a mare to any of the Sheikh’s own stallions. Besides, Sheikh Mohammed had established a global showpiece in Dubai’s World Cup meeting at the end of March, boasting the world’s richest prize money, and there was scarcely a Coolmore horse in sight.

It has to be said though, that at the time Coolmore presided over the most formidable band of stallion material in Europe (if not the world), and that really was the reason behind the Sheikh’s regular dominance of the market for youngsters sired by these stallions. In simple terms, he wanted to be the best, and so he had to buy the best. At the same time, Coolmore were also his principal opposition at the races, and they too wanted to own the best, so that they not only competed with the Sheikh in the sales ring, (which meant that quite often they were pushing him to pay substantially more for stock in which they may sometimes have owned an interest as well), but they had the luxury (and indeed, satisfaction) of being able to sell him services in numbers to their stallions. They had obviously taken a commercial decision as far as the patronage of the Sheikh’s stallions was concerned, and felt they could do better by continuing to use their own, a point borne out by results at the races. And when it came to the World Cup, Coolmore considered the timing inopportune: by March, their horses were in need of rest after demanding  European campaigns.

For obvious reasons, lean times followed for the Godolphin operation in the wake of the declaration of war, and Coolmore have pretty much had the European racing scene to themselves since then, with the progeny of Sadler’s Wells, Galileo, Montjeu, Danehill, Giant’s Causeway and Danehill Dancer, and the associated Maktoum entities have pretty much been feeding on the left-overs.

In the midst of all this, Frankie Dettori remained staunchly “Sheikh Mohammed”, and those who follow the game closely will recall many an embrace, particularly in their heyday, between jockey and master following a big race victory.

In more recent times though, there have been rumblings within the Godolphin camp about Frankie’s position as the “chosen one”, and that of the new pretender to his throne, Mickael Barzalona, who has had the pick of the rides in recent seasons. That there is a rift developing, whatever they may say, is unavoidable, and in his appointment to ride Camelot, arguably the best middle distance three-year-old Europe has seen in some years, (perhaps decades), there are two messages. Coolmore have laid down a challenge by employing Sheikh Mohammed’s darlin’ and the winds are certainly a changin’.

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DETTORI TO PILOT CAMELOT IN PRIX DE L'ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori

(Photo : StanJames.com)

PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE (Group 1)

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

7 October 2012

With regular partner Joseph O’Brien unable to make the 123-pound weight allocated to Camelot (GB) (Montjeu) in Sunday’s G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Frankie Dettori will take his 25th consecutive ride in Europe’s end-of-season championship aboard the G1 2000 Guineas, G1 Epsom Derby and G1 Irish Derby hero, trainer Aidan O’Brien confirmed via Twitter Wednesday.

O’Brien junior will instead ride St Nicholas Abbey (Ire) (Montjeu), who is set to carry 131 pounds in the €4million event. “It’s a shame Godolphin don’t have a horse in the race, but I’m ready and looking forward to it,” said Dettori. “I was standing by for Snow Fairy as Ryan Moore seemed set to ride Sea Moon, and what has happened in the last two or three days has been unbelievable. Snow Fairy was injured, Nathaniel is out and Joseph can’t do the weight on Camelot so the ride became available. It’s an honor for me to ride the horse. Let’s hope he’s in tip-top shape as he’s had a pretty long season, but if the Camelot we know turns up he should have a very good chance. I think you want to judge the horse more on the Guineas and Derby runs. In the Leger he was ridden to stay and it was a stop-start kind of pace early on and I still think he quickened really well in the end. He’s better judged on his two previous wins which were pretty impressive. The horse looks to be tremendously well balanced, he came home on his own in the Derby. He spreadeagled the field and looked mightily impressive. Coming back to a mile-and-a-half at Longchamp will be his absolute cup of tea. It looks like there’s going to be two or three pacemakers, the race will be run at a very high tempo and, if that is the case, it doesn’t really matter where I sit. I haven’t spoken to Aidan yet, a low draw is key, but we’re not going to change his pattern of racing. I’m sure Aidan will come out with a plan and we’ll hope for the best on Sunday.”

Following the enforced absence of Nathaniel (Ire) (Galileo), Ballydoyle’sImperial Monarch (Ire) (Galileo), who may instead point to the GI Canadian International at Woodbine, was the only other withdrawal as the field was reduced to 16 in advance of Thursday’s €100,000 supplementary stage. Possible additions to Sunday’s line-up include the G1 Prix du Jockey-Club winner Saonois (Fr) (Chichicastenango), Lady Rothschild’sG1 Irish Oaks heroine Great Heavens (GB) (Galileo) and His Highness The Aga Khan’sGI Secretariat Stakes victor Bayrir (Fr) (Medicean).

www.prixarcdetriomphe.com

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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THE ARC FILLIES PHENOMENON

Danedream win Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Danedream win Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Danedream - Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

(Photo : Racing Post)

QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE (Group 1)

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

2 October 2011

There is a strong belief among horsemen that a good colt will generally beat a good filly, and that is probably a statistically fair pronouncement. The one race that gives the lie to it though, is the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, where fillies (or mares) have had a disproportionate influence over the outcome. There have been periods in the great race’s history (and particularly in the last forty years) where fillies have been the dominant force, and there have been some outstanding performers among them. In a space of eleven years (1972 -1983) eight fillies reigned, and it’s worth repeating their names here: San San (1972); Alez France (1974); Ivaniica (1976); Three Troikas (1979); Detroit (1980); Gold River (1981); Akiyda (1982); All Along (1983).

In Paris on Sunday, the dominance of the fillies over some formidable colts (all with current strong form) was complete, with fillies filling the first three places, Danedream, Shareta and Snow Fairy, leaving the likes of So You Think, Workforce, St Nicholas Abbey and Treasure Beach trailing behind. The winner silenced a massive crowd with a five length romp in the fastest time in history (2m 24,49s). Given that they’ve always made up a slender minority of the field, the results beg more questions than answers.

What is it that has brought this about, and why should it apply particularly to a race which has been run on the first Sunday in October since 1920, and which for most of its earliest renewals, was almost exclusively the domain of the colts. Some will attribute the underperformance of the colts to the rigours of a long season, to their having gone “over the top”, and they will quickly point to the demise of the great Nijinsky as evidence of this (though he was beaten by a colt, Sassafras). A lone excuse though, is like the single swallow that doesn’t make a summer, so there must be something altogether more logical to explain it.

Surely the achievements of the victorious fillies of the recent past should not be demeaned by a statement of “overwork” on the part of the colt, as telling as that may be in some cases? Perhaps it is the time of year when the fillies blossom and the colts time clocks are beginning to think of winter: perhaps it’s the fact that the weight-for-sex scale, which grants the fillies some 3,5 lbs (subject to wfa) in the form of an allowance against the colts, is “narrower” at this time of year (in much the same way as the weight-for-age allowance closes between the older and younger horses towards the end of the season, according to the calculations of an eccentric Englishman, Admiral Rous, who formulated the scale as long ago as 1860). Now that’s a measure that has stood the test of time.

The latter explanation is just simply a mirror image of the first, and that is that the fillies are in a relatively better place at this time of year in Europe, than they are at other times. It may be a matter of preparation, and the fact that the fillies, and in particular the French fillies, have not been asked as many questions during the season as their male counterparts, and have been spared and prepared especially for the Arc. That will take some examining, and is a story for another day. It’s noteworthy though, that of the eight winners in the golden era between 1972 and 1983, seven were trained in France.

Meanwhile, Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup “watchers” lamented the two kilogram weight spread between the colts and the fillies for our R2 million race on the first Saturday in November, and the calls, though muted these days, were for the two to be split. The record tells us otherwise, with the spoils evenly divided in the first four runnings, two to the colts, two to the fillies, which suggests the handicappers might have got that one right.

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DANEDREAM : BREEZE-UPS DELIVER PRIX DE L'ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Danedream wins the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Danedream wins the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Click above to watch Danedream winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe…

(Photo : The Telegraph - Footage : Horse Course Int)

QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE (Group 1)

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

2 October 2011

It was a case of Deutsch and distaff delight at Longchamp yesterday after Gestut Berg Eberstein and Teruya Yoshida’sDanedream (Ger) (Lomitas) streaked to a five-length win in the G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in record time. Sent off at 27-1, the 3-year-old led home a 1-2-3 for the fillies to register a second success for Germany - the first since 1975.

Having won the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden on testing ground last time September 4, the bay - who was supplemented this week - showed her versatility on this fast surface. She was not for catching after streaking by fellow sophomore Shareta (Ire) (Sinndar) approaching the furlong marker, and stretched away to provide trainer Peter Schiergen and jockey Andrasch Starke with the fairytale outcome. It was left to Snow Fairy (Ire) (Intikhab) to complete the female trifecta.

Danedream has been brought along the hard way by Peter Schiergen, but instead of backing off a busy campaign, improved with experience. As early as last August, she showed her class in this country when finishing first - before being DQ’d and placed third - in the Listed Criterium de FEE at Deauville. Sixth in the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac on this card 12 months ago, she returned to her native land to run third in the prestigious G3 Preis der Winterkonigin over a mile at Baden-Baden later in October, before returning with a fourth in the Listed Premio Seregno over a mile at the San Siro April 10. The bay was third in the G2 Derby Italiano May 7, and gave every indication of her prowess with a 6 1/2-length success in the G2 Oaks d’Italia May 29. Fifth when giving winner Testosterone (Ire) (Dansili) too much rope under a five-pound penalty in the G2 Prix de Malleret at Saint-Cloud June 26, she progressed again to beat the 2010 German champion Scalo (Ger) (Lando) by five lengths in the G1 Deutschland-Preis at Hoppegarten July 24. That form had been underestimated by many, as was the case after her six-length defeat of reigning heroine Night Magic (Ger) (Sholokhov) in the Grosser Preis von Baden. But she had decent rivals strung out like jumpers that day, and the shrewd Teruya Yoshida was the prime beneficiary, purchasing a half share in the filly from Heiko Volz’s Gestut Burg Eberstein this week.

Danedream, advantageously drawn in stall two for the Arc, was settled in seventh against the rail as Treasure Beach (GB) (Galileo) set off in isolation. Shareta, tracked by St Nicholas Abbey (Ire) (Montjeu), took control in the home straight and, with the favorites failing to pick up with any relish from the back of the pack, Danedream had dead aim on the leaders. Once she was given the command, the diminutive raider settled the result before she reached the furlong pole, and the bargain €9,000 BBAG Breeze-Up purchase cracked the track record set by Peintre Celebre in 1997.

“It was a dream for me just to ride in the race,” jockey Andrasch Starke said. “It was a great performance. In the last two furlongs, she gave me a great feel, and when she kicked I knew she would win and was just dreaming.”

The Arc is a race I have dreamt of for a long time, first as a jockey and then during my career as a trainer,” Peter Schiergen said. “It is an unbelievable moment, and I have thought for a long time that she is the best I have trained. To win by five lengths here at this track with that great ambience is the greatest moment in my life.” He added, “I have trained some nice horses, but she is by far the best, and I had great confidence in her. There was no hesitation to supplement her, as she was coming into the race beautifully. I also had confidence in Andrasch, and he rode a great race, so we’ll now savor the moment.”

Patrick Barbe, representing Teruya Yoshida, said, “Mr. Yoshida has watched the race from Japan and is absolutely delighted. We don’t know yet what we will do with her now, but she stays in training and has already run quite a lot this year already. If she is well, she could run in the G1 Japan Cup (at Tokyo November 27).”

Co-owner Volz owns a furniture store in Germany. Introduced to racing by his father, who also owned horses, he started going to the races at age three.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE : NAPOLEON'S PRIDE

So You Think - Arc de Triomphe
So You Think - Arc de Triomphe

So You Think

(Image : Inner Sanctum/Tourism Adventures)

PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Longchamp, Turf, 2400m

2 October 2011

Ask any Frenchman of what the symbol is of France’s greatest era, and he’ll tell you unhesitatingly, the Arc de Triomphe, which sits at the head of the Champs Elysees, and was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806.

There could be no greater celebration of the golden epoch in French imperial history, than by giving its name to a race in the heart of Paris’ Bois de Boulogne at the historic Longchamps racecourse.

Since its inauguration in 1857, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has been staged on the first Sunday in October, and while for many years it vied with races like England’s King George for the title of the middle distance championship of Europe, in more recent decades, it’s become the undisputed champion of this cause.

While there’ve been “hotter” renewals of the Arc, this weekend’s is intriguing, not only for the fact that it brings together several of the younger generation whose credentials may be even greater than they’ve already displayed, but also because the betting is headed by an Australian in So You Think. The Wallabies form at the Rugby World Cup has left a lot of our Aussie mates looking to the Arc to provide some consolation for what could end up a William Webb Ellis dream unfulfilled, and if Aidan O’Brien’s esteem of the son of High Chaparral should finally materialize in a run as good as the word-slingers would have him be, So You Think could finally bring glory to Australia.

He won’t have it all his own way though, as he has last year’s hero, Workforce as an opponent as well as the Aga Khan’s outstanding filly, Sarafina, to contend with. The Wertheimer brothers have Goldikova’s high class half sister, Galikova (by Galileo, who else?), representing the three-year-old fillies, while Coolmore’s St Nicholas Abbey and the 2009 English Oaks winner, Snow Fairy, bring current Group One form to the table, and are also not without a squeak.

Finally, one of the younger brigade is the King George ace, Nathaniel (another by Galileo), whose possible defection because of the firmness of the ground, could detract from what could be the performance of the season, if this horse has progressed since his mid-summer exertions at Ascot.

Riveting stuff, and it’s bound to be featured on Tellytrack (Channel 232) at around 5pm Sunday.

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WORKFORCE REDEMPTION IN PRIX DE L'ARC DE TRIOMPHE

workforce winning the qatar prix de l'arc de triomphe
workforce winning the qatar prix de l'arc de triomphe

Click above to watch Workforce winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr1)

(Photo : Guardian - Footage : Vision Direct)

QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE (GR1)

Only a handful of horses have won the Epsom Derby by as much as Workforce’s seven-length margin and none had covered the mile-and-a-half distance faster, but such brilliant displays have proved to be false dawns in the past and he needed to reproduce that level of form to enter into champion territory.

Workforce (King’s Best) had hung back and looked uncomfortable previously when runner-up in the Dante Stakes (Gr1) at York on 13 May and when he dropped out in Ascot’s home straight to finish nearly 17 lengths behind Harbinger (Dansili) in the King George the vibes were becoming increasingly negative.

With that in mind, the Sir Michael Stoute stable went down to brass tacks and his recent racecourse spin at Sandown - which was not received with glowing reports from those present - was the only public sighting of the Classic hero subsequently. For those who kept the faith in the time-honored Stoute magic, they were rewarded with a starting price that looked impossible in the immediate aftermath of the Derby.

Kept tight to the rail by Ryan Moore early, he had only a handful of rivals behind at the top of the “false straight,” but had gone the shortest way round and that proved a crucial factor as he started his challenge before the quarter pole. Lope de Vega, who had headed the field at the top of the stretch, was tiring when getting the worse of the interference which caused the lengthy enquiry - and which was eventually judged to have been caused by the subsequently - disqualified seventh Planteur (Danehill Dancer) - as Workforce surged alongside him. With Nakayama Festa and Masayoshi Ebina of El Condor Pasa fame now in front, Workforce had to grind and in a few yards he had put his head in front before answering every call from his rider in a pulsating finale.

“He was back to his best today,” winning jockey Ryan Moore said. “We got a nice run through and when it all got a bit tight at the top of the false straight, there was half a gap there and he was very brave and really quickened into it well. The Japanese horse kept at him, but he kept doing enough and has a great attitude. Ascot wasn’t him - this was only the fifth race of his life and he’s won a Derby and an Arc.” His conditioner added, “Ryan blames himself for Ascot and felt he should have switched him off more, but I think I may have trained him too hard for the race. I said that to Prince Khalid afterwards and I think I was proved right on that, so we took a different path this time. I don’t know if I’m likely to train him next year, but I’d love to.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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