Last week-end proved to be very fruitful as regards providing future pointers for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which is scheduled to be run on Sunday, October 6th at ParisLongchamp. Five big prizes, split between Britain and France, were on the menu last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and some of their winners could now be Arc bound.
Sunday, June 2nd: QIPCO Prix du Jockey-Club
THE OWNER OF SOTTSASS IS DREAMING OF ARC GLORY
Sottsass flew home in the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club last Sunday at Chantilly. The colt is owned by Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm. He is entered in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and his US owner has confessed that the big French race is the one he dreams of winning. Concerning his charge’s possible participation in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, he said: “It will be Jean-Claude Rouget, the colt’s trainer, who will decide, whether he runs. However, what I can tell you, is that I’ve been dreaming of winning the Arc. I attended my first Arc de Triomphe 50 years ago and namely the year when Ivanjica won the race. I’ve attended several Arcs since and dream of winning it.” The challenge awaiting Sottsass is a considerable one, as no colt has completed the « Jockey Club - Arc de Triomphe » double, since the former race, or the French Derby as it is known as, has been reduced in distance to 2.100 metres. The last to complete the double was Dalakhani in 2003.
Sunday June 2nd: Grand Prix de Chantilly
WILL SILVERWAVE HAVE ANOTHER GO?
The first two home in the Grand Prix de Chantilly, Group 2, run over the same trip as the
Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2.400 metres), are geldings and are precluded from running in the world’s premier middle distance race. However, the third-placed, Silverwave, is entered in the showcase race on Sunday, October 6th. He cuts something of a doyen figure as he is now a seven-year-old. However, after a below par US campaign in 2018, he has found a new lease of life since joining the yard of trainer Fabrice Vermeulen. Owned by Martin Schwartz, the horse contested the 2017 edition of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, having been acquired by the US owner in the lead-up to the race. The horse didn’t make his mark in the race in a season when he captured the Grand Prix de Chantilly.
Waldgeist, the winner of the Grand Prix de Chantilly in 2018, went on to finish fourth in
Arc de Triomphe. He appeals as leading contender material this year, and it just goes to show that this Gr2 race can unearth future Arc pretenders.
Friday, May 31st: The Oaks (The British Prix de Diane) run at Epsom
THE RUNNER-UP TO ANAPURNA HOLDS AN ARC ENTRY
The winner of the Epsom Oaks, Anapurna, isn’t currently entered in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Pink Dogwood, the second in the fillies’ classic, on the other hand, is entered in the world’s premier middle distance race. She is one of 16 entries from the stable of Ireland’s leading trainer, Aidan O’Brien.
Friday May 31st: The Coronation Cup at Epsom
NO DEFOE BUT KEW GARDENS AND SALOUEN ARE POSSIBLES
The first three home in the Coronation Cup, the Group 1 race run over 2.400 metres, all contested the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2018. We are referring to Defoe, Kew Gardens and Salouen. Defoe, only 15th in the ParisLongchamp feature, has since been gelded and is barred from running in the French race. On the other hand, Kew Gardens and Salouen, respectively seventh and sixth in the big Parisian feature, could make a return trip to the French capital.
Saturday, June 1st: Derby d’Epsom (the British Prix du Jockey Club)
A ROYAL ROUTE WHICH LEADS FROM EPSOM TO PARISLONGCHAMP
Aidan O’Brien enjoyed his seventh success as a trainer in the Epsom Derby via Anthony Van Dyck. The last colt to complete the Epsom Derby-Arc de Triomphe double was Golden Horn in 2015. The latter was also the last colt to win at ParisLongchamp on the first Sunday in October, as the three subsequent editions have all been won by fillies, namely Found in 2016, before Enable ‘doubled up’ in 2017 and 2018.
Golden Horn apart, six other horses have completed the Derby-Arc double and it makes for impressive reading when we factor in the names of: Workforce (2010), Sea the Stars (2009), Sinndar (2000), Lammtarra (1995), Mill Reef (1971) and Sea Bird (1965). Can Anthony Van Dyck be mentioned in the same breath as this select group? Can he be the first three-year-old colt from the Aidan O’Brien stable to complete the double? Ballydoyle’s best result to date in this department was obtained by High Chaparral. Having won at Epsom in 2002, he went on to finish third to Marienbard in the 2002 Arc. Other colts to have taken the same path were Camelot (2012) and Ruler of the World (2013) with both going to finish seventh in Paris. Their fellow ‘Ballydoyle’ Derby winners, Galileo, Australia and Wings of Eagles, never contested the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.