Koji Maeda, one of the biggest owners in Japan, announced that his representative Deep Bond will be making the trip to France in the Autumn to take part in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The colt will also run in a warm-up race prior to the main event and will take part in the Qatar Prix Foy – which takes place on Sunday 12th September at ParisLongchamp on Arc Trials Day*.
Deep Bond recently finished second in the Tenno Sho-Printemps, a Group 1 at Hanshin racecourse last Sunday. The race is over 3,200 meters, or two miles (800 meters further than the Arc de Triomphe).
Koji Maeda explained, "He showed a lot of courage in the Tenno Sho, which is a very demanding race. Although the ground was very quick on Sunday at Hanshin, he is a son of Kizuna, who himself finished fourth in the Arc in 2013, and he can handle softer ground. He is the right horse for France in the Autumn.”
Deep Bond has the bad luck to be born the same year as the superstar Contrail, who has so far dominated his generation in Japan.
Contrail is a son of Deep Impact, who ran in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2006 (finishing 3rd on the day before being disqualified later). He will not be leaving Japan as he is destined for the breeding shed and will retire to stud this winter.
The best performance to date of a Japanese runner in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is that of Orfèvre, second in 2012 and again in 2013.
* The Arcs Trials are three races which serve as preperatory compeitiions for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe:
- the Qatar Prix Vermeille for fillies aged 3 and over
- the Qatar Prix Niel for 3-year-old colts and fillies
- the Qatar Prix Foy is open to entire horses, geldings and mares, aged 4 and over (after the age of 3 in flat racing, thoroughbreds are referred to as ‘older horses’)
These three races are run over 2,400 meters at ParisLongchamp… the course and distance of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
They take place three weeks before the big race, the ideal timing to allow the thoroughbred to reach peak physical condition.