SOTTSASS LEADS FRENCH CLEAN SWEEP IN QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE AND GAINS AUTOMATIC BERTH INTO LONGINES BREEDERS' CUP TURF
Five Winners At ParisLongchamp Secure Free Starting Positions into Breeders’ Cup World Championships
PARISLONGCHAMP, PARIS, FRANCE (Oct. 4, 2020) –
White Birch Farm’s Sottsass (FR) brought home a 1-2-3-4-5 for France in the 2020 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triopmphe (G1) as supermare Enable (GB) could only finish sixth on very testing ground conditions at ParisLongchamp. The winner gained an automatic place in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is comprised of more than 80 international stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into corresponding races of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 6-7.
The Arc de Triomphe was the centerpiece of five Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on Sunday at ParisLongchamp. (Race reports appear below).
There was a significant disappointment overnight as it was announced that all horses trained by Aidan O’Brien and his two sons, Donnacha and Joseph, were to be withdrawn due to a batch of contaminated feed. A total of 11 horses were declared non-runners on the card, including four -- Mogul (GB), Japan (GB), Serpentine (IRE) and Sovereign (IRE) -- in the Arc.
Third in the race last year, Sottsass provided both trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and jockey Cristian Demuro with their first success in the race.
In the absence of the four Aidan O’Brien horses, an unusually small field of 11 went to post. The small field meant that Pierre-Charles Boudot was able to dictate a slow pace on Persian King (IRE) with the eventual winner sitting just behind the leader. As the field turned into the straight, Sottsass accelerated in good style and stayed on well to beat In Swoop (IRE), with Persian King holding on for third. A number of horses encountered interference as the pace quickened in the straight. As a result, a stewards’ inquiry was immediately called -– but following a short deliberation, the placings remained unaltered.
Sottsass won his second race in five starts this year. He captured the Prix Ganay (G1) at Chantilly on June 14. He was second by a neck to Skalleti (FR) in the Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club (G3) at Deauville on Aug. 15, and was fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) at Leopardstown on Sept. 12.
Rouget said after the race: “Just after the race last year we thought he was a horse made for this race. Between the Ganay (in June) it was a long time. When we ran in Deauville he was a bit fat and Skalleti (FR) is a very good horse. He is a Group 1 horse on soft ground, but we had to run in that race instead of going to York for the Juddmonte International.”
Rouget continued: “The choice to go to Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes) was tough, too, and not the (Prix) Foy (at ParisLongchamp). We chose to run him over a shorter distance to give him speed. I think that was a good choice. All was made to have the horse 100 percent today. The result is there!”
He added: “Sottsass is owned in association with Coolmore. I do not know if he will run again, but it is not the question for today. Whether the horse retires is not my decision.”
A half-brother to 2018 Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner Sistercharlie (IRE), Sottsass a chestnut son of Siyouni (FR) out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Starlet’s Sister (IRE), finished the 1 ½ miles in 2:39:30 over a course listed as heavy.
Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Enable, chasing history for a third victory in the race, she suffered interference when the pace quickened and couldn’t accelerate in the heavy ground. Her jockey Frankie Dettori said: "It was too deep (the ground), it killed her action."
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Enable's owner Khalid Abdullah said: "She just wasn't able to go on the ground, really and truly. She's had a good position. Frankie's been happy with her but she just couldn't pick up like we'd normally expect her to.
"We'll see how she is when she gets back and talk to (trainer) John (Gosden) and Prince Khalid and make a plan. There will be no decisions [on retirement] at this stage."
Gosden, who watched the race from Newmarket, added: “Teddy and I will, as usual, report to Prince Khalid (Abdullah) and he’ll make all decisions about what she is to do next, whether she’ll retire or have one more race. We’re only just into the Autumn after all, but that will be entirely Prince Khalid’s decision.”
Sealiway sails away for convincing victory in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere
Le Haras De La Gousserie & Guy Pariente’s Sealiway (FR), the 4-1 second favorite, routed a small field in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) to gain an automatic berth in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
The chestnut son of Galiway (GB) out of the Kendargent (FR) mare Kensea (FR) relished the heavy ground under Mikael Barzalona to win the 7-furlong contest by 8 lengths for trainer Frederic Rossi. Sealiway finished the race in 1:23:49.
Rossi is enjoying a brilliant season, having won his first Group 1 in the French 1000 Guineas in June with Dream And Do (IRE). He said after the race: "I have always thought he was a really good horse and he has been running over too short a trip to begin with. We decided to ride him more positively. He loves to dominate and he's a real steamroller."
When asked whether his 2-year-old colt would head to the Breeders’ Cup next month, Rossi refused to rule it out and said: “The season is not over!”
Marcialis makes history on Tiger Tanaka
Jessica Marcialis became the first female jockey to win a Group 1 on the flat in France when steering Tiger Tanaka (IRE) to success in the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) for 2-year-old fillies, and an automatic qualifier for the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
Trained by Jessica’s partner Charley Rossi, the bay daughter of Clodovil (IRE) swept past Tasmania (FR) in the final stages to score by three-quarters of a length, with Rougir (FR) back in third.
Marcialis, who returned to race-riding after having a child, said: "It's incredible. I don't have words. Yesterday we said it was just amazing to be here today. I want to say to all the mums that we can do it. Be strong."
It was the sixth win for the Tiger Tanaka and a first Group 1 success for connections.
Rossi said: "It was incredible because I could see that she was full of running and just looking for the gap. When she went clear it was a little unreal for me -- but she really has won! I think we've made history today."
Favorite Fev Rover (IRE) could only manage fourth after a troubled passage in running.
More Group 1 success for Tarnawa
Tarnawa (IRE) secured her place in the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) when winning the 1 ¼-mile Prix de l’Opera Longines (G1).
A course winner in the Qatar Prix Vermeille (G1) three weeks ago, the Dermot Weld-trained filly came from back of the field to deny favurite Alpine Star (IRE) by a short neck in the shadow of the post.
Assistant trainer Mark Weld said: “It was a fantastic performance. It’s very hard to win in France. To have won a Group 1 here on Arc trials day, the Qatar Prix Vermeille, and to come back here and win the Prix de l’Opera – she is a really tough and courageous filly.”
Owned and bred by His Highness the Aga Khan, connections will now consider a tilt at this year’s Breeders’ Cup.
Weld added: “We will have to discuss plans with His Highness and all the team. She gets a free entry now in to the Breeders’ Cup. It’s definitely a possibility.”
Wooded denies Glass Slippers in Abbaye
Al Shaqab Racing‘s Wooded (FR) held off last year’s winner Glass Slippers (GB) to win the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1). The winner secured his spot in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
Trained by Francis Graffard and ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, the 3-year-old colt dug in deep to score his first Group 1 success. The Kevin Ryan-trained Glass Slippers (GB) had to settle for second place this year, with John Quinn’s filly Liberty Beach (GB) third under Frankie Dettori.
Graffard said: “He's a horse I've always loved. There have been no races for him over 6 furlongs, so we decided to race him anyway over different distances. He'll be a nice sprinter for next year.”
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features a total of $31 million in purses and awards. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.
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