Tag Archive for: ParisLongchamp

Botti sets sights on French Classic gold with Folgaria

Folgaria will be tasked with maintaining her unbeaten record in the French 1000 Guineas following her poignant victory at Newbury on Saturday.

A truly family affair, the daughter of Due Diligence had a 100 per cent record during her two-year-old season when trained by Stefano Botti in Italy and has only recently switched to join his brother Marco Botti in Newmarket ahead of her three-year-old campaign.

Sent off 5-1 in the hands of Hollie Doyle for her UK debut in the Fred Darling Stakes, she marked herself as a filly still on the rise with a performance full of class to gamely score by a neck from John and Thady Gosden’s Regal Jubilee.

It has been a tough time for the Newmarket-based handler and his team after the death of jockey Stefano Cherchi in a fall in Australia last month, with Botti not at Newbury on Saturday as he attended his compatriot’s funeral in Sardinia.

However, the trainer was proudly watching on from the continent as Folgaria successfully flew the flag for Italian racing in the Group Three event.

“It was a nice performance and she did everything right in Italy, won all her races, but you never know what to expect to be honest,” said Botti.

“I thought she won in good style despite the race not panning out how we were hoping. We were in stall one and although it wasn’t a big field, Hollie had plenty of daylight and we wanted to take her back a little bit and then she had to manoeuvre a little bit on the left and battled on.

“You could say the runner-up was a touch unlucky but at the same time Folgaria won with a little bit left in hand.

“I think she will come on for the run and she hasn’t had a racecourse gallop or anything, that was a performance on what we have been able to do in the mornings.”

Folgaria can be backed at 12-1 for the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at ParisLongchamp on May 19, with the opportunity to race around a bend cited as the main reason a trip to the French capital has been chosen over Newmarket and the British equivalent.

And having provided the Botti operation with a welcome tonic with her brave Newbury success, hopes are high the three-year-old can continue being a standard-bearer for the stable throughout the campaign.

Marco Botti has high hopes for Folgaria
Marco Botti has high hopes for Folgaria (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I expect she will come on a fair bit and there is no reason why a mile will not suit her, especially if we went to France where she will race round a bend,” continued Botti.

“There is plenty to look forward to throughout the season and at the moment the French Guineas is the plan. We always thought we would aim there rather than the English Guineas as simply a mile with a bend is what we think will suit her better.

“It’s been a tough time the last few weeks and when you get a three-year-old of that calibre and everything goes to plan, it is just a boost for the yard and for everyone involved.

“It just gives everyone a little bit of confidence and our horses have been running well during the winter but these are the races you want to be thereabouts in and we know we have a filly like her with lots of potential.”

O’Brien sets Ganay assignment for returning Al Riffa

Al Riffa is on course to return to France for his seasonal reappearance, with the Prix Ganay the starting point for a campaign Joseph O’Brien hopes will yield big-race success.

A Group One winner at two, the son of Wootton Bassett stamped himself among the top juveniles in Ireland when winning the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes in 2022.

Amongst the leading fancies for the following year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas, he missed the early part of the season and following a low-key comeback at the Curragh took on the might of Ace Impact in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville.

Although vanquished by Jean Claude-Rouget’s superstar – who would go on to retire unbeaten after victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Al Riffa was beaten less than a length.

That was his final start as a three-year-old with a stone bruise ruling the colt out of the Irish Champion Stakes.

However, he has been kept in training and will head to ParisLongchamp for his return to action on April 28, with a Group One victory at four firmly in his sights.

Al Riffa is proven at the highest level
Al Riffa is proven at the highest level (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

“It was a really nice run at Deauville and the Irish Champion Stakes was going to be his next target but he missed that,” said O’Brien.

“We’re excited about his prospects this season and he’s on target for the Prix Ganay, that’s the plan.

“He’ll have a lot of entries, he’ll be entered in all of those top middle-distance races and we’ll take it race by race.

“We’re hoping he can be a horse that could maybe win a Group One for us this year.”

Sunway in ‘good place’ for ParisLongchamp raid

Sunway will be out to keep Classic dreams alive when he returns to action in the Prix la Force at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

David Menuisier’s colt highlighted his ability right from the beginning of his two-year-old campaign and although fluffing his lines in the Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot, was back to his best when second in a soft-ground Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September.

He ended the season by striking at the highest level in Saint-Cloud’s Criterium International and it is no surprise the son of Galiway heads back to France for the first outing of his Classic season in the hands of regular big-race pilot Oisin Murphy.

“The horse seems well and he had a stretch of the legs at Kempton the other day and we were very pleased with him,” said Menuisier.

“He’s in a good place for a first run and we will be keeping our fingers crossed.

“It is famous last words, but the ground shouldn’t be an issue. It will be hard on the horses but we feel ours goes on it quite good and the trip shouldn’t be a problem, so we go there quite positive.”

Sunway holds an entry for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in early May, but Menuisier would like to keep treading a continental path with his star colt, with a return to his homeland for the French Derby at Chantilly high up on the three-year-old’s list of priorities.

Sunway (right) chased home Iberian at Doncaster
Sunway (right) chased home Iberian at Doncaster (Tim Goode/PA)

“Later down the line, we would like to aim at the Prix du Jockey Club, but we need to take races one by one, obviously,” he added.

“We could drop back in trip to run in one of the Guineas or we could go up in trip to run in a Derby trial next month. It will all depend on what happens this weekend and what Oisin and the owners think – and then we will take it from there.”

There is plenty of British interest in the French capital on Sunday afternoon and Charlie Appleby’s one-time Derby hopeful Military Order will continue his recovery mission in the Prix d’Harcourt.

A winner of three of his first four starts, the son of Frankel was sent off at 9-2 when disappointing at Epsom last summer.

Military Order has been back to top form this season
Military Order has been back to top form this season (Steven Paston/PA)

Another failure at Chester followed, but having been gelded over the winter, he has produced two encouraging displays on the all-weather, landing the Winter Derby at Southwell most recently.

Rivals in the 10-furlong Group Two include Grand Prix de Paris winner Feed The Flame and Patrice Cottier’s multiple winner and Champion Stakes third Horizon Dore, with Military Order one of two Godolphin candidates alongside Andre Fabre’s Birr Castle.

“Military Order goes into this in good shape on the back of his Winter Derby success,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“Conditions will be testing in Paris, although he handled soft ground at Newbury last season.”

Karl Burke’s Molten Rock will attempt to build on her encouraging third in Newmarket’s Montrose Stakes on her return to action in the Group Three Prix Vanteaux, while both Jack Channon’s Gather Ye Rosebuds and Kevin Philippart De Foy’s Ermesinde will take part in the Listed Prix Zarkava.

Double Major delivers commanding Royal-Oak success

There was no joy for the British raiders in the Prix Royal-Oak as Double Major ran out a wide-margin winner of the ParisLongchamp staying contest.

Trained by Christophe Ferland, Double Major had seen off Dermot Weld’s Harbour Wind by just three-quarters of a length at the track in the Prix Chaudenay on Arc weekend.

However, the manner of victory was much more straightforward this time and having been in the ideal position at the head of affairs alongside Brian Ellison’s Tashkhan, the only three-year-old in the race surged well clear of his rivals when jockey Maxime Guyon pushed the button entering the straight.

Patrice Cottier’s Skazino kept on for second ahead of Tashkhan, who finished best of the raiding party in third, but Harry Fry’s Metier was never in the mix from a position towards the rear of the field and James Fanshawe’s Novel Legend also finished out of the money.

Having secured top honours in his very first outing in Group One company, connections of Double Major were content to savour their big-race success in the French capital before contemplating future plans.

“We are very happy and the big question was the ground because he has never run on that kind of surface,” Pierre-Yves Bureau, racing manager to owners Wertheimer et Frere, told Sky Sports Racing.

“We knew the horse had that quality, but he was the only three-year-old facing older horses who have much more experience than him, so what he did was very nice and we are very happy.

“Well done to Christophe, he is a nice horse who keeps improving each time and that is very good and promising for the future.

“He is a gelding so hopefully he can travel as well, but we are going to enjoy what happened today because it was a really nice performance. We will have to see about the future.”

Winning rider Guyon added: “It is the first time he has run on this ground – the ground is very sticky today, so before the race we did not know if he loved that or not. Afterwards I can tell you he does.

“The most important thing for him is the distance. At the start of the year we went more of a short distance and now he needs the long distance. Last time he won the Group Two and every time he runs at Longchamp he runs very good, this time he has won a Group One.

“I am very happy for the team, for Christophe Ferland and for Wertheimer et Frere.”

Fry breaking new ground with French fancy Metier

Harry Fry will saddle his first runner in a Group One when Metier heads to ParisLongchamp for the Prix Royal-Oak on Sunday.

A Grade One winner over hurdles, the seven-year-old has proven equally proficient when crossing over to compete on the level in recent seasons, winning last year’s November Handicap at Doncaster and pouncing late to claim the Chester Cup this term.

Metier will now face his toughest challenge to date as he not only steps up in class, but bids to get his handler off the mark in France.

Metier (left) on his way to winning the Chester Cup
Metier (left) on his way to winning the Chester Cup (David Davies/PA)

Fry said: “We looked at our options for this time of year and we decided to aim at the Prix Royal-Oak. You would like to think with how the weather has been that conditions would suit.

“Obviously, he is going to have to step up again, but he won the Chester Cup the hard way, from a wide draw and coming from way back, when given a great ride by Saffie Osborne, so hopefully there is more to come from him and it will be interesting to see how he gets on in Group One company.

“We have had a handful of runners in France over jumps and things, but yet to bring home a winner, so it would be a great way to break that duck.”

Metier has not been seen since galloping to big-race success on the Roodee in May, with fast ground ruling him out of a possible start at Royal Ascot.

The necessity for a break kept Metier in his stable during the height of summer when the unseasonably wet weather would have made conditions ideal for the soft ground-favouring gelding.

However, Fry is hoping patience will be rewarded as his charge returns from over five months off the track.

“We haven’t seen him out since the Chester Cup success, but we did train him for Royal Ascot on the off chance the ground came in his favour,” the Grosvenor Sport ambassador continued. “Obviously, that was always going to be an outside chance.

“He needed to have a little break having been on the go all last winter, so we gave him a break and then almost immediately the rain started to arrive, which is typical.

Jockey Saffie Osborne will be reunited with Metier in France
Jockey Saffie Osborne will be reunited with Metier in France (David Davies/PA)

“We know him well enough now and what conditions suit and that is why we have waited and bided our time. Hopefully conditions have come right for him and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Metier is set to be reunited with Saffie Osborne for his cross-Channel adventure, where the duo will search for a third victory together.

Fry added: “I think Saffie would be pretty upset if she is not onboard and he is very much Saffie’s ride unless she tells me she is going to be elsewhere!

“I think she has been ticking off the days until she is reunited with him. She gave him a brilliant ride to win at Chester and also won the November Handicap on him and they have formed a great partnership.”

Kinross disappointment for Dettori in Foret

There was no fitting last ride at ParisLongchamp for Frankie Dettori, with Kinross thwarted in his quest for back-to-back Qatar Prix de la Foret victories by Kelina, who survived a nervy stewards’ inquiry.

The retiring Italian was in no rush in the early stages aboard the Ralph Beckett-trained six-year-old, with the first past the post just ahead of him in the order, racing keenly in the hands of Maxime Guyon.

With Dettori and Kinross locked on the inner, Kelina was able to get first run on the big-race favourite.

However, there was still drama to come as Kelina edged right towards the rail while making her challenge, squeezing both Dettori aboard Kinross and Richard Hannon’s Shouldvebeenaring for room at a vital point in the contest.

Dettori had enough time to switch Kinross and have one last-gasp crack at the Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained victor, but was unable to bridge the deficit in the closing stages.

Dettori immediately signalled his intention to appeal, but after a stewards’ inquiry the result was unaltered, bringing to an end both Kinross’ phenomenal winning run over seven furlongs and the 52-year-old’s riding career in France.

After the race, a disappointed Beckett said: “We were second best on the day and that’s it. We weren’t good enough.”

When asked if Kinross remained on track for another crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile, he added: “We will see how he goes, I don’t know yet.”

Firmly on course for the Breeders’ Cup Mile is the winner, who could now get the chance to replicate the achievements of three-time Mile winner Goldikova who sported the same silks of owners Wertheimer and Frere.

The Foret victory was a welcome return to form for Kelina, who having finished fourth in the French 1000 Guineas earlier in the season before claiming the Group Two Prix de Sandringham put disappointments in both the Prix Rothschild and Prix du Moulin behind her.

“She finished last here in the Marcel Boussac and has come a long way since,” said Laffon-Parias.

“Last time when she came here and she didn’t run well we didn’t really have an explanation, but the soft ground was obviously not in her favour.

Connections of Kelina celebrate after the Prix de la Foret
Connections of Kelina celebrate after the Prix de la Foret (Ashley Iveson/PA)

“She ran a fabulous race in the Prix de Sandringham when she had her ground but again her last start in the Moulin she didn’t have a very good draw and we were going to wait with her, but she just didn’t run her race and that allowed her to come here today fresh.

“After you have won a a Group Two you can only really go for a Group One and we have tried. We had been invited to go to Keeneland and accepted but then we we’re talking about it, we made the decision to come here and we were very pleased with the decision to come here.

“It is no secret that my career is more behind me than in front of me, but I have no plans to stop.”

‘One of the top horses in the world’ – Rouget hails Ace Impact

Jean-Claude Rouget’s unshakeable confidence in Ace Impact proved fully justified, as the unbeaten colt produced a performance for the ages in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp.

The son of Cracksman’s path to becoming Europe’s premier middle-distance colt has not been a conventional one, but then this is no ordinary colt.

Provincial wins at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in January and Bordeaux in early April suggested Ace Impact was a horse of some potential. But few could have envisaged at that stage he would go on to secure one of the most visually striking Arc wins in recent memory.

The three-year-old was dominant when claiming Classic glory in the French Derby in June – and while the margin of his next triumph in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano did not leave every onlooker purring, Rouget knew there was more in the tank.

Cristian Demuro returns with Ace Impact
Cristian Demuro returns with Ace Impact (PA)

Baked in Parisian sunshine, Ace Impact went to post for his biggest test as the 5-2 favourite and it was impossible to be anything but blown away by the way he found a Dancing Brave-esque turn of speed to run down the leaders and ultimately win with consummate ease.

It was put to Rouget in the aftermath that the majority of those in attendance were left speechless, but he said: “Actually, I more or less expected to see that turn of foot and that acceleration.

“He wasn’t able to show it at Cagnes-Sur-Mer or Bordeaux, but even after a slow beginning in the Prix du Jockey Club he literally flew home.

“At Deauville he wasn’t ready and I know people we were saying he had not run at Longchamp before, but I thought he would be able to deploy that acceleration, especially on the ground we have today.

“My last reflection before the start of the race was to say to myself, ‘it’s too good to be true’, but it was not too good, it was true!”

Ace Impact after his sensational triumph at ParisLongchamp
Ace Impact after his sensational triumph at ParisLongchamp (Ashley Iveson/PA)

Supporters of Ace Impact will undoubtedly have been a little worried beforehand, as he was noticeably on his toes in the parade ring before Cristian Demuro was given the leg-up.

Rouget – who struck with the Demuro-ridden Sottsass in 2020 – insisted he was not overly concerned, adding: “You just have to manage it. He’s like a child, an adolescent who needs to be looked after and reassured constantly. If he was able to talk, he would tell you he’s a very sensitive being.

“I knew the horse was in stronger shape than he was for the Prix du Jockey Club, which is normal as he’s more mature now. He was in marvellous shape before the race.

“The best acceleration I’ve ever seen is Zarkava and this horse is not far off. Sottsass was a very good horse and a very strong horse, but he was not the same type of horse. He was an extraordinary horse, but this one has the power of acceleration of one of the top horses in the world.”

Demuro was able to begin celebrating before passing the post in front, such was the authority with which Ace Impact won, before performing a Frankie Dettori-like flying dismount on returning to the winner’s enclosure.

Ace Impact before winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Ace Impact before winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (PA)

He said: “I knew it was the last day (at Longchamp) for Frankie, so I did it for him!”

Of Ace Impact, he added: “I knew when I was going to push the button he was going to accelerate, and that is what he did.

“It’s amazing to win the Arc for the second time with an amazing horse. He has a wonderful turn of foot. He’s just a champion.

“I started screaming 200 metres from the post because I saw I was going to win, so I started screaming with the horse.”

What the future holds for Ace Impact remains undecided, with various possibilities on the table.

He could be retired to stud with an unbeaten record, he could have a crack at the Japan Cup before the year is out and he could even be back next season, but connections are understandably keen to let the dust settle before committing to anything.

Pauline Chehboub, representing part owners Gousserie Racing, said: “It was a dream to be able to run the horse against all those champions in that race today.

“Obviously we have to take some time and see how the horse is after his race and then discuss it with the whole team, to see what is next.

“The Japan Cup is one of the greatest races on the whole planet, so we we will see. It’s not a no, but we don’t know about the future.”

Highfield Princess takes Abbaye crown

Highfield Princess bounced back to her very best to claim the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines with a thrilling late thrust at ParisLongchamp.

John Quinn’s star mare was a regular on the scoresheet at the highest level last season, but although running with real credit throughout the current campaign, she had just the one victory to her name in 2023 as she headed to the French capital.

Having to overcome both a disappointing showing at the Curragh last time and a tricky draw in stall 14, Jason Hart was urging his mount forwards throughout as George Boughey’s Perdika blazed a trail from stall one.

The Boughey raider still looked to have plenty up her sleeve as the field entered the final furlong but as the line approached Perdika’s stride was shortening, while Highfield Princess was edging ever closer and in the shadow of the post, the six-year-old surged to the front to register a welcome return to the sprinting big-time.

Quinn said: “I’m thrilled really. Down the years we have had plenty of horses run really well at this wonderful meeting. In the Abbaye, El Astronaute was third, Liberty Beach was beaten two heads, Safe Voyage was beaten two heads in the Foret.

“It is one of the greatest meetings in the world and I hoped I would one day train a winner here and it is wonderful.”

He went on: “She tries hard and you could say from where she was drawn she was inconvenienced. But she toughed it into the race and toughed it out of the race because two furlongs out she was flat out, but fair dues to her.

“It was a very brave decision (to keep her in training) considering she had won three Group Ones in Europe and was probably one of the best fillies around. I’m so pleased they have been totally vindicated.

“She’s shown she’s as good as any sprinting mare in the world. She showed today what a top-class, sprinting filly she is.”

Jason Hart returns to the winner's enclosure aboard Highfield Princess
Jason Hart returns to the winner’s enclosure aboard Highfield Princess (Ashley Iveson/PA)

Quinn will now be urging Highfield Princess’ owners to give the go-ahead for a second tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint having finished fourth at Keeneland last November.

When asked about the mare’s next run being at Santa Anita next month, Quinn said: “Why not? It was all about today and she came through it well.

“We were very happy with her the last couple of weeks. I will need to speak to my owner but I would be strongly suggesting it.

“We needed to see how today went and today went very well. I wouldn’t rule out the Breeders’ Cup or the big sprint at Hong Kong in December.

“It’s John and his family’s decision whether she’ll race on next year, but as long as she’s OK she could go to Santa Anita or Sha Tin.”

Hart added: “She was flat out all the way. It was only in the last 50 yards when the leader tied up that I knew we were going to win. What a mare, she’s so tough.”

Perdika kept hold of the silver medal with Aidan O’Brien’s Aesop’s Fables and Tom Clover’s Rogue Lightning also on the premises.

Westover has sights set on Breeders’ Cup after brave Arc bid

Ralph Beckett is eyeing a run at the Breeders’ Cup following Westover’s brave second in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp.

The son of Frankel, who was an Irish Derby winner at three, had to settle for sixth in his first crack at Europe’s richest middle distance prize.

But returning to the French capital on the back of a fine four-year-old campaign, the colt thrived in the unusually quick ground to find only the imperious Ace Impact too good in the closing stages.

Westover finished a length and three-quarters behind Jean-Claude Rouget’s impressive victor, but Beckett could not hide his pride in his charge who has now earnt a trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Turf next month.

“What a run, I’m delighted, what a run,” said Beckett.

“Hukum came across and sort of helped the pace along it looked like to me. He seemed a bit lazy out of the gate and then has got his place.

“At the top of the straight I thought we were in business, but there was just one better.

“He’s gone and done it again, which is terrific for everyone. I’m so proud of him.”

He went on: “I always fancied the Breeders’ Cup Turf for him because he’s a horse who enjoys his time away, as we saw in Dubai.

“So I’ve always kind of fancied that for him. The Breeders’ Cup Turf is shaping up to be the best ever isn’t it, but that’s life and I think we will probably go.”

Westover (left) and Hukum (right) fought out the finish to the King George And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot
Westover (left) and Hukum (right) fought out the finish to the King George And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot (Adam Davy/PA)

Westover was once again picking up a silver medal having also filled the runner-up spot behind Hukum in a thrilling renewal of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes earlier in the season.

However, Owen Burrows’ five-year-old could not repeat his Ascot heroics from a tricky position in stall 14, with the quick ground blunting his challenge.

“The ground was a lot quicker than ideal. We didn’t expect it to be so quick, it was on the fast side of good,” said jockey Jim Crowley.

“From stall 14 I had to use up a little bit (of energy) but I actually got a good position and was happy. I got a breather into him down the hill but he just couldn’t pick up on the quick ground.

“He owes us nothing, he has come back from injury and won a King George, he is a very special horse.”

Fabrice Chappet’s Onesto claimed third, while Japan’s wait for a first Arc winner goes on after Tomohito Ozeki’s Through Seven Seas kept on for fourth, but ultimately could not land a telling blow at the business end.

“There was no pace on and so our jockey held her up,” said Ozeki.

“It was a sprint in the straight but I am pleased at the way she finished. We don’t know whether she will run again. It depends how she is because the Arc is such a great challenge for a horse.”

A place further back in fifth was Aidan O’Brien’s Continuous, who having been supplemented into the contest at a cost of 120,000 euros, was unable to add this middle-distance showpiece to the St Leger success he claimed at Doncaster.

St Leger hero Continuous was a gallant fifth at ParisLongchamp
St Leger hero Continuous was a gallant fifth at ParisLongchamp (Tim Goode/PA)

The Ballydoyle team are now eyeing some overseas adventures with the son of Heart’s Cry later in the year.

O’Brien said: “We’re very happy. We made the decision to take our time and let him relax.

“They sprinted the last two furlongs, but he wasn’t finished and ran all the way to the line.

“He looks like he wants a strongly run mile-and-a-half so obviously we can look at Japan, Hong King, America and Dubai.

“He’s a very legitimate horse and a ready-made four-year-old. He loves travelling, and the best is yet to come.”

Meanwhile Bay Bridge could be set for a defence of his Champion Stakes crown having faded into sixth after racing keenly in the early stages.

He was just a little free and needs more moisture in the ground” said trainer Sir Michael Stoute.

“If he comes out of it well he could go for another shot at the Champion Stakes.”

Blue Rose Cen delivers again in Prix de l’Opera

Blue Rose Cen bloomed once again at ParisLongchamp as she repelled the challenge of Jackie Oh to win the Prix de l’Opera Longines.

Winner of the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Prix de Diane earlier in the season, Blue Rose Cen came unstuck at the hands of the reopposing Al Husn when only fourth in the Nassau at Goodwood while she had to settle for fifth in the Prix Vermeille last month.

However, Christopher Head’s filly regained the winning thread in this 10-furlong contest, although the Aidan O’Brien-trained Jackie Oh made her pull out all the stops.

The pair were neck and neck inside the final furlong, but Blue Rose Cen kept finding a bit extra for Aurelian Lemaitre and shaded the verdict on the line, with Lumiere Rock in third.

Blue Rose Cen is set to stay in training at four
Blue Rose Cen is set to stay in training at four (PA)

Betfair make Blue Rose Cen – who won the Prix Marcel Boussac on last year’s Arc card – a 4-1 chance from 8s for next month’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and while Head is unsure she will make the trip a four-year-old campaign is on the cards.

He said: “You never know they can be running in the Vermeille and still get it back in the Opera – what a filly.

“For sure she will stay in training at four. She’s nominated for the Breeders’ Cup, but we will have to discuss that.

“My ambition is to one day win the Arc and I’m working on it.”

No fairytale Arc farewell, but Dettori still smiling

There was no fairytale finale for Frankie Dettori in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, although the weighing-room legend was still able to leave ParisLongchamp with a smile on his face.

His final ride in the mile-and-a-half showpiece came aboard Free Wind, but as the John and Thady Gosden-trained mare was double-figure odds against a hot favourite in Ace Impact, a dream farewell always appeared unlikely.

And so it proved as after travelling well on the heels of the leaders in the early stages, Free Wind found it tough going in the sprint to the line and was left well behind brilliant winner Ace Impact in 13th place.

Frankie Dettori has been enjoying his valedictory lap in 2023
Frankie Dettori has been enjoying his valedictory lap in 2023 (Danny Lawson/PA)

“I had no pressure today, I didn’t feel it,” said Dettori, who will retire at the end of the year.

“I got a lovely slot behind Westover, I knew he would take me there. When he got to the straight they quickened a little bit and left me there, but I really enjoyed it. The Arc has been a great race for me, it has been a good journey, but I’m bowing out with a smile on my face.”

Dettori, who plans to hang up his saddle after riding at Hong Kong’s International meeting in December, bows out the winner of six Arcs – making him the most successful rider in the race’s glorious history.

His first victory came aboard Lammtarra in 1995, with Sakhee’s six-length demolition job in 2001 quickly followed by Marienbard’s unexpected victory a year later.

However, Dettori then had to wait until 2015 when he produced a peach of a ride from a wide draw on Golden Horn, before Enable completed a double in 2017 and 2018, sealing her status as one of the best racemares of all time.

Dettori entered the stalls for the Arc on no less than 34 occasions and could reflect with satisfaction on his final spin.

He added: “This morning I was sad, but now that I have got going a bit I can feel the adrenaline kicking in and the competition. I will miss it, for sure.

“It’s all been great, six Arc wins, what can you say? I’ve ridden some great champions and riding in it 34 times is a record in itself.”

Ace Impact shows blistering burst for stunning Arc success

Ace Impact once again displayed his sensational turn of foot as he sprinted to glory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp.

Unbeaten in five previous runs for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, the Prix du Jockey Club winner was trying his hand at 12 furlongs for the first time in the European middle-distance championship.

Employing his usual waiting tactics, Cristian Demuro settled Ace Impact – who got very worked up in the paddock beforehand – at the back of the field before unleashing his electrifying burst in the closing stages to overhaul the gallant Westover and pull away for an impressive triumph.

Ace Impact after his sensational triumph at ParisLongchamp
Ace Impact after his sensational triumph at ParisLongchamp (Ashley Iveson/PA)

Rouget said: “I won with Sottsass three years ago, it was incredible because I started in Pau a long time ago. It’s a long way (journey of training career) and two Arcs in four years is fantastic.”

He added: “I am like a very backward horse and I am just maturing now. So I hope I have a few good years again in front of me.

“I know how I started with jumpers and very bad Flat horses. With Millkom it was the first sign of a Classic career in 1994 and after we won with Le Havre and Stacelita and now we have a very strong stable.

“Thank you to all of my team. I have two teams now, one in Pau and one in Deauville. There is a lot of work always in a serious, serious way.

“We always say they are the best when they win, I think it is his strong acceleration. It is something I have never seen.

“I don’t know if he will go straight to the stud or run next year. It will be decided between the two owners and me, but I don’t know yet.”

Opera Singer steals the show in Marcel Boussac

Opera Singer hit all the right notes to land Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac in supreme style at ParisLongchamp.

Aidan O’Brien’s daughter of Justify headed to the French capital on the back of an emphatic six-and-a-half-length victory in a Curragh Group Three last month and proved that performance was no flash in the pan with an equally impressive display.

Having matched strides with chief market rival, the Karl Burke-trained Darnation in the early stages, Ryan Moore asked his mount to stride along as the field passed the cut away, with the result immediate.

Delighted connections with Opera Singer
Delighted connections with Opera Singer (PA)

Opera Singer powered well clear of her rivals, with the imperious triumph sending the youngster straight towards the top of the markets for next year’s Classics.

Coral go 6-1 for the 1000 Guineas and 8-1 for the Oaks, while both Paddy Power and Betfair are 7-1 and 8-1 respectively for those two races.

O’Brien said: “Ryan said she was very straightforward. She really appreciated the step up to a mile like we thought she would.

“I thought she was very strong all the way to the line and it was an impressive performance. Being on nicer ground helped her put in that performance.

“She’s by Justify and they get better with age. As she steps up in trip she’s something to look forward to next year.”

Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien at the post-race press conference
Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien at the post-race press conference (PA)

He added: “We’ve been excited with her the whole time, she’s a beautiful filly and we’ve always loved her from the first day she ran.

“We thought when she stepped up to the mile at the Curragh the last day she would change and grow another leg and that’s what she did – she was very impressive the last day.

“She’s obviously a filly that would have no problem starting off at a mile in a Classic and you would imagine she would have no problem going up to a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half.

“Ryan was raving about her there coming in – he said I look forward to this day next year (in the Arc).”

On a trip to the Breeders’ Cup, he added: “It’s very possible, obviously it will depend what the lads want to do, but she is by Justify and has plenty of experience if they want to go there.”

Rosallion bounces back in style to win Lagardere

Rosallion bounced back from Doncaster disappointment in style with victory in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp.

An impressive winner at Ascot on his penultimate start, Richard Hannon’s charge suffered a shock defeat when only third as the odds-on favourite in the Champagne Stakes last month.

However, the son of Blue Point put that performance well behind him as he swooped late to deny Unquestionable.

Settled towards the rear by Sean Levey as Henry Adams and the keen-going Ballymount Boy cut out the early running, Rosallion was clearly still travelling well entering the straight and launched his decisive run down the outside to grab the glory.

Favourite Beauvatier did not enjoy the smoothest of passages, and while he tried a similar late finish he could catch the Hannon runner, coming home third.

Levey said: “I was always going to win today. He had his ground and that’s how good he is

“We always thought he was a good horse and the ground was the reason he ran like he did last time. We were worried about the draw and he’s done really well to win.

“I’ve always thought of him as a Guineas horse.”

A delighted Hannon said: “It was very sticky ground at Doncaster and he hated it, but I was so disappointed – I couldn’t believe he got beat. We scoped him afterwards and everything was fine and the only thing I can put it down to was the ground.

“Sean was as gutted as I was at Doncaster – I don’t think he said a word to me after he got beat in the Champagne Stakes. He couldn’t believe it either, that’s the sort of horse he is.

“Today was a recovery mission and you don’t generally come to to the Lagardere on a recovery mission as it takes an extremely good horse to win it, but he showed today that he’s the horse we thought he was.

“We always thought he was a Group One horse, whether that’s arrogant or not that’s what we thought. Today he never looked like getting beat.

“We’ll look forward to the Guineas now for next year. I wouldn’t rule it out (Breeders’ Cup), but I’m very happy to look forward to the Guineas.

“I haven’t had much luck at the Breeders’ Cup, obviously it’s got to change at some stage but I think it’s unlikely.”

Aidan O’Brien said of Unquestionable and Henry Adams, who was fourth: “The trip was OK and both will be fine at a mile. Ryan (Moore) said he (Unquestionable) could be a horse for America so we will look at the (Breeders’ Cup) Juvenile Turf after seeing how they are.”

Sea Silk Road enjoys perfect send-off success in Prix de Royallieu

Sea Silk Road evoked memories of her illustrious sire after seemingly going out in a blaze of glory in the Qatar Prix de Royallieu at ParisLongchamp.

It is 14 years since the great Sea The Stars brought the curtain down on his stellar career with success in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – and while his William Haggas-trained daughter is not in that class, she saved her best performance for what is set to be her last.

Winner of the Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock earlier in the year, the four-year-old had since finished second in the Lancashire Oaks, fifth in the Yorkshire Oaks and third in the Prix Vermeille ahead of a third shot at Group One glory on her return to Paris.

Ridden confidently by Aurelien Lemaitre, Sea Silk Road looked to improve for the step up to a mile and three-quarters, quickening up smartly to leave her toiling rivals trailing in her wake.

“She’s a lovely filly and deserved to win a Group One. She looked like she needed the extra distance last time and has proved as much today,” said the winning trainer’s wife and assistant Maureen Haggas.

“She was a very immature three-year-old, which is part of the reason we kept her (in training) and she has now really grown into herself.

“She’s won a Group One so she can go off to stud now. When you’ve won a Group One, you can add to it but you can’t improve on it.”

Poker Face put the seal on a memorable two days for the Simon and Ed Crisford with a Group Two triumph in the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein.

The father-and-son partnership had already landed the Group Two Rockfel Stakes with Carla’s Way and the Group One Middle Park with Vandeek at Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting and Poker Face got himself in the big-race winner’s enclosure with a comfortable win in the hands of Maxime Guyon.

“It’s been an incredible two days and I’m delighted for everyone involved,” said the Crisfords’ racing manager Liam Elvidge.

“It’s been the plan to come here for the Daniel Wildenstein with Poker Face, expecting the ground to be a little bit softer, but he’s put in a helluva performance.

“That’s his third win on the bounce after winning a Listed race at Pontefract and a Group Three at Deauville. To come here and win on Arc weekend is an amazing achievement.

“We will get him home to Newmarket and see how he comes out of the race before deciding whether to give him another run this year or wait for next year.”

Dermot Weld’s Harbour Wind was narrowly denied in the Qatar Prix Chaudenay.

The Nathaniel gelding claimed his third win from four previous starts in the Listed Vinnie Roe Stakes at Leopardstown in late August, teeing himself up for a tilt at this Group Two prize.

Ridden by Chris Hayes, Harbour Wind was closing on the Christophe Ferland-trained Double Major throughout the final furlong, but the winning post ultimately came too soon.

Weld’s runner holds an entry in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot in three weeks’ time, but appears unlikely to to take up that engagement.

Weld said: “He’s run a very good race, they went pretty steady early on and it turned into a little bit of a sprint – maybe the winner got first run.

“We’re very pleased with the run and he’ll make into a lovely horse next year.

“That (Ascot) will be a bit soon, I’d say that’s it for this year.”

Horizon Dore continued his march towards a tilt at the Qipco Champion Stakes with victory in the Group Two Prix Dollar.

Patrice Cottier’s star three-year-old arrived on a Group-race hat-trick after landing the Prix Eugene Adam at Saint-Cloud and most recently the Prix du Prince d’Orange at this track four weeks ago.

Just for a moment it looked like Frankie Dettori may have stolen a march on his rivals aboard Paul and Oliver Cole’s Jack Darcy, but Mickael Barzalona was waiting in the wings all the while aboard favourite Horizon Dore and swooped late to secure a cosy success.

Pauline Chehboub, racing manager for her family’s Gousserie Racing operation, said: “He has a huge talent, we have seen that since the start of the season. We are very lucky to have him.

“He has that very good acceleration that champion horses have. Mickael said he broke well and he did what he wanted.

“We want to get back our title in the Qipco Champion Stakes (having won it with Sealiway in 2021), I can’t wait to be there. See you in Ascot!”