O’Brien Sends Love, Snowfall Against Top 3-Year-Olds, Japan’s Chrono Genesis In 100th Arc De Triomphe

The Qatar Arc de Triomphe is run over a distance of 1 1/2 miles, and requires 2 minutes and 30 seconds of effort from a horse. The purse on offer amounts to 5 million euros (US$5.8 million) – and champions from all over the world will be on display. Furthermore, the horse tasting ultimate glory will be hailed in the history books as the 100th winner of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. This is the spectacle which awaits the public on Sunday, Oct. 3 at ParisLongchamp.

The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is considered the greatest horse race in the world. It is THE race that causes racing fans, trainers, jockeys and owners alike to dream. The 2021 edition promises to be an exceptional one: as it marks the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe’s centenary edition.

The Arc is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Nov. 6 at Del Mar.

The field is certainly on a par with the occasion. The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe above all pits the young generation (namely a 3-year-old crop which goes into the autumn at the top of its game, but still lacking somewhat in experience), against older horses (4-year-olds plus) who are much more seasoned.

An ambitious young generation

On this occasion, Europe’s two best 3-year-old colts will be on display. Both are trained at Newmarket (England) by Charlie Appleby on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, and are Adayar and Hurricane Lane. The former won the prestigious Epsom Derby in which the latter was third.

Adayar subsequently went on to become the first horse in 20 years to complete the Epsom Derby – King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes double (considered the ‘British equivalent of the Arc’) double. Hurricane Lane subsequently shone at ParisLongchamp by taking Grand Prix de Paris, before going on to capture the St Leger run over 2,850m at Doncaster. This was a true test of stamina, but the fly in the ointment is that no St Leger winner has managed to win the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the same season!

“I am very happy with both colts,” Appleby said. “Adayar had a setback before the Arc trials. He missed two gallops as a result and we thought that it was best to skip the Niel. He had already earned his ticket to the Arc. Since then he has been doing very well. William Buick is our first choice rider and he chose Adayar: it’s always an encouraging sign when you go in to a race, and even more so when it’s the Arc. He feels that he has made the right choice. With a week to go before the Arc, I can say that Adayar is in the form of his life right now.

“We toyed with the idea of going for the Arc with Hurricane Lane after he won the Grand Prix de Paris. Winning the St Leger and the Arc in the same year has never been done: so we took our time before making a firm decision straight after the St Leger. I feel that the St Leger was the easiest of his three big wins: he was very impressive at ParisLongchamp but, in terms of his racing weight and overall condition, we feel that he came out of the race in better shape after the St Leger – compared to his two other group 1 wins.

“After Doncaster, he was just kept ticking over, and he didn’t do any serious work until Saturday morning. James Doyle was in the saddle: which was the first time that he had ridden him. He was very happy: as the colt moved well, and worked as he usually does. It’s exciting to be able to go into a race, like the Arc, with two 3-year-olds which have rather different profiles. Adayar was an impressive winner of the Derby and King George, and he goes into the Arc on the strength of that. Hurricane Lane can make history by becoming the first St Leger winner to win the Arc [in the same season]. The forecast is for rain later in the week: and that will suit both colts.”

A race which has attracted some top class fillies and mares

The aforementioned two young pretenders are by no means home and hosed, as they will be up against some very talented fillies and mares. In the first instance they will have to contend with Tarnawa – the star mare of His Highness the Aga Khan. Now a 5-year-old, she has remained in training this year (mares of this age are usually retired to the paddocks so as pass on their much sought after gene pool to their progeny). Trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld, the mare will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon: a rider who boasts two prior Arc wins in the Aga Khan colours.

Also travelling over from Ireland are Love and Snowfall. Both are trained by Aidan O’Brien for the powerful Coolmore operation. Both fillies can draw on eloquent CVs despite the fact that they are coming off defeats.

“Everything is going well for Snowfall,” O’Brien said. “Since the Qatar Prix Vermeille, she hasn’t done any serious work and everyone is happy with her. Her performance in the Vermeille was a good one: she found herself in a race with no pace on fast ground, and the conditions were very different from those encountered in the Oaks for example. She’s got beaten but we’re glad we ran her in it, as it gave us a chance to see how she would act on good ground at ParisLongchamp. It’s probably better to be beaten, without everything going to plan, than to be beaten on the big occasion. The Vermeille was a prep race for the Arc. I think she’s quite indifferent to the state of the ground. Before Epsom, I was worried about the soft ground, but I think that stamina finally comes into play on this type of ground. If it’s soft on Sunday, it won’t be a problem.

“I think that Love is better on good ground. However, given that she’s now a 4-year-old, the filly should be able to handle soft ground that much better. If the ground gets really heavy, then it will be a problem. She won the Prince of Wales’s on her seasonal debut and we were very happy. There wasn’t enough pace in the King George on her subsequent start. Last time out at the Curragh, she got pipped at the post by a filly who was receiving 10lb and is rated 110. The Blandford Stakes was a prep race for the Arc: and, given that it was run over 2,000 metres with a bend, it was ideal.”

Hailing from Japan is Chrono Genesis. A star in her country and a quadruple Group 1 winner (the pinnacle in horse racing) to boot, she will carry the hopes of a whole nation, and one which has been coveting success in this race since 1969: the year which marked the appearance of the very first Japanese raider.

“The mare had already begun her preparation on a positive note in Japan, and she arrived in France in good condition,” said trainer Takashi Saito. “The flight went very well, and the mare was calm. She cantered on Wednesday when Oisin Murphy, her jockey in the Arc, was in the plate. I instructed him not to force it. She was very fluid in her paces – and so there are no concerns about her fitness.

“She hasn’t run since June but I’m not worried about that. In Japan, she runs every two months. This is her natural rhythm. She needs this recovery period between races and that’s how it should be.

“When the mare won the Arima Kinen last December, we started thinking about the Arc. There were several pathways to the race, and we made the choice to head to Dubai. The idea was to give her experience of racing abroad, in preparation for the Arc, and to get her used to the travel factor. I think that our trip to France was made easier by the experience in Dubai.

“I don’t have any concerns about the ground. I know it’s the subject of much debate, and is advanced to explain the defeat of the Japanese [horses] in the Arc. Chrono Genesis will adapt: as she gives of her best whatever the conditions. She is generous and will give 100 per cent on Sunday. I know that she will be up against very tough opposition, but my job is to ensure that she’s 100 per cent for the race. What matters to me is my mare. I have total confidence in her jockey. It’s an honor that she’s being touted in France as a leading Arc contender.”

The French will be out to upset calculations

The Gallic challenge only looks to have an ‘outside’ chance of landing the spoils this year – despite the fact that the home team are the defending champions, thanks to the 2020 success of Sottsass. The latter was trained at Deauville by Jean-Claude Rouget and ridden by Cristian Demuro.

A French quartet is expected to come under orders on Sunday. This includes a trio of 3-year-old colts and namely: Sealiway, second in the Qatar Prix du Jockey-Club in June but unraced since; plus Bubble Gift and Baby Rider. The latter pair were separated by a whisker in the Qatar Prix Niel: the traditional Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe prep reserved for 3-year-olds.

Fifth last year, the 4-y-old filly Raabihah will endeavour to do better this year by attempting to thrust Jean Claude Rouget and Cristian Demuro yet again into the spotlight.

The post O’Brien Sends Love, Snowfall Against Top 3-Year-Olds, Japan’s Chrono Genesis In 100th Arc De Triomphe appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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