Bary has handled a host of top-class runners during his lengthy career, sending out Classic winners in France, Britain and Ireland as well as saddling three Breeders’ Cup winners.
However, he has yet to taste success in the crown jewel of French racing, with Sulamani coming closest when finishing a three-quarter-length second to Marienbard in 2002 after Croco Rouge finished third behind Montjeu in 1999.
The Chantilly-based handler has plenty of faith in his challenger this year though, with Feed The Flame having made huge strides since his racecourse bow in April, finishing fourth to the reopposing Ace Impact in the Prix du Jockey Club before going on to land the Grand Prix de Paris over the Arc course and distance in July.
While he had to settle for second place behind Fantastic Moon in his Prix Niel trial earlier this month, Bary believes the Kingman colt might find conditions more to his liking on Sunday.
He said: “He’s a very good horse, he has a very good temperament and he gets the mile and a half really, really well. I think on the day of the Arc, the ground will be slightly different and he will be more comfortable on that ground.
“Anything a bit softer than the ground he encountered in the Jockey Club, Grand Prix de Paris and Prix Niel would be appreciated.”
Feed The Flame was beaten two and a half lengths by Fantastic Moon – who could yet be supplemented for Sunday’s race – and Bary felt the decision to field King Of Records as a pacemaker perhaps played into the winner’s hands.
He explained: “I think I made a mistake by running a pacemaker because he worked much more for the German horse than he did for us. It’s not an easy race to run in because to bring a horse on from July 14 to the beginning of September, there’s not a lot of time.
“Christophe (Soumillon) sort of asked him when he came down into the false straight but at that point on that good ground, the German horse had taken off and Christophe was intelligent enough to just let the horse finish his race because he actually was probably missing a bit of work before he went into the race.
“The aim was not to have a race that was going to be too hard, but at the moment he was so far behind in the final straight, Christophe actually judged it was too late to ask him for a massive effort to bring him closer to the leader.”
Waiting tactics are usually employed on Feed The Flame and Bary does not anticipate any change to the plan in the Arc, even though he is likely to encounter the biggest field of his career to date, with 14 currently in contention after Sprewell dropped out at Tuesday’s second forfeit stage.
Bary said: “He’s a horse that knows how to accelerate and you have to ride him to his strengths. We have to adapt to the horse, he’s not going to adapt to us. In a race with a lot of pace and runners, this should not be an issue.
“If he is to the back of the field, there’s enough time to come forward. When he ran in the Jockey Club, Ace Impact was behind him and came through so he’s obviously the horse to beat. I don’t know much about the opposition but if Ace Impact can come forward, Feed The Flame is capable of accelerating.”
Feed The Flame is owned by Jean-Louis Bouchard and Bary is delighted to have a live contender for a long-standing ally.
He added: “It’s amazing that we have such a good horse towards the end of my career. Jean-Louis is very positive, we go to the race together and it’s a great opportunity.
“If he doesn’t win this year, he will win next year!”
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