Sunday's meeting at ParisLongchamp proved to be a day to remember for a whole host of British based connections, with no less than five Group 1 races on the card going to British trainers.
An upset was witnessed in the opener on the card, as 27/1 shot Lily’s Candle, managed to get up in the last few strides to deny Matematica (103p), providing France with their only Group 1 victory on the card in the Prix Marcel Boussac. Richard Hannon's Star Terms did however manage to hit the frame, finishing in third by the narrowest of margins.
From that race onwards however, the British-based trainers dominated in the French capital.
Royal Marine landed the Jean-Luc Lagadere under the in-form Oisin Murphy for trainer Saeed bin Suroor, gaining a first victory at Group level. The Ballydoyle representitive, Broome, finished in second, whilst the odds-on favourite for the race, Anodor, could only manage third.
Interestingly, Royal Marine's performance on the day was rated slightly below the 10-year average required to take the race. Thus, a reproduction of that performance would see him fall short of the standard set by the likes of Quorto, Too Darn Hot and Ten Sovereigns, with the latter two potentially meeting in Saturday's Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Switching attention to the feature race on the card, it's certain that the 2018 renewal of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will live long in the memory of race fans worldwide. A thrilling finish saw Enable retain her Arc crown, as she just held on from Sea of Class, who had picked up extremely well in the closing stages, only to be narrowly denied towards the line. That victory wrote Enable in the history books, as she became the first British-trained horse to win two Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe's, as well as becoming only the eigth horse in history to achieve that feat.
For sure it was a dramatic Arc, but it wasn’t a vintage Arc when looking at the Timeform ratings achieved by those involved. A more congested finish this year impacts that, and just over a 4 length gap back to the ninth-placed horse this year, shows stark contrast to what was over 7 lengths and almost 10 lengths back to the ninth placed horses the previous two years.
This has been reflected in the Timeform ratings achieved. Focussing on Enable's winning performance this year, she achieved a Timeform rating of 127, compared to the 133 achieved 12 months prior. The figures certainly bear out that the John Gosden-trained filly wasn’t at her best, but despite that and her disrupted preparation, she still got the job done under Frankie Dettori.
Sea of Class showed a blistering turn of foot as she weaved through the field, only to be narrowly denied by Enable in the final few strides. Resultant of that performance, the William Haggas-trained filly registered a Timeform rating of 128, showing a marked improvement on her rating going into the race.
WOW! WHAT A RACE!— Timeform Live (@TimeformLive) October 7, 2018
ENABLE becomes the first British trained dual winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe!
Massive run from Sea of Class in 2nd coming from where she did!
Another winner for Godolphin on the card came in the form of 2018 Nassu Stakes winner Wild Illusion. Ridden by William Buick, the daughter of Dubawi gained a second successive win on Arc day by taking the Prix de l’Opera, with Magic Wand reproducing her form from the Prix Vermeille, again finishing second. That victory for the Charlie Appleby-trained filly was her third success at Group 1 level.
Looking forward, a mouth-watering match-up with five-time Group 1 winner, Laurens, could well be on the horizon for Wild Illusion in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, should connections opt for that. Having previously met in the Guineas earlier in the campaign, there’ll be nothing between the pair of them – in theory – if both go to USA.
Narrowly denied in the Nunthorpe in one of the closest photo finishes of recent years, Mabs Cross confirmed her earlier promise to land a first Group 1 win in the Prix de l’Abbaye, with the Michael Dods trained-filly getting the better of Gold Vibe. Soldier’s Call ran an excellent race for a 2-y-o against older horses, achieving the best placing by a horse of that age since Kingsgate Native in 2007.
Never out of the places in Group 1 company and now a breakthrough success at the top level - Mabs Cross wins the Prix de l'Abbaye for Gerald Mosse and Michael Dods! @paris_longchamp pic.twitter.com/Jc6tSwD7H3— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) October 7, 2018
One Master gave trainer William Haggas some consolation for Sea of Class’s defeat in the Arc by taking the Prix de la Foret very narrowly from Inns of Court and Dutch Connection, with the latter-named running his best race for over two years.
Published at 3.50 pm.