Ace Impact made a sweeping move past the field heading into the final straight, took charge with about 200 meters to go and won the €5 million ($5.29 million US) Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Longchamp on Sunday to remain unbeaten.
The Ireland-bred 3-year-old was ridden by Italian jockey Cristian Demuro for French trainer Jean-Claude Roguet.
Sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the 15-horse field, Ace Impact extended his winning streak to six in a row, and this win earned the bay colt an all-fees paid, automatic berth in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.
The Arc, considered one of the greatest races in the world, was the centerpiece on a day that co-featured several other Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’’ races.
Racing near the rear of the pack after breaking from gate 8, Ace Impact, as is his running style, bided his time over a turf listed as good to soft through much of the race.
But as the field came out of the final right-hand turn to hit the stretch, Demuro had guided Ace Impact a bit outside and caught the leaders. He seemed to be on cruise control over the final few hundred meters, and Demuro stood up in his saddle raising his right arm in victory even before hitting the finish line.
“Once the horse goes, it’s a different horse. Incredible,’’ Demuro told broadcaster M6 moments after the race.
Westover, sent off at 11-2, was second, followed by Onesto, Through Seven Seas, and Continuous.
Frankie Dettori, riding in his 34th and final Arc before retiring, finished 13th aboard Free Wind.
“The Arc has been a great race for me,’’ Dettori, a six-time winner of the race, said. “It’s been a good journey and I’m bowing out with a smile.”
Westover ran a strong race to finish second, and trainer Ralph Beckett said a trip to the BC Turf is likely.
At the top of the straight, I thought we were in business, but there was one better,’’ Becket said. “I always fancied the Breeders’ Cup Turf for him as he enjoys his time away … That race is shaping up to be the best ever, but that’s life and I think we’ll probably go.”
It was the second Arc win in four years Rouget and Demuro – they teamed up and won with Sottsass in 2020.
In the other BC “Win and You’re In” races at Longchamp:
Rosallion rebounded from a third-place finish in the Champagne Stakes last month at Doncaster and overtook Unquestionable in the stretch to gain the victory and earn a fees-paid, automatic spot in the BC Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Trainer Richard Hannon said Rosallion will likely bypass the Breeders’ Cup in favor of preparing for a 2024 season.
“We always thought he was a Group 1 horse, whether that’s arrogant or not that’s what we thought. Today he never looked like getting beat,’’ Hannon said. “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.”
Aidan O’Brien, who trains Unquestionable, said he would consider running him in the BC Juvenile Turf.
Opera Singer took charge from the start and easily extended her lead in the final 200 meters for a dominant victory that earned the 2-year-old filly an all-fees paid, automatic berth in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Opera Singer, a daughter of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify trained by Aidan O’Brien, was ridden by Ryan Moore. The filly has won three of five races, all at the 1-mile distance.
A trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup is possible.
“It’s very possible, obviously it will depend on what the lads want to do, but she is by Justify and has plenty of experience if they want to go there,’’ O’Brien told ITV Racing.
Moore has been high on Opera Singer for a while, especially after her impressive win at The Curragh at a mile in late August.
“I thought she was impressive all the way through the line,’’ Moore said, “and I thought it was a very strong performance.”
Highfield Princess got back to her winning ways with a strong final run to the wire to take the 5-furlong sprint and earn an all-fees paid, automatic berth in the BC Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Perdika was second and Aesop’s Fables third.
The 5-year-old mare finished a surprising fifth in the Flying Five Stakes (G1) at The Curragh on Sept. 10.
At Newmarket, England, Ghostwriter made it 3-for-3 with a victory in the 1-mile Royal Lodge (G2) in his first start in stakes company. The victory earned the 2-year-old colt an all-fees paid, automatic berth in the BC Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
The winning margin over Al Musmak was 1 ¼ lengths, with 9-5 favorite Capulet third.
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.