COME AND WATCH SOME THRILLING THOROUGHBRED RACES !
With nine races scheduled over the course of the day, seven of which have Group status, the Qatar Arc Trials are a veritable springboard for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Three weeks before the main event, numerous Arc hopefuls will step out onto the hallowed Chantilly turf for a final dress rehearsal.
A day of sporting action that you don't want to miss!
BATEEL, ridden by jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot, wins the 2017 Qatar Prix Vermeille!
Relive the race:
QATAR PRIX VERMEILLE
6th and penultimate flat stage of the EPIQE Series
The Qatar Prix Vermeille is run over the classic distance of a mile-and-a-half, just like the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. This Group 1 race boasts a purse of 350,000 euros and is contested by some of Europe’s most talented mares and fillies.
Often the first time that the year’s 3-year-old fillies come up against their more experienced counterparts, the Qatar Prix Vermeille was won by Zarkava in 2008 and by Trêve in 2013, two fillies that were unbeaten aged 3 and went on to triumph over their male peers in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three weeks later!
This race is closely followed by racing connoisseurs, as six of the last ten winners of the Arc − the most important flat race in the world and the final flat stage of the EPIQE Series – have been female.
BATEEL, ridden by jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot, wins the 2017 Qatar Prix Vermeille !
Francis-Henri Graffard, trainer of Bateel (1st)
“To win a race like this, all credit has to go to the filly. She loves soft ground. She has a lot of character, and the team at home has done a great job with her. Her morning rider knows her by heart. She worked well coming into this race. Pierre-Charles gave her a good ride, as he never let Journey out of his sight. She is a filly with a lot of stamina, and that showed in the finish.
She is not entered in the Arc. When the entries were being made, she wasn’t at this level. She has another option at Ascot. She runs well fresh, and the Arc is in three weeks. I am ready to supplement her if she is well but I will have to talk to her owners. Today she was a bit uptight in the parade ring but not in a bad way. The gamble has paid off.”
Lanfranco Dettori, jockey of Journey (2nd)
“She has run very well and she was beaten by a filly who handled the ground better than her. She will now be aimed at the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes in October at Ascot.”
Carlos Laffon-Parias, trainer of Left Hand (3rd)
“Today, Left Hand beat the filly who was in front of her at Deauville [Ajman Princess, ndlr]. She had an easy run, but 2.400m is perhaps her maximum trip. She was settled in her stride and put up a good performance against very good fillies. We will see her again in the Prix de l’Opéra Longines (Gr1) for certain.”
Nicolas Clément, trainer of Traffic Jam (4th)
“Traffic Jam has given her owners great excitement. It was a first Gr1 for them and for the filly. She has backed up her performance in the Pomone. We are delighted. For now, we will let her recover and think about her future programme.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard, representing Godolphin, owner of Strathspey (5th)
“She ran well. She didn’t get an ideal run, but she found her rhythm to finish. The Prix Vermeille was her objective, so we will have to see for her next race. We are pleased with her.”
Relive the 2017 edition :
QATAR PRIX FOY
A race reserved for male and female thoroughbreds aged 4 and over, the Qatar Prix Foy brings together Europe’s best older horses that favour the classic mile-and-a-half distance.
With a purse of 130,000 euros, this Group 2 event has seen many of its winners go on to place in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three weeks later, such as Japanese cracks Orfèvre and El Condor Pasa.
DSCHINGIS SECRET, ridden by jockey Adrie DE VRIES, wins the 2017 Qatar Prix Foy!
THE REACTIONS FROM THE CONNECTIONS :
Horst Pudwill, owner of Dschingis Secret (1st)
“We will see him back here in the Arc and he will be our first ever runner in the race. Today he had his ground and he will take part in the big race if the ground is soft enough. He won’t run if it’s firm. If the rain comes, my representative could be on the podium for the Arc. But you never know. Look at Danedream. We hope that the rain will come between now and then. He is a horse that has improved with age and he only likes running right handed. This Sunday, he was the best horse in the race.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard, representing Godolphin, the owner of Cloth of Stars (2nd) and Talismanic (3rd)
“Cloth of Stars hadn’t run since the Prix Ganay, on the 1st May. He needed the race. However that’s no bad thing. He will improve in condition for the Arc.
Talismanic ran to a high mark as always. He is just below these horses here. He won’t run in the Arc. However there are other races for him over 2.400m abroad.”
Christophe Lemaire, jockey of Satono Diamond (4th)
“I have the impression that everyone is asking questions about the leader, that he ran in bursts. Maybe, but we went at a regular pace with Satono Diamond. He took four or five big breaths during the race, I think that there was a lack of pace in the race as well as a lack of condition in the horse. The ground was not optimal. He hasn’t run since May, and he lacked the necessary resources in the final 200 meters. In these conditions, and against Group 1 horses, we are in our place. This race will bring him on, open up his lungs. I think that he will respond better in three weeks. That aside, if the ground should get even softer, it won’t be ideal for us.”
Relive the 2017 edition :
QATAR PRIX NIEL
The Qatar Prix Niel, a Group 2 race with a purse of 130,000 euros that is open to 3-year-old colts and fillies, is a last opportunity for these young champions to measure up to one another over the classic mile-and-a-half distance before lining up alongside their elders in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Regularly finishing in the frame in the Arc, numerous winners of the Qatar Prix Niel have gone on to win this Holy Grail of flat races, most recently Rail Link, Hurricane Run and Dalakhani.
CRACKSMAN, ridden by jockey Lanfranco Dettori, wins the 2017 Qatar Prix Niel !
THE REACTIONS FROM THE CONNECTIONS :
Anthony Oppenheimer, owner of Cracksman (1st)
“He is a very good horse. He is not far off being as good as Golden Horn at the same period in his career. That’s what the ratings say anyways. As far as the Arc goes, Dettori will be riding another horse. And I don’t think that Cracksman would like to be ridden by anyone else. There are a lot of good jockeys, but there’s only one Frankie. Cracksman is still improving. In the Epsom Derby, he was still immature. He has strengthened up since, and is coming on week by week. Coming here, we didn’t want him to have a hard race, either physically or mentally. That’s what has happened. The objective is to preserve him for his 4 year old season. He won’t run in the Arc 2017. To give him hard race this year would compromise his 4 year old season. To not run this year is a risk, as there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a horse. But it is a risk that I am willing to take. He will be back here at 4.”
Lanfranco Dettori, jockey of Cracksman (1st)
“He has run well today, and he did it well, despite the ground being too soft for him. I don’t think that he has beaten a high class group of horses here. He is an improving colt, he will be better again at 4 years old. He is strengthening up. It’s not easy to compare him to Golden Horn as he was more mature at this point in the season than Cracksman. The Arc? That’s for his owner and trainer to decide. As far as I go, I will riding Enable in the Gr1. She has won four Gr1’s with plenty in hand each time. I will be in any case delighted if Cracksman stays in training at 4.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard, representing Godolphin, the owner of Avilius (2nd)
“What the horse has done today is very promising. We are very happy. He has improved steadily throughout the year, and we are looking forward to next year with him. It is too soon to say whether or not he will run in the Arc. It will depend partly on the ground. Maybe if the ground is really soft, we will let him take his chance. First of all he needs to recover from this race…”
Vincent Cheminaud, jockey of Finche (3rd)
“The horse ran well. The ground did him no favours. I didn’t ask him to do too much. I knew that the first two would like the ground. I was thinking about his future, and wanted to give Finche a good experience for his next race.”
Relive the 2017 edition:
Japanese horses have won this Group 2 three times: with El Condor Pasa in 1999, and with Orfèvre in 2012 and 2013.
These two horses have a point in common: they both went on to finish second in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after these wins.
Only one filly has won the Qatar Prix Vermeille, Group 1 for three year old and up fillies, 6th leg of the EpiqE Series, twice : the champion Trêve in 2013 and 2015.
The Qatar Prix Vermeille is a singular race in the Arc Trials: with Group 1 status, can also function as a prep for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as well as an objective in itself.
ELEVEN YEARS AGO
This year at ParisLongchamp, during the weekend of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the 11th edition of the Qatar Arabian World Cup, the biggest Purebred Arabian race in the world, took place. These horses, who represent the breed that is the origin of the English thoroughbred, have a rendez-vous this Sunday in the Qatar Cup – Prix Dragon, which serves as a prep race for the big day.
The Qatar Arc Trials and the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe are always separated by three weeks. The delay is not arbitrary, but rather well thought out.
Three weeks is the ideal time between a prep race, often a comeback, and the main objective. The prep race allows the horse to improve its physical condition, and a three week delay is perfect for a horse to completely recover from the race and arrive at the top of its form for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
During this time, it is up to the trainer to refine the horse’s preparation in the morning, to have him at 100% for D-day.