Arc trials quotes from best horses' connections

11 September 2017


Quotes from the connections of the best horses of Qatar Arc Trials day at Chantilly on Sunday...

Qatar Prix Vermeille (Gr1)

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.”

Qatar Prix Niel (Gr2)

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 toady, 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.”

Qatar Prix Foy (Gr2)

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.”

Qatar Cup-Prix Dragon (Gr1 PA)

Julian Smart, trainer of Ebraz (1st) and Gazwan (3rd):

“Ebraz and Gazwan will run in the Qatar Arabian World Cup with a leader, probably Ba’Sil. Ebraz is not at the top of his condition and he will improve from this race. He is a very good horse who goes on any ground. The World Cup distance is perfect for him. I don’t like to say too much at this stage, but I think that he is the best 4 year old that I have ever trained. For the big race, I think that the ones to watch out for are Tayf and Thomas Fourcy’s horses. I have won the race three times, but only with fillies. I hope that Ebraz will be the first colt to give us a victory in the race.”

Alban de Mieulle, trainer of Yazeed (2nd):

“He has run very well for a comeback. He finished in front of Gazwan, who is a very good horse, but the winner was a cut above them today. The horse really needed the run. We felt that he was a little round. Yazeed spent a long time on the sidelines as he had a bad foot abscess that took a long time to come right. We had to wait and wait. He could have had a run three weeks ago, but I preferred to wait for the race today and then go to the big one. I hope that I will be proved right. He will run in the World Cup where we also have Tayf, who is very different: he shows nothing in the morning, he is very undemonstrative and he does the minimum. With Tayf, you have to come at the very last moment, whereas Yazeed has a lot of heart.”

Thomas Fourcy, trainer of Al Hayyem (4th):

“The horse ran his race. When he was 800m from the post, he was nearly beaten. We thought that his race was over. But he ran all the way to the line. He is just below the best horses. He is a horse that has run all over in order to avoid meeting the top horses. However, now I don’t have much choice. I decided to give this race a try. He will now have an easy time for the rest of the year. We will bring him back next year, abroad, in easier races. He is a straightforward horse, easy to ride, who can adapt to any tactics. The only thing is that he is a bit limited compared to the best horses, and he needs to avoid them.”