Belmont Derby Day
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Stephen Foster Night
Jockey Frankie Dettori with his trophy for winning the Prix du Cadran Casino les Princes Barriere de Cannes (G1) aboard Sergeant Cecil
Although the big race of the day is the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, it is just one of six Group 1 stakes on the card. The other races include the Prix de l'Opera at 1 1/4 miles for the fillies and mares, the Prix Du Cadran at 2 1/2 miles, the Prix de l'Abbaye at 5 furlongs, the Prix Jean-Luc Lagard Grand Criterium at 7 furlongs for the juvenile colts, and the Prix Marcel Boussac Criterium des Pouliches at 1 mile for the juvenile fillies. All races on Arc day were contested over the "Grande Piste" turf course at Longchamp except the Prix de l'Abbaye which was run over the "Ligne Droite" or straight line course. You can find results chart for all the races with a link to the photo finish shot for each here.
Mandesha wins the Prix De l'Opera Casino Barriere d'Enghien-Les-Bains over Satwa Queen
Ever ebullient jockey Christophe Soumillon celebrates his win aboard Mandesha. Soumillon said, "At the entrance to the straight I took advantage of the other fillies who were retreating. She didn't have a lot of space which explains why she didn't have the same vim as the other days. But once she was able to get involved she ran like a great horse." Winning owner Princess Zahra Khan said, "The Arc is a dream which will carry on to next year." Winning breeder the Aga Khan said, "We opted for the Opera instead of the Arc when we decided she would stay in training and besides three-year-old fillies don't have a good record in the race."
Jockey Frankie Dettori celebrates as Sergeant Cecil wins the Prix du Cadran
Sergeant Cecil returns after the race as Dettori continues to celebrate. Dettori said, "This is my 32nd group 1 in France. I am delighted to win it with a horse who has been beaten last year at handicap level. After a Group 3 and then two Group 2s, he deserved to win a Group 1. You will have seen that he was really switched off at the back, this is really important as it saved his energy. His fans must have been afraid at the entrance to the straight. I knew that he had an unbelievable acceleration in the last two furlongs at this distance and I always believed in him." Trainer Rod Millman added, "This is the best feeling I've ever had from racing. This is my first group 1 race and it's a sensational feeling to win at this great meeting. It's like winning at the Cheltenham Festival, only I've never done that so I wouldn't know! The horse was never struggling. Coming into the straight I thought he might not get there but he's so tough. Sergeant Cecil is seven years old but he's not had a hard life so hopefully he'll be racing for a while yet. Next year we'll try again for the Ascot Gold Cup."
Desert Lord wins the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Majestic Barriere (G1)
Jockey Jamie Spencer smiles for the camera at the trophy presentation for the Prix de l'Abbaye. Winning trainer Kevin Ryan said, "He's a very very good horse who's very very fast. He has to have pace in his races. He is genuine but needs blinkers to help him concentrate. He'll be nominated for the Hong Kong Sprint and I think he has an ideal profile for that race as he's a fast ground horse."
Holy Roman Emperor is all alone at the finish of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium)
The stretch run of the Grand Criterium with Battle Paint out front and Holy Roman Emperor rallying on the outside. Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "He's a very good horse who is getting better with every outing. Racing really brings out the best in him. He's tough, quickens and stays. Depending on how he comes out of this race, he could go for the Dewhurst Stakes. He missed an engagement in France (Morny) before the National Stakes (where he finished second) so his schedule was slightly out. I'm really looking forward to him next year. He certainly gets a mile and might get further if he has to." Jockey Kieren Fallon added, "He's a top miler in the making. When he took the lead, he sort of idled a bit but probably more because of the crowd's roar. He's a very genuine colt."
Finsceal Beo winning the Prix Marcel Boussac Criterium des Pouliches Royal Barriere de Deauvil by five lengths
Finsceal Beo heads back to the barn in her winner's blanket after the race. Winning trainer Jim Bolger said, "She's got a lot of improvement to come. She missed a bit of the summer so then we were chasing her a bit in terms of a race. We ran in a handicap to give her a race and she finished second, then the Goffs Million where she had a bad run. That's it for the season. She'll probably go straight for the Guineas now. She's more precocious than Alexander Goldrun." Jockey Kevin Manning added, "When we got the gap on the rail she took her time to engage gear but mid-way along the straight she really accelerated well and reached the post without being challenged. She is improving well and getting tougher with every outing."
If you want to understand some of the differences between racing in North America and France, check here.
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