Galileo’s 5yo son Waldgeist denied Enable in her bid for an unprecedented third Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory , pouncing late to score an upset victory at Longchamp on Sunday to defeat John Gosden’s mare.
Enable, ridden by Frankie Dettori, appeared to be set for a famous third success in the showpiece race after mastering three-year-old challengers Sottsass and Japan.
But Waldgeist stayed on past all three to prevail for trainer André Fabre, jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot – and France – with Enable an honourable runner-up.
Fabre, when asked in advance how he was going to beat Enable said: “I don’t want to shoot Bambi!”
Gosden was full of praise for both the winning connections, and his own vanquished heroine.
“She ran an absolutely brilliant race,” he told ITV Racing.
“Waldgeist came late and strong – it was a good pace up there. Frankie committed, and went for it, and just the last part, in the ground testing her, it’s hard to show that explosive turn of foot – and Waldgeist has outstayed her on the ground. Full marks to André.”
Reflecting on the 16-1 victory, Fabre said: “I always hope for the very best when I run my horses in the Arc, which of course is a very special race for me. With Waldgeist, he carried my highest expectation.
“I knew the ground would be very testing, but I look back to his days as a two-year-old, when he won in the heavy, and that made me more confident that he would finish his race off well. I don’t know whether he will run again this year and I will talk to the owner about that.”
He added: “I’m very proud that Waldgeist managed to beat such a fantastic mare, it’s well deserved in some ways. What can I say? I’m delighted.”
Waldgeist finished fifth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.
He entered Sunday’s Arc off a victory over the course and at the distance in the Gr2 Prix Foy.
The winner earned €3 150 000
- Reporting www.guardian.com / SP Editorial Staff