Sottsass was decisive in his Prix de Arc de Triomphe victory but the race was not without some controversy. Enable going for a third Arc win in her final race was running alongside her stablemate Stradivarius to her outside and Chachnak to her inside. As her rider Frankie Dettori looked for a seam to go through it appeared Chachnak decided to try and take a bite out of the champion mare. A credit to rider T Piccone who pulled his mount off Enable almost immediately. Both Enable and stablemate Stradivarius, who was ridden by Olivier Peslier, were then sandwiched together with both horses chances compromised at least a bit. Some think Chachnak was shying away from Christian Demuro’s crop aboard eventual winner Sottsass, but it looked more like an attempted savage to us.
When the smoke cleared it was Sottsass who was full of run under Christian Demuro and he spurted away from the field. Owned by Peter Brant who races primarily in the US with Chad Brown training most of his runners finally got a long sought after Prix de Arc de Triomphe win.
Trainer Jean Claude Rouget said he pointed Sottsass to this race all year. He said he felt good about his chances coming into the race and felt he deserved the win after running a good third last year.
It was not the storybook ending for the great career of Enable but she really loses no stature in this loss. Her resume speaks for itself, and the trip in the Arc finale was no fault of her or her rider. John Gosden brought her ready, but unusually heavy ground and the incident in the straight did her no favors.
Even with the late defection of all the Ballydoyle horses the Arc remains a most difficult race to win. Along with the Kentucky Derby and Melbourne Cup the Arc is right there with the three most difficult flat races to win in the world. Enable leaves her racing career with two wins, a second, and a troubles off the board finish in the storied race.
Sottsass raised his stock among the best in Europe this year with the powerful win.
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