Unbeaten Ace Impact Faces 14 in Qatar Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe

September 29, 2023

Hukum (outside) battles Westover for the win in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series). (Kaz Ishida/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

The Arc is one of five Win and You’re In Races at ParisLongchamp on Sunday

Jim Gluckson/Breeders’ Cup

PARIS ― Ace Impact (IRE) has been declared for this Sunday’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), where he will take on 14 rivals as he looks to maintain his unbeaten record. The winner of the 1 1/2-mile contest will gain an automatic berth into the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 80 graded/group stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. 

The Arc is the centerpiece of a spectacular day of racing at ParisLongchamp, featuring five Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races.

Ace Impact, owned by Gousserie Racing & Ecuries Serge Stempniak and trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, has progressed with each run since his Jan. 23 debut. The son of Cracksman (GB) was most impressive when landing the June 4 Qatar Prix du Jockey Club (G1) by 3 1/2 lengths on his penultimate start with a career-best effort.

Speaking earlier in the week, Rouget, who won this contest back in 2020 courtesy of Sottsass (FR), said: “Why should I not be optimistic? I have an unbeaten horse and he has done everything we have asked of him. His jockey (Cristian Demuro) is very calm, and he will be cold in Paris. The horse is going to Longchamp for the first time, but I have no worries he will handle the occasion.”

Among the opposition are three classy colts from the UK. The Derrick Smith, Mrs.  John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Westerberg-owned Continuous (JPN) bagged a Classic when an authoritative winner of the Sept. 16 Betfred St Leger (G1) at Doncaster. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won this race twice, in 2007 and 2016.

The Owen Burrows-trained Hukum (IRE) has come of age this year. After a fine victory on his seasonal comeback, he took his form to a whole new level to win the July 29 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) by a head over Westover (GB), earning an automatic berth in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Trained byRalph BecketttheJuddmonte-owned son of Frankel (GB) has already tasted group 1 success in France when securing the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) in convincing fashion two starts ago.

Moss Tucker, Art Power Face Off in Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines

Hat-trick-seeking Moss Tucker (IRE) and Clive Cox trainee Get Ahead (GB) will do battle once again in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1). The winner of the 5-furlong contest will gain an automatic berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).

Moss Tucker and Get Ahead fought out a thrilling finish Sept. 10 to the Al Basti Equiworld Flying Five Stakes (G1) at The Curragh when the Charlie Bit Me Syndicate-owned 5-year-old emerged victorious by a half-length after Highfield Princess (FR) produced a rare below-par run to end up fifth.

The rapidly improving Tom Clover-trained Rogue Lightning (IRE) is pitched into group company for the very first time at the highest level and adds further depth to an already well contested race.

Lumiere Rock, Al Husn Line Up for Prix de l’Opera Longines

The Michael O’Flynn-owned Lumiere Rock (IRE) was a ready winner of the Sept. 10 Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes (G2) at The Curragh. The daughter of Saxon Warrior (JPN) will hope to build upon that effort back in group 1 company. The winner of the 1 1/4-mile contest will gain an automatic berth into the $2 million Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

Al Husn (IRE) was on a roll prior to finishing a well-beaten ninth in the Aug. 24 Pertemps Network Yorkshire Oaks (G1) when the Shadwell Estate Company Ltd-owned 4-year-old clearly failed to stay the 1 1/2-mile distance. The return to this 1 1/4-mile trip should suit the Qatar Nassau Stakes (G1) winner. 

Darnation Faces Nine in Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium des Pouliches

The Karl Burke-trained Darnation (IRE) is going from strength to strength with each run and the Newtown Anner Stud Farm-owned 2-year-old faces her toughest yet in the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium des Pouliches (G1) this weekend. The winner of the 1-mile contest will gain an automatic berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

There are a couple of unknown quantities in this contest in the shape of the Wathnan Racing-owned Julica (FR) as well as the Andre Fabre-trained Zandy (IRE). Emphatic recent Curragh scorer Opera Singer should not be discounted either, as trainer Aidan O’Brien has won this race four times.

Beauvatier Among Nine for Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere

The Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere is one of the most exciting races on the card, with the unbeaten duo of Philippe Allaire & Haras D’Etreham’s Beauvatier (FR) and theDerrick Smith & Mrs. John Magnier & Michael Taborowned Henry Adams (IRE) set to go head-to-head. The winner of the 7-furlong contest will gain an automatic berth into the $1 million Prevagen Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). 

The Richard Fahey-trained Native American (IRE) looked like a juvenile to follow when he took his career record to 2-2 at The Curragh Sep. 10, while Rosallion (IRE) has something to prove after a disappointing run in the Sept. 16 Betfred Champagne Stakes (G2). Jayarebe (FR) is another interesting contender. He takes a steep rise in grade after just one run which was a winning one for trainer Brian Meehan.

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winners of the Challenge Series races to start at this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 23 to receive the rewards.

@PastTheWire took your advice and singled the 6 in race 7 at GP! Took down all pick 3's including the last one twice! #membership

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