Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2022: What the connections think

Aiden O'Brien, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 2022

The countdown is on to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2022 on Sunday when the eyes of the racing world will be on the famous Longchamp racecourse in Paris.

The race is one of the highlights of the global racing calendar and winning the big prize is one of the sport’s greatest achievements for all those connected to the champion horse.

Ahead of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2022, here are the thoughts of connections to some of the contenders in the build-up to the race.


Trainer Aiden O’Brien: “He’s good and everything has gone well since Leopardstown. We were delighted with his run and everything has been very good since.

“We think he’s in a good place and when we run we will know. It’s not long since he ran, so his work hasn’t been too tough, but we’re happy with everything he’s doing.

“I don’t think anybody wants extremes (of ground) and we’re the same. I suppose everybody is in the same boat, but hopefully it won’t get too bad.

“He won the Futurity Trophy on soft ground and he is by Camelot, who is by Montjeu, so hopefully he’ll handle it, but in an ideal world hopefully it’s not too soft.”


Trainer Toru Kurita: “Many prestigious, very good Japanese horses have come and tried it and haven’t won.

“For me personally it’s really a dream just to be at the start of this race and we will do as much as we can to win it.

“It’s very difficult to tell what the reaction would be in Japan. Obviously everybody would be super happy. Every year the horses come to Longchamp and have a lot of Japanese followers.

“We gave him a grass gallop this morning. There were two horses in front of him and he was waiting behind and he adapted himself very well to the ground.

“They went approximately a mile and a quarter, went slowly at the beginning and then quickened in the final four furlongs. The horse came close to joining the other ones in front. It was a good workout.

“It is very difficult to put a number on it (how much he can improve), but I can feel that the horse is getting better – he is improving and coming right for the race.”


Trainer Sir Mark Prescott: “She’s drawn in six and the experts say that’s not too bad. I’ll have to hope they are right.

“I haven’t looked into winning stalls yet, I’m still a bit put off from doing my own research as the last thing I looked for was the last five-year-old mare that won – and it was 1937!

“I don’t suppose many have tried having won five Group Ones, but on the other hand, those that had would normally be retired by now.

“So far she has got better and better with age, but can you do it again? That’s the question. They all reach a ceiling and it’s a case of ‘have we got there yet?’

“Her two wins this year have been her two most high-profile ones, certainly. But those German races last year were perhaps better than we realised.

“There were people pitying me and Miss Rausing, saying those German races didn’t really amount to much. Then, after the Arc, they were asking why she hadn’t run in it! It was all those who had been decrying the form!”


Georges Rimaud, racing manager for owner the Aga Khan: “It wasn’t an easy decision to run in the Arc rather than the Champion Stakes, but we looked at both races properly.

“He was beaten in the Irish Champion but after it we all got together and discussed it. Both the trainer and jockey think there is a good chance he will stay the trip. There may be a question mark about it but we feel he can do it.

“If we didn’t think he would stay we wouldn’t go, we think it’s worth trying. Should the ground be extreme, we may reconsider running but soft ground wouldn’t be a problem.”


Trainer John Gosden: “The ground was sticky and holding in Ireland and he wasn’t in love with that, but he was doing his best work at the end.

“He got a little bit out of it, he has won over a mile and a half, he’s won a Prix du Jockey Club, he’s won on soft ground.

“I’m perfectly aware of the quality of the race but it doesn’t have an outstanding star in it, to that extent a lot of people have been tempted.

“He’s pretty experienced, he’s been around the world this horse, we haven’t been frightened wherever he’s run. He’s won Saudi Cups, he’s raced in France, he’s raced in Ireland, he’s raced in England – he’s very international.

“He’s run on dirt, on soft turf, on heavy turf as a two-year-old at Nottingham, and firm ground and sand tracks. He’s a very versatile horse and all being well, he’ll be going to stud in France at the end of the season.”

Torquator Tasso

Trainer Marcel Weiss on a final pre-race workout: “It went really, really well. There was a symbiosis between the jockey and the horse, they were in harmony.

“It was very important that Frankie (Dettori) came. I wanted, as well as the owners, him to ride the horse on a track that’s right-handed because he’s definitely a different horse on a right-handed track than a left-handed track.

“Immediately after Baden-Baden the decision was made that Frankie would ride him in the Arc, Frankie agreed to that and we kept our word.

“Judging by the work he did, he goes into the race in the same form he did last year.”


Trainer Ralph Beckett: “It’s all systems go with Westover. We’re looking forward to it. His preparation has gone well.

“I’m very happy with the draw (seven) for Westover. Draws are all very well if you are good enough. You wouldn’t want a wide draw.

“All preparations have gone as well as can be expected. He is very well. Let’s hope he is good enough.”

Stay Foolish

Jockey Christophe Lemaire: “Stay Foolish has a different profile compared to the horses that have run the Classic races like Do Deuce, who has run in the Derby, and Titleholder, who has run in the Group Ones in Japan.

“He’s a horse who has improved a lot with age, especially over the longer trips. He’s maybe not as strong as a Derby winner but he has got a lot of experience.”


Trainer Aiden O’Brien: “He ran in America, which probably didn’t suit him, but we were very happy with his last run. We were using it as a prep for this race, we think he gets a mile and a half well and likes a big, open track.

“We think he might have found the tracks in America a little bit tight for him as sometimes he can step just a little bit slow from the stalls, especially at Saratoga the last time.

“Hopefully he can run a good race and there are plenty of races left for him in America or Japan or Hong Kong for the rest of the season.”

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