Trio of three-year-olds supplemented to Arc
Thursday 4 October 2012
By Ashley Wishaw
Saonois was one of three horses supplemented into Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Thursday morning.
Trainer Jean-Pierre Gauvin and village baker Pascal Treyve, the shared owners, found the €100,000 necessary to put their horse into the Longchamp contest.
The Rothschild family also found the required funds to supplement Great Heavens, the Irish Oaks winner who will be joined in the race by Alain de Royer-Dupre's Bayrir, the Secretariat Stakes victor.
The trio of three-year-olds join Camelot, Masterstroke, Kesampour, Ernest Hemingway and Yellow And Green from the Classic generation. Three-year-olds have won 15 of the last 18 runnings of the Arc.
Saonois is the shortest of the three in the betting at 8-1 with Coral and William Hill, but is as short as 13-2 with Bet365 after a field of 18 went through this morning.
It is a price that few will contest in France, with Dupre describing him as a serious rival to all.
Dupre saddled Bayrir to finish second to Saonois in the Niel at Longchamp and fears greatly the mount of first season jockey Antoine Hamelin.
“Saonois is a top horse and has a very strong turn of foot. He could be very dangerous if the ground is going to be soft,” Dupre, who has won the Arc with Dalakhani and Zarkarva, told Racing UK.
Trained in St Cyr Les Vignes in the south of France by Jean-Pierre Gauvin, Saonois has not had the most traditional preparations for the Arc.
Although he won the Prix Niel, he has already run 13 times and met defeat on his seasonal bow on the all-weather at Cagnes-Sur-Mer.
“He has to be respected and is a gutsy little horse,” Nicolas Clement, trainer of Yellow And Green, said.
Great Heavens is a full-sister to Nathaniel, but has yet to reach the same kind of heights as tyhe Coral Eclipse winner, who was dramatically scratched from the race this week.
The Clarehaven trainer has hailed the owners for stumping up 100,000 euros to add her to the Longchamp showpiece. She has not raced since her triumph at the Currgah in July.
"It wasn't a straightforward decision but she's working nicely and is in good order, Gosden said.
"They had significant rain in Paris overnight, so a few things weighed in favour of running and I think the owners have made a very sporting decision to let her take her chance."
William Hill make Great Heavens a 12-1 shot to claim Arc glory, with Japanese star Orfevre and Aidan O'Brien's Camelot the joint-favourites at 11-4.