Sunday, October 6, 2002
Marienbard wins Arc de Triomphe 2002
by Marc Elie JERUSALMI
A famous victory at Longchamp.
Marienbard (Ireland) took the lead in the final 150 yards. Lanfranco DETTORI rode Marienbard to upset Arc de Triomphe 2002 victory (happy trainer: Saeed BIN SUROOR, UK).
Marienbard held off Sulamani by three-quarters of a length to win the "Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe" (Prix Lucien Barrière 2002 - group 1, 3 yo+ entire Colts and Fillies only, 2,400 m, 1,600,000 €uros, LONGCHAMP) on Sunday. The five-year-old Marienbard, sent off at odds of 16-1, gave Sheik MOHAMMED's Dubai-based Godolphin Racing its second straight victory in Europe's top horse race.
Sulamani (Ireland, ridden by Thierry THULLIEZ), the French Derby winner, was the second choice at 4-1, while 3-1 favourite High Chaparral (Ireland, ridden by Michael-J. KINANE, Epsom Derby & Irish Derby 2002 winner), was a disappointing third.
Aquarelliste (France, by Danehill - Agathe (Manila) - ridden by Dominique BOEUF), last year's runner-up, finished sixth behind Califet (France, ridden by Thierry JARNET) and Islington (Ireland, ridden by Kieran-Francis FALLON).
Ridden by "Frankie" DETTORI, Marienbard (M5, by Caerleon - Marienbad (Darsham), 59.5 kg) won the 1½-mile Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in 2:26.70.
"Marienbard was going really well. He was a little slow away but I found myself in a beautiful spot where I had High Chaparral and Aquarelliste in front of me, in fifth and sixth", Frankie DETTORI said.
"I thought I had a great chance. I love this place! I love Longchamp!... I thought that's ideal, just ride my race and I managed to angle out and for a minute I thought I hope this gap doesn't close as I went by Mick (KINANE jockey of High Chaparral). In the Arc when you see a gap, 99 times out of 100 it closes off but this time it didn't... Marienbard changed his lead and found another kick, and then it was a long way to the line. I saw something coming and then the line came... I've got no words to describe the feelings for a jockey to ride in this race and then to win it. You can cut the atmosphere which is electric with a knife. What beautiful scenery at Longchamp which has a beautiful grandstand and a beautiful track!... This is a beautiful race and I am very privileged to have won it again."
Saeed BIN SUROOR commented: "I am really, really pleased. Marienbard's victory, which is great for Godolphin, shows how much he has improved this year. He has been a different horse this year and could now go for the Japan Cup or the Breeders' Cup. I spoke to Sheikh MOHAMMED immediately after the race and he said that we should keep our options open. The Arc is a very tough race to win and he has beaten the best horses. He is the best now."
Last year, DETTORI rode Godolphin's Sakhee to victory. Today, Godolphin racing manager Simon CRISFORD declared: " That was fabulous. Frankie gave the horse a super ride, he was very confident... Marienbard was at the peak of his form today and really justified our hopes for him... Last year we were campaigning him over longer trips and that was very much our fault. We were trying to make him into a slightly longer distance horse than he really is... And Sheikh MOHAMMED said stop messing about, pull him back in distance, get him back to a trip that we know he is effective over... Marienbard has really come to himself in the last two months and he looked magnificent today. He has come to himself in a way that you have to in a race like this. This is his crowning glory... Coming into the race, we were hopeful of hitting the frame but to win was a dream and it is a dream come true... It is brilliant for Godolphin, an International stable, to win these International races, and it is great for everyone who works for Godolphin."
The five-year-old Caerleon horse beat 15 opponents in Europe's premier middle-distance contest and the famous victory follows on from two impressive successes in German Group One races. Marienbard is a real International performer, having raced in sixth different countries (including, Group Two Sagitta Jockey Club Stakes, Baden-Baden Group One Grosser Preis von Baden & Düsseldorf WGZ Bank-Deutschlandpreis)
This afternoon, the French victory was worth $895,772 US from the purse of $1.57 million (1,600,000 €uros).
Thanks to Simon CRISFORD, Lanfranco DETTORI, Google France, Google News, Godolphin Racing Stable, HH Sheik MOHAMMED, MAKTOUM Family, Courses-France.com, France-Galop.