Rouget Duo in Good Form for Arc

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Sottsass | Scoop Dyga

White Birch Farm's MG1SW Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) and Shadwell's GSW Raabihah (Sea The Stars {Ire}) worked in tandem at Deauville in advance of the Oct. 4 G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Tuesday. If either delivers in the G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp, it would be a first for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The 2019 G1 Prix du Jockey Club hero took the G1 Prix Ganay second up this term and was runner-up in the G3 Prix Gontaut-Biron at Deauville in August. Only fourth in the G1 Irish Champion S. on Sept. 12, Sottsass will attempt to go two better than a third in last year's edition.

Sottsass and Raabihah both worked well this morning,” Rouget told the France Galop notes team. “I'm of the opinion that Sottsass is on much better terms with himself at this stage of the season. His race in Ireland did him a power of good. He should give a good account of himself on Sunday.

“As things stand, I have [him] in the same condition as last year; so I'm rediscovering the same horse as I did in the lead up to the 2019 race. This year, I haven't managed to get in the same condition as now owing to the racing calendar which has been perturbed by the pandemic. However, neither have I wished to go overboard, so as to ensure that that he's a fresh horse come the Arc, which has always been his objective.

“He knows the score, having acquitted himself well in the race last season, so he has the right to be concerned at the finish again. I share the opinion that he hasn't shown the required level of form to win the Arc this season, but I believe that he will run well and finish in the first three.”

A winner when unveiled in January, Raabihah added the Listed Prix de la Seine in May and, although only fourth in the G1 Prix de Diane on July 5, bounced back with a win in the G3 Prix de Psyche. She was second in the Sept. 13 G1 Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp, her first attempt at the Arc distance.

Added Rouget, “Raabihah is similarly in peak condition. Our only question mark is the ground. This isn't in the sense that she would be inconvenienced by a heavy track; for we simply don't know as she has yet to tackle very soft conditions.”

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