Rouget Pleased With Ace Impact Ahead Of The Arc, As Field Takes Shape

Ace Impact | Scoop Dyga

The undefeated G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe favourite Ace Impact (Ire) (Cracksman {GB}) is pleasing trainer Jean-Claude Rouget ahead of the big day on Sunday. He is one of 16 on the radar for the ParisLongchamp showpiece after Sprewell (Ire) (Churchill {Ire})'s defection at the latest forfeit stage on Tuesday.

A colourbearer for Gousserie Racing and Ecuries Serge Stempniak, the five-for-five G1 Prix du Jockey Club hero ran out a three-quarter length winner of the G2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano when last seen in August.

“Why shouldn't I be optimistic? I'm coming in with a horse that's unbeaten,” said Rouget, who is seeking his second Arc after the success of Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) in 2020.

“We know in any race anything can happen and we're coming to the end of the season, but he gets three kilos from the older horses, which is important. I'm optimistic in the sense that he goes into the race unbeaten and has done everything we have asked him to so far.

“It's been six weeks [since Deauville] and the six weeks have passed very quickly.”

The 2400-metre Arc will be the colt's first try over that trip and at that racecourse. In the lead up to Sunday's card, the weather also appears to be playing fair which is good news for several contenders.

“Obviously we can't be certain, but with the way he finishes his races and also the fact his sire was a winner over the distance gives us hope that he can stay,” he continued. “If the Prix du Jockey Club [French Derby] had been over a mile and a half, as it was in the past, he would have won that.

“Last year Vadeni (Fr) (Churchill {Ire}) was in the same place for us and he ran really well [finished second to Alpinista (GB) (Frankel {GB})]. I'm not worried about the course, he's an easy horse once he's settled in his race and there are plenty of horses that have won the Arc that also hadn't run at Longchamp before.

“I think it is going to be good for everyone, which is an interesting point about this year's race. In the past the race was often criticised for its heavy ground and the fact horses are tired, but this year I think the ground is going to suit everyone.”


Ground Key For Feed The Flame And Fantastic Moon

G1 Grand Prix de Paris winner and 'TDN Rising Star' Feed The Flame (GB) (Kingman {GB})'s camp is hoping for a bit of ease in the ground. Pascal Bary is seeking his first Arc, and is also confident in his Jean-Louis Bouchard-owned colt, who was second to Fantastic Moon (Ger) (Sea The Moon {Ger}) in the G2 Prix Niel earlier this month.

“He's a very good horse, he has a very good temperament and he gets the mile and a half really, really well,” said Bary. “I think on the day of the Arc, the ground will be slightly different and he will be more comfortable on that ground.

“Anything a bit softer than the ground he encountered in the Jockey Club, Grand Prix de Paris and Prix Niel would be appreciated.”

The connections of G1 Deutsches Derby hero and Prix Niel scorer Fantastic Moon were pleased with their colt's Tuesday work at Munich and have not ruled out the Arc at this stage. Raced by the Liberty Racing Syndicate, Fantastic Moon would need to be supplemented.

“Fantastic Moon's work in Munich was very good,” said Liberty Racing Syndicate's Lars-Wilhelm Baumgarten on X on Tuesday morning. “The trainer will have a discussion with the owners about the possibilities with an eye on ground conditions. The Arc is in any case again a real option, if the sun continues.”

Another expected supplement is the Coolmore partners' Continuous (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}), who won the G1 St Leger for Aidan O'Brien in mid-September.

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