Smooth Return for Ace Impact in the Guillaume D'Ornano

Ace Impact winning at Deauville Tuesday / ScoopDyga


Showing the acceleration that brought him one of the best renewals of the G1 Prix du Jockey Club in recent years, Gousserie Racing and Ecuries Serge Stempniak's Ace Impact (Ire) (Cracksman {GB}–Absolutly Me {Fr}, by Anabaa Blue {GB}) comfortably mastered the first test of the 2023 campaign Part II in Tuesday's G2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville. Reserved by Cristian Demuro with one behind early as stablemate Cambronne (Fr) (Alex The Winner) acted as a 1980's-style pacemaker in isolation, the latest Jean-Claude Rouget luminary delivered his sustained surge down the outer to overwhelm Birr Castle (Fr) (Cloth Of Stars {Ire}) passing the furlong pole and score cosily by 3/4 of a length from Al Riffa (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), who denied Birr Castle the runner-up spot by a head.


Rightly revered for his rapid closing three furlongs of 34.01 in the Jockey Club, Ace Impact was well off a moderate pace this time as Birr Castle led the main group mainly ignoring the rabbit up ahead. Having gifted that Godolphin-Fabre project and top Irish colt Victoria Road (Ire) (Saxon Warrior {Jpn}) a four-length headstart at the three pole, he roared by them with a finishing burst of 34.69 and a potent 10.92 penultimate split in the bargain. Now it is up to connections as to whether they let him unleash that dramatic flourish on the Derby winner and older horses in the Irish Champion or store it up for the Arc.

Rouget was non-committal either way afterwards. “We will have to discuss his future with the partners–either he will have another race before the Arc or go straight to the big one,” he said. “We will have less pressure on than we did today, as these races are very difficult to call beforehand. There is a lot at stake with a horse that is an undefeated brilliant winner of the Prix du Jockey Club and who has been partly sold since. You don't want to lose, you don't know if the horse still wants to fight, if the race will be tactical, if he is ready enough knowing very well that he is not 100% because that's how I do things.”

“You could see early in the race that he was keen, because he is fresh but once the race went into a good rhythm he relaxed,” the Pau-based maestro added. “He showed the same acceleration and just idled a bit at the end, as he needed the race. “It is a big relief for all the reasons I mentioned.”

Christian Demuro was feeling the release of the pressure afterwards. “It is always emotional when you have an unbeaten horse like this and a great relief to see that he has retained all his ability,” he said. “He gave me some trouble getting him to settle, but he did after a furlong and in the straight he quickened strongly and gave me great vibes. He did idle a bit at the end, maybe because he needed the race but also maybe because he trains there every day and knows by heart where to pull himself up.”

Part-owner Serge Stempniak commented, “I had sold half of him to the Chehboub Family and didn't want them to be disappointed, so there was pressure. It was a very important race for his future at stud in France. I have wonderful partners who are so nice to deal with, so I am delighted with the result. I will let Jean-Claude Rouget make the decision with my partners for his next race. Maybe the Irish Champion would be nice on his CV for his future career, but I will let them decide.”

Pedigree Notes
The dual listed-placed dam Absolutly Me has also produced two other listed-placed performers in Apollo Flight (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) and Alessandro (Fr) (Australia {GB}). Her family includes the top-class British-trained stalwarts Teleprompter (GB), Ibn Bey (GB) and Roseate Tern (GB) and the talented Red Camellia (GB) (Polar Falcon), who took the G3 Prestige S. and was third in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches before producing the G1 Fillies' Mile heroine Red Bloom (GB) (Selkirk). The dam's 2-year-old colt Arrow Eagle (Fr) is by Gleneagles (Ire).

Tuesday, Deauville, France
PRIX GUILLAUME D'ORNANO-G2, €400,000, Deauville, 8-15, 3yo, 10fT, 2:07.59, g/s.
1–ACE IMPACT (IRE), 128, c, 3, by Cracksman (GB)
1st Dam: Absolutly Me (Fr) (SP-Fr & Ger), by Anabaa Blue (GB)
2nd Dam: Tadawul, by Diesis (GB)
3rd Dam: Barakat (GB), by Bustino (GB)
1ST GROUP WIN; 1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (€75,000 Ylg '21 ARQAUG). O-Gousserie Racing & Ecuries Serge Stempniak; B-Mme Waltraut Spanner (IRE); T-Jean-Claude Rouget; J-Cristian Demuro. €228,000. Lifetime Record: G1SW-Fr, 5-5-0-0, €1,139,100. *1/2 to Apollo Flight (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), MSP-Fr, $139,492; and Alessandro (Fr) (Australia {GB}), SP-Fr, $111,837. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Al Riffa (Fr), 128, c, 3, Wootton Bassett (GB)–Love On My Mind (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). (€31,000 Wlg '20 ARQDEC; 150,000gns Ylg '21 TATOCT). O-Jassim Bin Ali Al Attiyah; B-Haras d'Etreham, Benoit Chalmel, Cofinvest & Meridian International SARL (FR); T-Joseph O'Brien. €88,000.
3–Birr Castle (Fr), 128, c, 3, Cloth Of Stars (Ire)–Baki (Fr), by Turtle Bowl (Ire). 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. (€170,000 Ylg '21 ARQOCT). O-Godolphin; B-Francois Rohaut (FR); T-Andre Fabre. €42,000.
Margins: 3/4, HD, 2. Odds: 0.40, 5.50, 11.00.
Also Ran: Greenland (Ire), Cambronne (Fr), Ponty (Fr), Victoria Road (Ire), Straight (Ger). Video, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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