- German trained horse in convincing victory at Paris Longchamp
- Fantastic Moon could be added to Arc entries
- Bary still has confidence in Feed the Flame
Fantastic Moon, under the guidance of German trainer Sarah Steinberg, soared into contention for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with a comprehensive victory in the Qatar Prix Niel at Paris Longchamp. The son of Sea The Moon had replicated his sire’s success by clinching the German Derby earlier in the year. Subsequently, he secured a commendable second place in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis at Munich, another prestigious Group One race.
Fantastic Moon with convincing win
Originally entered for the Grosser Preis von Baden last weekend, inclement weather conditions forced a change in plans. Fantastic Moon was rerouted to Paris for the Group Two Prix Niel, a precursor to the Arc. This decision paid off handsomely, as the horse, guided by Arc-winning rider Rene Piechulek, galloped to a convincing two-and-a-half-length victory. He expertly manoeuvred around the final bend, overtaking the frontrunner King Of Records and fending off his highly-regarded stablemate, Feed The Flame.
Fantastic Moon is not currently listed in the Arc entries, so the horse would need to be supplemented. Ground conditions will play a pivotal role in this decision, with the Breeders’ Cup and the Japan Cup also on the horizon.
“He is fantastic, what a horse, what a day,” stated Lars-Wilhelm Baumgarten of owners Liberty Racing.
“Arc, yes or no? We are not sure, we will decide. The Arc is an option, the Breeders’ Cup is an option and the Japan Cup is an option.
“We will discuss when the horse is back in Munich, he is a wonderful horse.
“Everybody saw that today and he is untapped at the moment, nobody knows how good he is.
“We will decide in the next days what we do but we need good ground, that’s important for him – no soft ground.
“That is the question for the Arc, what will the weather be in Paris for the next two weeks?”
Trainer Pascal Bary, remained optimistic after defeat for Grand Prix de Paris winner Feed The Flame. He said:
“He wasn’t quite as ready as I thought. With the heat, Feed The Flame asked for a breather during the race. He picked up well, even if the last 100 metres perhaps seemed a bit of an eternity for him.
“Christophe Soumillon made sure of the fact that the colt was given a lesson when it came to racing between horses, which is a good form of preparation. Furthermore, he wasn’t hard on him. Of course, it’s always better to win than to be second.
“That said, the winner, Fantastic Moon, has every right to be considered a good colt. Feed The Flame will line up in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. If the ground were to ease that would be even better.”
Place Du Carrouse in form
In a parallel event, Andre Fabre’s Place Du Carrousel demonstrated her prowess by winning the Qatar Prix Foy over the same course and distance. This Lope De Vega filly, owned by Al Shaqab Racing and Ballylinch Stud, is now a strong contender to be included in the Arc,, following in the footsteps of the legendary Waldgeist.
Rupert Pritchard-Gordon of Al Shaqab Racing expressed his confidence, stating:
“The filly showed that she’s in good form. She’s still fresh because she hasn’t run much this year, due to a slight setback in the spring.
“The weather conditions are exceptional today, and Monsieur Fabre preferred to go for the Qatar Prix Foy rather than the Qatar Prix Vermeille, anticipating that there would be less pace in the Foy.
“When we decided to keep her in training at four, after her success in the Prix de l’Opera Longines last year, the idea was to aim her at the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
“If all goes well between now and then, we’ll be heading to the race of dreams!”
Fantastic Moon one to watch for bettors – if the going is good
At the time of writing Fantastic Moon is priced at 16/1 with bet365.The weather over the next couple of weeks will determine whether the horse lines up and whether he is a genuine contender. Soft ground would not be to his liking. Feed the Flame is 12/1 fourth favourite with the same bookie. Ace Impact is the favourite, with a current price of 7/2 ahead of Hukum, 11/2 and Westover 10/1. Place de Carousel is currently 33/1 with bet365. Prices are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.