PARIS – Japan’s latest attempt to land the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe suffered a setback on Sunday when Satono Diamond was beaten in his warm-up for next month’s French showpiece.
The Japanese raider could manage only fourth in the Group Two Prix Foy won impressively by last year’s German Derby winner, Dschingis Secret.
But jockey Christophe Lemaire suggested his mount was inconvenienced by the rain-softened ground and that he badly needed the run at Chantilly.
“Satono Diamond wasn’t in his best form as he hasn’t run since May. He will definitely be stronger for the Arc,” said the jockey.
Satono Diamond is attempting to end years of heartbreak for Japan, with his trainer Yasutoshi Ikee twice finishing runner-up with Orfevre.
His 2017 charge is a son of Deep Impact, backed into favoritism by the legion of Japanese racegoers at Longchamp, the Arc’s traditional home, only to finish third in 2006.
Dschingis Secret was shortened for the Oct. 1 Arc to around 16-1 with the ante-post betting dominated by Enable.
John Gosden’s brilliant triple Oaks winner and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes heroine was trimmed to 4-5 from even money.
Her stablemate Cracksman claimed one of Sunday’s other Arc trials, the Prix Niel, but the son of the mighty Frankel is not certain to return for the big race.
Owner Anthony Oppenheimer, who won Europe’s top all-aged contest in 2015 with Golden Horn, is eyeing the long game with his Epsom Derby third.
“Whether we run him in the Arc or British Champion Stakes this year . . . we’d prefer to put him away this year without a hard race. We think that might just take the sting off him next year,” he told The Racing Post.
The Arc is being staged at Chantilly for the second year as Longchamp undergoes an extensive makeover.