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Sottsass survives stewards' enquiry to win Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Enable, who was chasing a historic hattrick in the race, could only finish sixth.

Sottsass holds off In Swoop to win the Arc.
Sottsass holds off In Swoop to win the Arc.
Image: AP

ENABLE COULD ONLY finish sixth as Sottsass led home a clean sweep for French-trained runners in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp.

Third in the race 12 months ago, trainer Jean-Claude Rouget had stated that only one day mattered for the four-year-old this year and he proved trained to perfection.

For John Gosden’s Enable, chasing history with a third victory in the race, she was bogged down in the heavy ground and suffered interference when the pace quickened.

In contrast, Sottsass picked up smartly and stayed on well to beat In Swoop, with Persian King hanging on for third having made the running, just ahead of Gold Trip. Enable’s Gold Cup-winning stablemate Stradivarius was seventh.

As a result of the interference, a stewards’ inquiry was immediately called – but following a short deliberation, the placings remained unaltered.

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While Enable did not manage to win a third Arc, she will still go down in history as one of the greatest racemares to have graced the sport. As well as her two wins in the Arc, she won the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot three times, the English and Irish Oaks and at the Breeders’ Cup.

Sottsass won the French Derby last season, but had failed to set the world alight this year. However, Rouget had been making increasingly confident noises in recent days and his colt had been well-backed.

Cristian Demuro enjoyed a perfect run through the early stages, just tracking Persian King with Frankie Dettori just a length behind the eventual winner.

When the pace quickened in the straight Dettori had Enable in the perfect position to strike, with Stradivarius on her outside, but she when she needed to quicken, the heavy ground meant she was unable to use her raking stride and she was beginning to send out distress signals when squeezed up.

In Swoop, the German Derby winner, was predictably strong at the finish, but Sottsass was always doing enough and held on by around half a length.

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