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2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

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Zarkava wins the 2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Zarkava wins the 2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Zarkava wins the 2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris

© Vanessa Ng
October 5, 2008

A crowd of 47,000 was on hand at rain-soaked Longchamp Racecourse in Paris for the €4 million (about $5.5 million U.S.) Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1). The unofficial middle-distance championship of Europe, featured a field of 16 going 2400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) around one turn of the "Grande Piste" course. Undefeated 3-year-old filly Zarkava, taking on males for the frist time, was sent off as the even-money favorite exiting a win in the Prix Vermeille. The Coolmore entry of Duke of Marmalade, Soldier of Fortune, and Red Rock Canyon were one betting interest due to common ownership, as the 7-2 second choice over 7-1 Vision d'Etat.

Aidan O'Brian-trained Red Rock Canyon was sent to the front immediately as the rabbit for stablemates Duke of Marmalade and Soldier of Fortune, and he was loose on the lead 5 lengths in front with Schiaparelli, Zambezi Sun, and It's Gino giving chase. At the 3/8 pole, the pacesetters tired except It's Gino who stayed up front and was joined by Youmzain and Soldier of Fortune at the 1/8 pole. It's Gino looked strong on the inside with less than a furlong remaining but Zarkava, hidden in midpack under cover the whole way, found an opening between horses and came through in a flash, running right by them at the 1/16 pole and pulling away to an impressive 2 length victory over Youmzain in 2:28.20 over yielding turf. It was another 1/2 length back to 102-1 longshot It's Gino and Soldier of Fortune who dead-heated for show.

Results chart from Sporting Life

On to the undercard stakes - the Prix de l'Opera, Prix de l'Abbaye, Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, and Prix Marcel Boussac. All are Group 1 races.
On to Saturday Stakes Part 1 - the Prix de la Foret (G1) and Prix du Cadran (G1)
On to Saturday Stakes Part 2 - the Prix De Royallieu, Prix Chaudenay, Prix Daniel Wildenstein, and Prix Dollar

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