Racing: Arc success crowns Fabre in a group of his own

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The Independent Online
ANDRE FABRE'S achievement in winning his third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe through Carnegie failed to receive the recognition it deserved, as the underachievement of Yutaka Take on White Muzzle stole attention. However, the win has propelled Fabre pounds 583,838 clear of Henry Cecil in the table for prize-money won at Group One level this season, with only nine more races left to be run at the highest standard this year.

Carnegie followed Trempolino (1987) and Subotica (1992) as Arc winners sent out from Fabre's stable in Chantilly's Avenue de Bourbon. If the third finisher, Apple Tree, had found a clearer passage and the fifth, Bright Moon, had not sustained an injury a furlong out, Fabre might have trained an unprecedented Arc 1-2-3.

It could be argued that Fabre is the trainer most likely to come close to dominating Flat racing in the way that Vincent O'Brien, who last week announced his retirement, did in the Seventies. Like O'Brien, he has not been fed success on a silver spoon. While a law student, he rode out at Maisons-Laffitte in the mornings and earned money in the evenings as a plumber. In the early Seventies he worked as a groom, and then as a schooling rider and amateur jockey, for the National Hunt trainer Andre Adele.

When Adele died in 1977, Fabre took over his yard and his achievements with jumpers stand comparison with those of O'Brien. He saddled Fondeur to win the Prix du President de la Republique (French Grand National) in 1978 and the Grand Steeplechase in 1980, a race Fabre was to win for the next three years.

From 1983, Fabre concentrated solely on the Flat. He has been champion trainer in France every year since 1987, dominating to such an extent that he wins one in every three French Group races.

Outside France, Zafonic (1993 2,000 Guineas), Intrepidity (1993 Oaks) and Toulon (1991 St Leger) have won British Classics, while his tally of two at Breeders' Cup meetings (In The Wings, 1990 Turf and Arcangues, 1993 Classic) equals the figure that the entire rank of Britain's trainers has achieved.

However, despite winning every other French Classic at least once, Fabre has yet to taste success in the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) or the equivalent at Epsom. But it is surely only a matter of time before a Fabre-trained colt skips clear round Tattenham Corner or powers up the Chantilly straight.

----------------------------------------------------------------- EUROPEAN GROUP ONE RESULTS THIS SEASON ----------------------------------------------------------------- Trainer Country 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total Pounds A Fabre Fr 7 5 6 8 1,481,235 H Cecil GB 3 3 3 1 897,397 J Dunlop GB 4 - 3 2 824,683 F Boutin Fr 3 5 2 3 781,493 M Stoute GB 4 3 2 3 708,390 P Chapple-Hyam GB 2 2 6 - 646,448 H Jentzsch Ger 3 2 2 2 595,107 H Ibrahim UAE 2 1 - 2 546,369 P Bary Fr 3 - 1 - 460,841 P Cole GB 1 3 3 - 422,934 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jockey Country 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total ----------------------------------------------------------------- M Kinane Irl 6 10 1 2 1,527,459 W Carson GB 5 4 4 3 1,098,457 T Jarnet Fr 5 3 2 3 994,383 J Reid GB 4 4 8 2 991,595 L Dettori GB 4 6 6 3 960,433 C Asmussen Fr 3 6 5 3 871,530 W R Swinburn GB 3 2 6 5 698,135 Pat Eddery GB 4 3 - 4 601,950 G Mosse Fr 3 - 2 3 502,140 T Quinn GB 1 1 3 - 339,509 -----------------------------------------------------------------