Racing: The French classic and the English connection
Sunday 04 October 1998
COMRADE was the single overseas challenger for the inaugural Arc. The little black three-year-old, bought for 25gns as a scraggy yearling, was a pretty good horse but his cause was aided by the fact that the home side's quality was still suffering from the ravages of war; the length runner-up, King's Cross, was a successful hurdler. His owner, Evremond de Saint-Alary, was a great Anglophile but missed seeing his first winner in England, in 1896, because he was fighting a duel with a French pressman who had criticised one of his horses. Trained by Peter Gilpin in Newmarket, ridden by Frank Bullock. Starting price: 34-10.
THE post-war state of the railways in France was such that it took Parth 30 hours to get from Boulogne to Paris. But Kingsley Macomber's bay colt, third in the Derby that year, shrugged off the effects of the journey to finish like an express train and beat Massine a neck. Trained by James Crawford at Ogbourne, ridden by Frank O'Neill. SP: 17-2.
MIGOLI, the previous year's Derby runner-up and a great-grandson of Mumtaz Mahal, that fabled mare of his owner-breeder the Aga Khan, was backed from 20-1 to half that, led inside the final furlong and won by a length and a half from Nirgal in course record time. Trained by Frank Butters in Newmarket, ridden by Charlie Smirke. SP: 10-1.
1971: MILL REEF
PAUL MELLON'S brilliant little champion set the standard by which all subsequent British winners of the Arc have been judged. He won the Derby, the Eclipse and the King George before his Paris victory, a unique four- timer. He emerged from the pack two out and rocketed clear to break the track record as he beat Pistol Packer by three lengths. Trained by Ian Balding at Kingsclere, ridden by Geoff Lewis. SP: 7-10f.
RHEINGOLD was the party pooper, the horse who beat the hometown heroine, Allez France. The filly, the last Arc winner to start at odds-on when she scored the following year, was no match on the day for Henry Zeisel's battle-hardened four-year-old colt, who gave his legendary jockey his first win after defeats on Sir Ivor, Park Top and Nijinsky. Trained by Barry Hills in Lambourn, ridden by Lester Piggott. SP: 77-10.
1985: RAINBOW QUEST
SAGACE was deprived of the glory of becoming the sixth dual Arc winner (after Ksar, Corrida, Tantieme, Ribot and Alleged) after he crunched Khalid Abdullah's Rainbow Quest twice in the final furlong. There was only a neck between the pair at the line and the stewards invoked the race's first disqualification since Midnight Sun was relegated behind Saint Crespin in 1959. Trained by Jeremy Tree at Beckhampton, ridden by Pat Eddery. SP: 7-1.
1986: DANCING BRAVE
THE imperious, electrifying finishing burst that Dancing Brave produced to sweep past eight other Group One winners - headed by Bering, Triptych and Shahrastani - as if they had suddenly become stationary objects - will live long in the memory. The bay three-year-old gave his owner and jockey back-to-back Arcs. Trained by Guy Harwood at Pulborough, ridden by Pat Eddery. SP: 11-10f.
1989: CARROLL HOUSE
TOUGH and genuine, the underestimated, much-travelled four-year-old took advantage of the soft ground and lack of a star Classic colt to beat Behera a length and a half. Owned by Antonio Balzarini, the chestnut was mobbed by his hysterical Italian supporters afterwards and injured a leg as he sensibly lashed out at them. Trained by Michael Jarvis in Newmarket, ridden by Michael Kinane. SP: 19-1.
UNBEATEN, but not the greatest. Lammtarra's victory, by three-quarters of a length from Freedom Cry, came after Derby and King George wins. The Godolphin team worked wonders to get three such races out of the courageous chestnut colt, who had been seriously ill earlier that year. Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor in Newmarket, ridden by Frankie Dettori. SP: 21-10f.
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