World Champion sire Galileo achieved the remarkable in the Arc this year, siring the first three past the post of the great historical French race. Galileo is the sire of The Assayer (Yellow Star Stud) and Flying The Flag (Bush Hill Stud) standing in KZN.
Four-year-old filly Found, last year’s Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner, led a sensational 1-2-3 finish for trainer Aidan O’Brien when she took the €5 million Gr1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s premier race at Chantilly.
Owned by Coolmore and partners and ridden by Ryan Moore, Found snapped a five-race string of seconds when she took over from pacesetter Vedevani and then held off stablemates Highland Reel and Order of St George to get the victory. The three top finishers were sired by Coolmore’s internationally successful stallion Galileo.
Postponed, the 2-1 favorite to stay unbeaten in five starts this year, was alongside Found in the straight but failed to kick on and finished fifth.
Ideally positioned in midfield along the rail early, Found came out to challenge for command in the straight after unleashing a brilliant rally from more than a quarter-mile out. She easily overhauled Vedevani and stayed on strongly for her third win at the highest level.
Found covered 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) in 2:23.61 on turf rated as good, improving to 6-10-2 from 19 starts.
An unlucky ninth behind winner Golden Horn in last year’s Arc, Found was a scintillating victress two starts later in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland, where she outbattled that rival to a half-length triumph. She could return for this year’s edition of the race Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park.
Michael Tabor, a co-owner in the top three Arc finishers, expressed his awe to England’s Press Association.
“First, second, and third in the Arc—it’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s just incredible. Words can’t describe it. It’s just amazing.
“This is the time of year for (Found). We knew we had a chance, but this is the Arc and it’s a tough race. It’s unreal. She’s a hardy, tough filly. I don’t have to say anything because her results speak for themselves, so it’s fantastic.”
Tabor campaigns Found and Highland Reel with Susan Magnier and Derrick Smith as part of the Coolmore partnership and the trio partners with Lloyd Williams of Australia, the majority owner in Order of St George.
O’Brien said the Arc had always been a goal for Found, who won at 5-1 odds.
“We’ve had our eye on this for a long time,” O’Brien said. “When Ryan rode her as a 2-year-old and said she could win an Arc—he was obviously right.”
Found won the Gr1 Prix Marcel Boussac as a 2-year-old. She came into this year’s Arc on the back of five runner-up finishes in Gr1 races, including her finish three-quarters of length behind Almanzor in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes last time out Sept. 9. That race was preceded by the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup, and Tattersalls Gold Cup.
“We came here very hopeful after a good run last time,” O’Brien said.
Dual Derby winner Harzand finished ninth in the Arc, and Makahiki, carrying Japan’s decades-long hope of an Arc win, came in 14th in the field of 16.
Found was bred in Ireland by Roncon, Wynatt, and Chelston, a group associated with Coolmore. Her dam is English and Irish Gr1 winner and highweight Red Evie (Intikhab), also the dam of Gr3-winning full sisters Best in the Word and Magical Dream.
“It’s the race that all of America watches and obviously Europe does, too, so the whole world is watching,” Tabor said of the Arc. “It’s a special race to say the least.”
Aiden O’Brien trains Flying The Flag’s full sister, Gr2 winner and Gr1 placed Rhododendrum. International Group winner Flying The Flag’s first mares have been confirmed in foal this season at Bush Hill Stud whilst The Assayer is covering his second year at Yellow Star Stud this season.
The grey stallion is Gr1 placed in both the Premier’s Champion Stakes and Golden Horseshoe Sprint, and bred on the same lines as the great Frankel, both being out of Danehill mares. The Assayer defeated the likes of Gold Onyx, The Mouseketeer, English Garden, Copper Parade and UAE Guineas Prep winner and Dubai Group placed Zanzamar.