The racing world has been amazed by Sakhee’s complete defeat of a classy Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe field
Racing fans gasped in disbelief as they watched Sakhee destroy the opposition in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The rest of the field were left for dead by the Sheikh Hamdan owned and bred horse, who turned the toughest race in Europe into an uncomplicated, uncompetitive one-horse affair.
Once Frankie Dettori shot Sakhee out of the stalls and settled him on the outside just behind the leaders, to all intents and purposes, the Arc was over bar the shouting.
Sakhee was coasting all the way and with minimum fuss he took the race by the throat early in the straight and proceeded to turn it into a procession. He pulverised the hitherto unbeaten French Oaks winner Aquarelliste by six lengths.
Sagacity was third and then came our own 2,000 Guineas winner Golan, ahead of the St Leger hero Milan. They had all been made to look very ordinary.
It appeared so ridiculously easy, it was not difficult to appreciate just how stunned the Sheiks and their Godolphin entourage were. They really couldn’t believe how Sakhee had turned.
Sheikh Mohammed, brother of SheikhHamdan, said they had been confident going into the Arc but none of them had anticipated quite such total domination. “He had come on for his last race at York and had been working like a giant,” he said.
Dettori, returning on his 100th Group 1 winner, blew the Longchamp crowd kiss upon kiss. He completed his traditional flying dismount and over the loudspeakers said: “Le cheval est champion. Beaucoup de confidence. And thank you, the Brits!” He was sent carrying his saddle into the weighing roomwith cheers ringing in his Italian ears.
Now the question on everybody’s lips is “where will Sakhee run next?”.
To find out more, and read the full Longchamp report, see this week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 11 October, or click here to subscribe.