Rail Link – a relative outsider at 24-1 – clinched the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamps on Sunday, ahead of a world-renowned triumvirate of runners. The three-year old colt overcame Hurricane Run (defending Arc champion), Shirocco and Japanese favourite Deep Impact to take France’s most prestigious race and notch up a seventh Arc win for his trainer André Fabre.
In his pink and blue silks, jockey Stephane Pasquier left the three racing giants in his wake as he navigated Rail Link over the finish line to score his second ever Group 1 win. The result marked a huge disappointment for the 3000 Japanese racing enthusiasts who had flown over from Japan to give 1-2 favourite Deep Impact and jockey Yutaka Take the support they deserved.
Pasquier hung behind Deep Impact, waiting for him to make the run and then followed suit. Rail Link overtook almost immediately, coming neck and neck with the mare Pride before winning by a neck. Pride took second leaving Deep Impact third by half a length – his second defeat in 12 starts. Hurricane Run finished fourth and Shirocco, who was in second place as the runners turned for home, in last position.
Rail Link’s trainer Andre Fabre did not doubt the colt’s ability but was unsure whether he would beat the older horses. Winning owner Khalid Abdullah received $1.45 million of the Arc’s $2.55 million prize pot. The Saudi prince, who bred Rail Link himself for Juddmonte Farm, has won at Longchamps on three previous occasions: a double in 1985 with Rainbow Quest and a year later with Dancing Brave.