Imperial Monarch (dark blue) holds off all challengers at LongchampPICTURE: ScoopDyga
Monarch wins Paris as Sequence has nightmare
Report: France, Saturday
Longchamp: Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Group 1) 1m4f, 3yo
IMPERIAL MONARCH made all the running and held on in a tight finish to give trainer Aidan O'Brien and son Joseph more Group 1 success in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris but connections of Main Sequence will be left wondering ‘what if' after he was twice denied a clear run in finishing fourth.
Main Sequence had dropped back through the field to be sitting in the rear third as Imperial Monarch led the nine runners into Longchamp's home straight and was still travelling strongly as jockey Ted Durcan went for an ambitious run up the rail.
Up front Imperial Monarch was battling hard to hold off the persistent Andre Fabre-trained Last Train while Main Sequence was being gathered for another challenge.
Durcan went to dive between the two protagonists but was cut off again as Imperial Monarch rolled to his right under pressure and ran out of time to have a third shot at success as 6-5 favourite just repelled Last Train by a narrow margin with Saint Baudolino third.
Aidan O'Brien, who could run the winner in the Prix Niel, said: "He's done well because he was very green in front and it was his first time over a mile and a half. It wasn't necessarily the plan to lead, that was up to Joseph, but he was drawn well if he wanted to.
"It's been very, very difficult as all our gallops have been flooded since Epsom and the horses get very tired training on the all-weather."
After a prolonged stewards' inquiry into bumping in the home straight, the result remained unaltered.
William Hill make both Imperial Monarch and Main Sequence 16-1 to win the Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe. Camelot is the general 5-2 favourite.
Also on Saturday
Longchamp: Prix Maurice de Nieuil (Group 2) 1m6f, 4yo+
TAC DE BOISTRON (Alain Lyon/Christophe Soumillon) made up a huge amount of ground after being locked on the rail land the spoils in the shadow of the post.
A confirmed stayer over much further, Tac De Boistron would have been long odds in running to reel in Vadamar, a Group 2 winner over 1m4f.
Soumillon appeared to be sitting in the perfect spot to deliver his run until the leader War Is War broke down badly, after which Lemaire set out to make the best of his way home on the former Aga Khan colt Vadamar.
"Christophe has done brilliantly to find a way out of that hole," enthused Lyon afterwards. "I don't know where we'll go next because he's a horse that needs soft ground, and in your wildest dreams you don't expect that on July 14."