Cloth Of Stars bounces back for another placed effort in the Arc
It may now be a dozen years since the last of his record seven Arc victories but Andre Fabre continues to compile a fine collection of placed efforts, as Cloth Of Stars put a frustrating 12 months since his second in the 2017 Arc behind him with a battling third place under Vincent Cheminaud.
Fabre's supposed first string, Waldgeist, stayed on from some way back to be fourth without ever really threatening, while the trainer's third runner Talismanic was a disappointing 13th and could now be in line for a drop back in trip at Ascot in a fortnight's time.
"Cloth Of Stars ran a great race and loved the pace," said Fabre. "If the ground had been a bit softer he might have been a bit closer but there are no complaints, he's run a blinder.
"His mental state wasn’t right when he came back from Dubai, he was a bit coltish and jaded."
Waldgeist had the measure of Cloth Of Stars in the Prix Foy that had been little more than a private gallop three weeks ago but was three quarters of a length behind his stablemate under a patient ride from Pierre-Charles Boudot.
"Waldgeist didn’t enjoy the ground very much, it was a bit used for him, but he’s run all right and again there are no excuses," said Fabre. "They have the option of Hong Kong and Talismanic will probably come back in trip for the Champion Stakes."
Fabre has had to play second fiddle to some exceptional Arc winners over the last decade and was again generous in his praise for Enable and Sea Of Class.
He said: "They're both champions and I thought Enable looked fantastic in the paddock."
Sylvester Kirk was left with a mixture of pride and frustration after Salouen finished sixth after being held in by Waldgeist at a crucial stage.
"Oisin [Murphy] said he might have been fifth if he hadn’t been held up," said Kirk. "He missed the break otherwise he intended to be handier. He was a hostage to fortune after that and has run an absolute blinder, I'm so delighted with him.
"I wouldn’t mind taking him to Hong Kong and he’s got an invite to Japan so we’ll see."
With the last two St Leger winners on his team, Aidan O'Brien's jockeys set out to make it a true test and Capri, who was always near the pace, proved best of the Ballydoyle quintet in fifth.
Ryan Moore was scrubbing away on this year's Doncaster hero Kew Gardens coming down the hill before the colt's abundant stamina kicked in and he came home seventh
"I thought Capri and Kew Gardens ran very well but we’ll see how they are before making plans," said O'Brien. "At this time of year you always plan race by race."
Stephane Pasquier chose to be bold from his outside draw on Study Of Man but, despite taking an advanced position, was unable to avoid being trapped three deep.
The son of Deep Impact was in there fighting for the minor places but finished ninth.
"He ran a proper race," said trainer Pascal Bary. "Stephane gave him a great ride, getting into a good position, and he was just a bit below the rest today. I don’t think the distance was a problem and he ran well. The runner-up's connections are the ones who must be gutted."
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