Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe: Ace Impact’s historic achievement

Result and quotes from the winners
A historic achievement! The 3-year-old French colt Ace Impact has become the first horse to complete the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the “new formula” Qatar Prix du
Jockey-Club (won four months earlier – since it was reduced to 2100 metres in 2005) double in the same season.

Ace Impact also maintained his unbeaten record. After being held up towards the rear, Ace Impact showed a blistering turn of foot, towards the outside of the field, which has become his hallmark England’s Westover, sixth last year (when unsuited by the heavy ground) took second – one place ahead of the excellent finisher Onesto, who also contested the 2022 edition of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but failed to shine (again due to the testing ground). Through Seven Seas took fourth place, with the Irish colt Continuous back in fifth.

Ace Impact was ridden by French-based Italian jockey Cristian Demuro and is trained at Deauville by Jean-Claude Rouget. The two men had already won the race previously, in
2020, with Sottsass.
Ace Impact is owned in partnership by Serge Stempniak and Gousserie Racing, the racing wing of the Chehboub family, and owners of the Haras de Beaumont, near Deauville
(Normandy), where Ace Impact will stand as a stallion when his racing career ends.
Ace Impact was bred by Mme Waltraut Spanner, at the Haras de Long Champ, a Normandy stud owned by Barbara Moser. He was bought as a yearling for €75,000 at the Arqana August Sale by Jean-Claude Rouget, where he was consigned by Domaine de l’Étang, which is Élise Drouet’s stud.

The technical result
Trainer : Jean-Claude Rouget – Jockey : Cristian Demuro
Trainer: Ralph Beckett – Jockey : Rob Hornby
Trainer: Fabrice Chappet – Jockey : Maxime Guyon
Distances:1 3/4l – Sht hd – 1 1/4l. Time: 2m’25’’50s.
Ground: 3,3 (good to soft)

What connections said
Jean-Claude Rouget (the trainer of Ace Impact, 1st) – Deauville (Calvados)
« He won as he does usually, with the same tactics. He’s an extraordinary horse, a crack. He left us speechless. He had a very clean race and his stride devouring action did the rest. He’s simply extraordinary. Although he’s very sensitive type. The big winner today is a man that dares, Kamel Chehboub, who dared to buy half of Ace
Impact, even though he doesn’t have a classic pedigree, as well as Horizon Doré. He has the two best 3-year-old colts in France! »

Cristian Demuro (the jockey of Ace Impact, 1st)
« I took closer order in the false straight. The horse was very relaxed and I know that, when he’s like that, and as soon as you press the button, that he takes off! »
Serge Stempniak (co-owner of Ace Impact, 1st) « I was relatively calm but, like Ace Impact, I got tense in the last ten minutes [before the race. And now I’m like the colt – in the winner’s circle (laughing)! The tension has dissipated, but I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I’ll need a few days, a bit as what happened in the Jockey-Club. He proved really impressive and I think he’s a very intelligent colt. Yes, he gets wound up, but it’s because he knows he has a job to do, and he does it very well! Today, all the stars aligned. I was just worried that Cristian would injure himself yesterday [Saturday], or that he would get ejected from the saddle today! »

Kamel Chehboub (co-owner of Ace Impact, 1st)
«It’s mission accomplished! I’d like to thank Jean-Claude Rouget, who has done an extraordinary job. I’d also like to thank my family, who have been investing [in bloodstock] for 25 years, and it’s thanks to them that we’re here today. I hope we’ve given everyone a lot of pleasure today. I’m sure he will have a great stallion career in France. »

Pauline Chehboub (co-owner of Ace Impact, 1st)
« It’s a dream come true. We were under a lot of pressure today. We’re very proud to be able to offer this crack horse to French breeders at our stud, the Haras de Baumount, when the time comes [to retire him]. In the wake of his race we’ll let him recuperate before deciding his future programme. »

Raph Beckett (the trainer of Westover, 2nd) – Great Britain
« He switched off a little in the gates and had to work hard to get a good place in the pack. The leader set the pace on his own terms. But I think we’re just beaten by a better horse than ours. We would never have finished ahead of Ace Impact. We can be proud of Westover’s second place. He’ll win his big race one day. I’m thinking about the Breeders’ Cup Turf now. It’s very tempting. He likes to travel, and he has been to Dubai. It was a good idea to run the Arc, but we were beaten by a very good horse. »

Fabrice Chappet (the trainer of Onesto, 3rd) – Chantilly (Oise region)
« I did say that his last outing, in Ireland, in the Irish Champion Stakes, didn’t count. Apart from that occasion, Onesto has always run up to his best, without necessarily having a happy time of it on each occasion. Today, he found himself a long way back, but he had a good race in the slipstream of the winner. He finished very close to the runner-up, which is great. But, unfortunately, [older] horses which carry 3 kilos (7lb more/under the weight for age sacle) (as 4-year-olds) dont’ go as fast… As for the future, it would be logical to head to the Breeders’ Cup. »

Tomohito Ozeki (the trainer of Through Seven Sea, 4th) – Japan
« Her jockey Christophe Lemaire had reckoned that there wouldn’t be much pace in the race, and so he had the mare racing as close to the pace as possible. She didn’t exit the
stalls very well, and so had a bit of ground to make up. I’m quite happy with her race as she finished well. The rest of her programme will be decided when she returns to Japan. She could run once or twice more this year. »

Aidan O’Brien (the trainer Continuous, 5th) – Ireland
« We’re really pleased with Continuous’s race. He was doing his best work in the straight. He enjoyed the good ground. We’ll check with his owners, but he could go to the Japan Cup. Hong Kong and Dubai are also possibilities. He’s a horse that likes travelling. He should progress further as a 4-year-old. »

Lanfranco Dettori (the jockey of Free Wind, unplaced)
«I had a dream passage on what was my last Arc. I wasn’t expecting too much before the race. It’s a great moment and I’m very proud to have ridden in this exceptional race 34
times. It’s a record that will stand the test of time.