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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 October 2006, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Rail Link takes shock Arc victory
Stephane Pasquier celebrates victory at Longchamp
Jockey Stephane Pasquier celebrates victory at Longchamp

Rail Link produced a superb final sprint to claim a surprise victory in the prestigious Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday.

With jockey Stephane Pasquier timing his run to perfection, Rail Link - who provided prolific French trainer Andre Fabre with his seventh Arc win - held off Pride in second, with Japanese raider Deep Impact third.

The three-year-old winner was a 25-1 shot at the track before the 1m 4f race but a lot shorter with British bookmakers and came through with Deep Impact to take up the running from Irish Wells at the turn.

And the colt had enough to prevail from the fast-finishing Pride in the closing stretch.

"I feel like I want to cry so much," a tearful Pasquier told BBC Sport.

"My horse went well from the starting gates and did so well. I am very happy."

I'm very proud for the horse

Trainer Andre Fabre

St Leger winners Sixties Icon, the only British horse in the field, finished seventh of the eight runners.

Deep Impact changed the face of the picturesque Paris track, with an estimated 5,000 Japanese supporters cramming into the stands waving flags and wearing clothing adorned with their champion's yellow, black and blue colours.

They skewed the betting market, queuing in droves at the Pari Mutuel counters to back their hero, who had won 10 of his 11 previous races.

Despite being odds-against with British bookies, he was much shorter in the local pool - a 1-2 chance at the off but 1-10 earlier as the visitors created a betting market which Ladbrokes spokesman Mike Dillon described as "crazy".

His trainer Yasuo Ikee said: "He's run his race and I thought he ran very well, but today there were two better horses. I would like to come back and try again next year."

The 36th running of the race featured three horses trained by Fabre, who saddled last year's winner Hurricane Run and Shirocco.

"They went at a sensible pace," he said.

"Obviously I was disappointed to see Hurricane Run boxed in, but I think the others had a fair race.

"It's just part of the chain, but of course I'm delighted. I'm very proud for the horse."

Hurricane Run - with Kieren Fallon on board - finished fourth, with Shirocco fading badly to come last.

"It was a messy race - they went no pace and the ground was too lively," said Fallon.

Earlier, Desert Lord was the unexpected victor for Thirsk trainer Kevin Ryan in the 5f Prix de l'Abbaye.

Jockey Jamie Spencer took his mount to the front with a furlong to go and repelled the challenge of Reverence by a neck.

Veteran Sergeant Cecil, trained in Devon by Rod Millman, took the Prix Du Cadran with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, winning by almost a length from Shamdala.

The Prix de l'Opera was won by Mandesha, who burst through on the rails to deny Satwa Queen.

Meanwhile Holy Roman Emperor gave Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien and Fallon a winner in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.


Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Longchamp
1. Rail Link (S Pasquier) 8-1
2. Pride (C P Lemaire) 11-1
3. Deep Impact (Y Take) 9-4 Fav
4. Hurricane Run (K Fallon) 5-2
8 ran



SEE ALSO
Injured Sir Percy to miss Arc
25 Sep 06 |  Horse Racing


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