Zarkava takes Longchamp prize

Zarkava wrote her name into the record books with a stunning victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

Alain de Royer-Dupre's filly had to overcome being drawn in stall one and a tricky passage through the field, but she sprinted clear inside the final furlong to maintain her unbeaten record in brilliant style.

Christophe Soumillon was the perfect man to have on board and oozed confidence as she became the first filly to win the big race since Urban Sea in 1993.

Mick Channon's Youmzain ran another game race to finish runner-up for the second year in a row.

There were worries about Zarkava leaving the stalls after she was left at the start in her prep race, and it was not straightforward again.

She lurched to her right and Soumillon worked wonders to stay in the saddle. She was soon on terms but had just four behind her as the field turned into the straight.

It appeared she faced a difficult task to fight her way through runners but the gaps appeared at just the right moment for the ice-cool Soumillon.

It's Gino and Soldier Of Fortune were having a mighty scrap at the head of affairs, but Zarkava loomed large a furlong out and stretched clear.

Soldier Of Fortune dead-heated for third with It's Gino, while Duke Of Marmalade never looked like winning his sixth Group One race of the season.

The Michael Stoute duo of Ask and Papal Bull never landed a blow, although French Derby winner Vision D'Etat was slightly unlucky as he was hampered close home.

Zarkava was immediately handed a 2-1 quote by VC Bet to follow up in next year's Arc.

Royer-Dupre said: "She's beautiful, it's marvellous because she had a very easy race. It's perfect.

"When I saw the filly in the paddock and in the parade I was sure she was OK today. I know she has great acceleration.

"It's great to train a filly like that. She's the best I've had."

Rider Richard Hills said of Youmzain: "I tried to go up the fence but it didn't quite happen as the gap closed.

"He's run a great race anyway and he's probably even better than last year."

Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Youmzain's owner Jaber Abdullah, said: "It didn't cost him the race. The winner is an exceptional filly. He won't run again this year."

Pavel Vovcenko, trainer of It's Gino, said: "He's probably better held up and maybe hit the front a bit soon, but he's still run a great race and we plan to go for the Japan Cup next."

While Aidan O'Brien said of Soldier Of Fortune and Duke Of Marmalade: "I'm not using the ground as an excuse, they've both run good races. They both have plenty of options and we'll see what happens."

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