Injured Lemaire misses Arc

Christophe Lemaire will not ride Stacelita in Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after suffering a bad injury on Friday.

Christophe Lemaire will not ride Stacelita in Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after suffering a bad injury on Friday.

Lemaire faces a protracted spell on the sidelines after sustaining a fractured collarbone in an Arab race at Saint-Cloud.

Agent Helen Barbe confirmed: “He’s had a very light schedule for the past 10 days, but you can never choose when you’re going to have an accident.

“It’s only a collarbone and he’ll be back soon enough. Christophe is fine within himself, but is probably more disappointed for the clients who he was meant to be riding for this weekend.”

A decision has yet to be made on Lemaire’s deputy for Stacelita, who controversially defended her unbeaten record in last month’s Prix Vermeille.

The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained filly finished second to Dar Re Mi, but the winner was demoted into fifth after being found guilty of causing interference with another rival.

Michel Zerolo, racing manager for Stacelita’s owners, said: “Jean Claude-Rouget has no sense of urgency at this stage and will explore all possible options.

“He needs to discuss the situation with her owners and a decision will be made by the end of the day.”

Alain de Royer-Dupre won the Arc for the Aga Khan 12 months ago with the great Zarkava, but is a little more grounded about this year's contender Beheshtam.

Although well beaten by Cavalryman when sent off a hot favourite in the Grand Prix de Paris, he shaped much better when only just beaten by the same rival in the Prix Niel.

“He had a good run in the Niel and I think he has made some progress since the race. He’s looking well,” said the trainer.

“We are certainly trying for a place, but it is going to be a very difficult race. I am afraid the ground is going to be too firm.”

Considering Sea The Stars, De Royer-Dupre added: “He is the best. If the pace is good, he can win, but if the pace is slow he might not.”

More confident, but still a little worried about the ground, is Eric Libaud, trainer of Vision D'Etat.

He was fifth in the Arc last year and won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Second on his comeback in the Prix Foy, he breaks from stall nine.

“It (the draw) is not bad at all,” said Libaud. “The ground at Ascot was good when Vision D’Etat won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes in June but a bit of rain would help.

“All I ask for is genuinely good to soft ground so that everybody gives their best. Vision D’Etat came back a bit sore from his last prep race but he’s completely recovered now. He’s bounced back and looks at least as good as he was before Ascot.”

A clutch of other French fancies have bad draws. Stacelita is, for instance, in stall 16 of 19.

Zerolo added: “It is far from ideal. A good pace is expected, though, and things could develop favourably for us - but we will need an extra pinch of luck here.”

She will at least be well away from Dar Re Mi in the early stages of the race.

Her trainer John Gosden said: “She is in stall two – the pacemakers are all out on the outside.

“We will just have to see what happens and Jimmy (Fortune) will ride as he finds it. The size of the field will be a problem for everybody. She is capable of coming from off the pace, and she is capable of making her own running – she has done it all. She is versatile on any ground.

“She is taking on the colts and we have to be realistic that we have previously been racing in fillies’ Group Ones.”

Prix Niel winner Cavalryman, trained by Andre Fabre and carrying the straw colours of Godolphin’s French operation, is right on the outside in berth 19.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford reported: “Cavalryman hasn’t got a great draw, but hopefully over a mile and a half it will not play against him too much.

“Andre has been happy with his progress leading into the race and I don’t think the good going will be a problem.

“Obviously it is going to be a huge test for him and whatever he achieves on Sunday, we are looking forward to seeing him in the blue silks next summer.”

Kieren Fallon won the Arc on Dylan Thomas two years ago, when he was just in front of Youmzain - the jockey's mount on this occasion.

Connections of Mick Channon’s entire are philosophical about the six-year-old having been drawn in stall one.

“It’s certainly better than being drawn in stall 19,” joked Bruce Raymond, owner Jaber Abdullah’s racing manager.

“It’s a bit tight on the inside, but the favourite is drawn six and I would definitely prefer a low draw. He has run well from a low draw on his previous two starts in the race and an inside draw should suit him.

“He travels well under Kieren Fallon and it should give him options. He has worked once with a visor on and he went very nicely.

“Ideally, I would have rather seen a bit more cut in the ground, but it’s the same for most of the runners. He has run well on all types of ground but all of his wins have come on soft going.”

Aidan O’Brien, who trained Dylan Thomas, is excited about Fame And Glory, who was beaten by Sea The Stars in the Derby and Irish Champion Stakes.

“He had a big long break after the Irish Derby and we were sorry the clash with Sea The Stars didn’t materialise in that race,” said the master of Ballydoyle.

“He then had two months off before the Irish Champion and he was only just ready to start back.

“We were delighted with him because when you see a horse that gets a mile and a half like him, yet can quicken up as he did in the Champion Stakes, then you’d have to be really happy and looking forward to his next run.

“The good thing in the Champion is that Mick (Kinane, on Sea The Stars) didn’t lock horns with him early and so he didn’t get hammered in the straight.

“If he had then he could have gone backwards, not forwards, after the race but as it is we’re really looking forward to the clash on Sunday.”

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