At odds of 27-1, Danedream charged down the center of the course and drew off to easily win the $5,437,800 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) at Longchamp Oct. 2 by five lengths.
Danedream, a German-bred filly who was supplemented to the Arc Sept. 29, became the first German horse to win Europe’s most prestigious race since Star Appeal stormed home in 1975. It was the third straight group I victory for the 3-year-old daughter of Lomitas, who also captured the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden (Ger-I) and Grosser Preis von Berlin (Ger-I).
A field of 16 went to the post in the Arc, with Sarafina going off as the slight 7-2 favorite. It was a clean break for all as Treasure Beach went to the front under Colm O’Donoghue to set the pace. He was tracked closely by Shareta, with St Nicholas Abbey and Testosterone just behind them.
Jockey Andrasch Starke had Danedream settled in midfield through the early stages of the race, as the main contenders--So You Think, Snow Fairy, and Sarafina--all raced toward the rear of the field.
St Nicholas Abbey and Shareta overtook Treasure Beach and began to open up as the field entered the long home straight. Starke had Danedream just behind the leaders in fourth, and moved his filly into the clear on the outside with two furlongs to run.
Once in the clear, Danedream sailed past the leaders and began to draw off, winning impressively by five lengths in 2:24.49, a course-record time for the 12 furlongs.
Longshot Shareta held on strongly for second, with Snow Fairy charging late to take third, just a neck further back. So You Think got into the race too late, closing well to take fourth, while Sarafina was never a factor, finishing seventh.
Peter Schiergen trains Danedream for owner Gestut Berg Eberstein, who sold a half-share in the filly to Teruya Yoshida just two days ago.
An ecstatic Schiergen said after the race, “This is my best moment in racing. I don’t believe it--she was such an easy winner. She is a small filly with a big, big heart and there’s no better race to win.
“I have trained some group winners, but she is the greatest filly I have ever trained,” Schiergen continued. “This is a great day for German racing.”
Plans are up in the air for Danedream, who is nominated to the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs in November. Connections had originally thought that race to be her year-end goal.
Connections of So You Think were still proud of their horse, with Aidan O’Brien telling reporters after the race, “I thought he ran very well. He was coming home very well and it was the first time he’d run over that trip for us.”
O’Brien added, “He’s a big cruiser and I think he would handle the dirt (Breeders’ Cup) no problem, but the boys will have to discuss it before we decide what to do next.”
Danedream was bred in Germany by Gestut Brummerhof. The bay filly is out of the unraced Danehill mare, Danedrop, and hails from the female family of group I winners Plumania, Groom Dancer, and Indian Rose.