Hurricane Run left little doubt as to who the best 3-year-old colt in Europe was with an emphatic two-length victory in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) on Sunday at Longchamp. Kieren Fallon let Hurricane Run bide his time at the rear of the field during the early stages of the race, as the two pacemakers, Windya (for Shawanda) and Voltmeter (for Westerner) did their jobs well by setting a good gallop in the steady rain. Several rivals tried to get first run as the field neared the straightaway. Frankie Dettori and Cherry Mix were the first to go for the lead. The grey couldn't maintain his bid however, and soon dropped out of it. Classy French filly Shawanda was the next to grab the lead, but Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Motivator quickly rolled by her.In the meantime, Fallon and Hurricane Run were having a dream trip along the rail. The duo burst through a gap and powered away from the pack with a furlong left to run. "I didn't really want to be that far back and it got very rough turning for home," Fallon said. "But I was lucky enough to have a horse to get me out of trouble." Hard-knocking Westerner was second, with last year's Arc winner, Bago, a hard luck third. Bago appeared to have plenty of traffic problems throughout the race. Once he had clear sailing, he came flying to nail third place.Westerner owner Alec Wildenstein said his horse may have gone out too fast, and jockey Olivier Peslier could not withstand the late pressure by Hurricane Run.
"I am very proud of the horse," Wildenstein said. "Perhaps he was a little too close early on." Alan Cooper, racing manager for Bago's owners, the Niarchos family, said his horse was hindered by the soft track.
"The pace of the race was a bit slower than we would have liked," Cooper said. "He was making up a lot of ground at the end. He will go to the Breeders' Cup now." Hurricane Run emulated his sire, Montjeu, who also won the Arc as a 3-year-old. This victory capped off a remarkable year, not only for the Michael Tabor-owned colt, but for his sire as well. With his first crop 3-year-olds of 2005, Montjeu has sired the winners of the Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I), Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I), Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I), Ladbrokes St. Leger (Eng-I), and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I). In addition, he also sired the second place finishers in the Irish Derby (Ire-I), Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I), Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I), and Epsom Derby (Eng-I).Tabor said he also is considering Hurricane Run for the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Belmont Park in New York on Oct. 29. The colt may also be put away for the year, with an eye on running in 2006."He's come from an impossible position," Tabor said. "It's just incredible."
Hurricane Run won last month's Prix Niel (Fr-II) at Longchamp, a prep for the Arc. Nine of the last 12 winners of the Prix Niel went on to win the Arc. Total prize money for the weekend's 16 races was more than $4.8 million, with nearly $2.2 million for the Arc and $1.2 million for the winner. Fallon topped off an extraordinary day with his third straight group I victory on the Longchamp program. He had won earlier for the Coolmore connections with the 2-year-olds Rumplestiltskin in the Prix Marcel Boussac (Fr-I) and Horatio Nelson in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I). The Arc victory was a first for Fallon.Trainer Andre Fabre notched his sixth victory in Europe's most prestigious race. Prior to Sunday, his most recent victory was with Sagamix in 1998. Fabre's other Arc victories came in 1987, '92, '94 and '97.