Arc preview day at Chantilly Sept. 10 produced a mixed bag of results with a very international flavor.
At the end of the day, if there were new clues to the prospects for the Oct. 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1), they were far from definitive.
Bateel emerged from the middle of the field entering the stretch of the Qatar Prix Vermeille (G1) for fillies and mares, hooked up in a battle with Journey for the next 200 meters and finally won with authority.
Journey held on to finish second and Left Hand came in third. Bateel finished the 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) in 2:32.90 over soft turf with Pierre-Charles Boudot in the irons.
Bateel, a 5-year-old mare by Dubawi (IRE) out of the Chief's Crown mare Attractive Crown, raced in England last year for trainer David Simcock. Moved across the Channel to Francis-Henri Graffard this season, she entered the Vermeille off a victory in the Haras Firmamento Prix de Pomone (G2) at Deauville.
The Qatar Prix Niel (G2), a 1 1/2-mile test for 3-year-olds, was little more than a paid gallop for the heavy favorite, Cracksman, with Frankie Dettori up for trainer John Gosden. The Frankel colt came from off the pace to win by 3 1/2 lengths over four overmatched rivals. The race did little to sway his chances over much tougher competition should he go forward for the Arc.
Dschingis Secret, a 4-year-old Soldier Hollow (GB) colt trained by Markus Klug, doubled up his victory in the Longines Grosser Preis von Berlin (G1) at Hoppegarten Aug. 13.
Japan's latest Arc hope, Satono Diamond (JPN), got to the lead inside the final two furlongs of the Prix Foy but couldn't sustain the momentum and finished fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. Before the race, trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said his 4-year-old Deep Impact (JPN) colt would benefit from the trip over the course.
In the second group 1 on Arc Preview day, Ribchester, the hot favorite, went to the lead under jockey James Doyle two furlongs from the finish in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, a one-mile event for 3-year-olds and up, and held on to win by 3/4 length over Taareef for trainer Richard Fahey.
The disappointment of the race was Lady Frankel, who got home last of seven, beaten 7 3/4 lengths.
Ribchester, a 4-year-old Iffraaj (GB) colt racing in the Godolphin blue, scored his third win from his last four starts, all group 1 affairs at one mile.