WALDGEIST leads home hopes of a first Arc victory for four years on Sunday and has the assistance of two of France’s leading horsemen in his pursuit of victory.
He is trained by the legendary Andre Fabre, a seven-time Arc winner, and ridden by former champion jockey Pierre Charles Boudot, who is seeking his first win in France’s greatest race.
We spoke of Boudot about his prospects of winning the Arc, what it is like to be back at Longchamp and who he fears most from the opposition.
It is the biggest weekend of the year in France with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe taking place in Paris. How much are you looking forward to the action?
A lot. The big races for me this weekend are the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday as I ride Wind Chimes and then the Arc on Sunday, in which I ride Waldgeist. They are two exciting rides with good chances.
Starting with Newmarket, how do you rate the chances on Wind Chimes in the Sun Chariot (3.15)?
I am confident she has a winning chance. I believe Newmarket should play to her strengths and I expect her to put in an extremely good performance.
On to the Arc, and what did you make of Waldgeist’s win in the Prix Foy last time out?
He had the perfect prep race for the Arc, in my opinion. The horse showed he has everything’s that’s needed for the Arc and he has twice won over course and distance. I am confident he will show his best in the race.
What attributes make him such a strong contender for the Arc?
He’s a good-balanced horse and a good mover too. He can really quicken when you want him too and he has a good mind.
Waldgeist did not contest the Arc last year. Do you think he is capable of being the first older colt to win the race since Dylan Thomas in 2007?
I think he is a more complete horse now and has come together. He’s an easy ride and get a good position and that helps in the Arc.
Looking at the opposition in the Arc, who do you fear the most?
I respect Enable and Sea Of Class as they are both very talented horses. But I am not afraid of them.
The Arc is back at Longchamp after two years at Chantilly. Can you describe what riding Longchamp is like?
It is a track you must know well to achieve at. I wouldn’t call it an easy track to ride. It’s a test for a jockey and for a horse and I’ve had the chances to learn a lot over the past ten years which help me in races there now.
Do you feel it is a track you know well?
Yes, but I’ve had to learn the hard way. I have made enough mistakes around Longchamp to know the place by heart now. I hope I can put that to good use in the Arc on Sunday.