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Horse Racing: Ace Impact profile

Ace Impact seems to be going from strength-to-strength, with the three-year-old looking on course for a potential Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe success.

The colt, by Cracksman and Absolutly Me, is 4/1 to win the French racing showpiece – which takes place on Sunday 1st October.

His latest appearance, in the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville, emphasised his ability and maintained his unbeaten record. 

The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained charge has five wins from five races and his performance at Deauville once again impressed onlookers. 

Despite being off the track for 72 days, Ace Impact dropped to the rear of the field in the early stages but showed another gear as he made up ground in the straight. 

He went on to hold off the challenge, from Al Riffa, to win by three-quarters of a length. Rouget admitted afterwards that he wasn’t sure if his star colt would squeeze in another race or head straight to Longchamp at the start of October. 

The trainer said: “There is a lot at stake with a horse that is undefeated. You don't want to lose, you don't know if the horse still wants to fight. 

"He showed the same acceleration and just idled a bit at the end, as he needed the race.”

Star showing at the Prix du Jockey Club

Ace Impact sprung to the head of the market for the Arc when he claimed a comfortable win over Big Rock in the Prix du Jockey Club to give Rouget his fifth success in the race in the last eight years. 

The horse had been unraced at two miles and made his winning debut at Crans-sur-mer over 10 furlongs in January. 

He showed great acceleration though to beat favourite Big Rock by a comprehensive margin, making a mockery of the 50/1 quotes he had been offered for the Arc. 

Ace Impact – who is 4/1 for the Qipco Champion Stakes - was held up at the back of the field by Cristian Demuro, but he burst past the front-running runner-up to oblige at 19/2.

Longchamp and Leopardstown potential pre-Arc destinations

Ace Impact could have a final outing before the Arc, with the most likely targets either the Prix Niel at Longchamp on Saturday 10th September or the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown the following day. 

There appear to be benefits with going with either option. The Prix Niel will give the trainer the chance to see if the horse will act on the track, while it will also be the first opportunity to test the three-year-old over the Arc trip of a mile-and-a-half. 

The potential task at Leopardstown however, could be a less taxing warm-up as it is over the shorter distance of 10 furlongs. 

Rouget has gone on record to suggest he is not too concerned about having a Longchamp prep, mainly because not many of their potential rivals will have experienced the Paris track. 

A victory in Ireland could also benefit the horse’s value as a stallion, so it will be interesting to see where he goes.

A competitive Arc market

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is Europe’s richest horse race, so inevitably it is highly competitive with a host of top horses vying for glory. 

Just below Ace Impact in the market is King George winner Hukum at 6/1, who saw off Westover by a head in July’s Ascot showpiece. 

Westover’s connections will be hoping he will no longer be the bridesmaid in Paris, having also finished second in Epsom’s Coronation Cup, and he is available at 10/1 for Longchamp glory. 

Those who like to be on the side of a course winner will be drawn to Feed The Flame, who won at the capital track for the third time last month, over the 12-furlong Arc distance, in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris. 

That was under Ace Impact’s jockey Demuro and he is currently 8/1 to take the big prize.

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