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Ace Impact Secures Arc Favoritism With Post 8 Draw

Ace Impact ‘s position at the head of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) market strengthened Sept. 28 after he was handed stall eight and one of his main market rivals Hukum  was drawn out wide in 14 when 15 runners were declared for Sunday’s big race in Paris.

A dominant winner of this year’s Prix du Jockey Club (G1), the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Ace Impact has been aimed at the €5 million contest since and took his record to 5-for-5 with victory in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano (G2) at Deauville last month.

Stall eight has been a winning draw in the past, with Workforce  landing the spoils from that berth in 2010, and Ace Impact’s jockey Cristian Demuro was pleased with his position.

Demuro said: “I’m very happy and eight is a lucky number for me, as my birthday is July 8. I think it’s a good draw and several of the fancied runners are just inside me.”

The one doubt about Ace Impact is his stamina—the 1 mile and 2 1/2 furlongs of the French Derby being the furthest he has travelled— and that could hand the advantage to the Owen Burrows-trained Hukum, a dual group 1 winner over 1 1/2 miles.

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Having downed last year’s Derby winner Desert Crown  in the Brigadier Gerard (G3) on his reappearance, Hukum was given a break before getting the better of Westover  in a mighty tussle in the King George, with just a head separating the pair at Ascot.

He will have to overcome a wide draw in 14 in his bid to hand Burrows a first win in the Arc, but both Dalakhani (2003) and Golden Horn  (2015) were successful from that stall since the turn of the century.

After the draw was made, Coral trimmed Ace Impact to 10-3 (from 7-2), while lengthening Hukum to 5-1 (from 9-2). The firm’s David Stevens said: “Ace Impact’s connections can have few complaints about drawing stall eight and it’s a draw that will probably ensure the unbeaten colt is sent off favorite on Sunday, especially as his biggest market rival Hukum appears to have been done few favors with a wide draw in 14.”

Burrows and the Shadwell team have opted to head to the Longchamp showpiece fresh and have not run Hukum since, while Westover, who finished sixth in last year’s Arc on unsuitably heavy ground, has also been off the track since Ascot.

The forecast better surface is a positive for Westover, but a draw in one has been tricky to navigate from in the past, with only Zarkava (2008) victorious since the turn of the century.

The quicker ground was also the driving force behind German Derby winner Fantastic Moon  being supplemented, and it could be history repeating itself as jockey Rene Piechulek won from the same stall in 12 aboard Torquator Tasso  in 2021.

Frankie Dettori, the most successful jockey in Arc history, has a good draw in stall three as he bids for a record-extending seventh victory on the John and Thady Gosden-trained Free Wind , who makes up a four-strong British challenge.

Through Seven Seas vaulted into the reckoning when running Equinox , the world’s highest-rated horse, to a neck in the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin at the end of June. She is drawn inside the favorite Ace Impact in stall five as she bids to give Japan a coveted first victory in the Arc.

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