Arc treble elevates Aidan O'Brien to new peak

AIDAN O'brien says his unprecedented one-two-three in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will be impossible to top after Found led home stablemates Highland Reel and Order Of St George in European racing's showpiece contest.

Jockey Ryan Moore shows his delight after Founds victory in the Qatar Prix de lArc de Triomphe (Picture: Michel Euler/AP).

No stranger to big race success, the Ballydoyle maestro’s clean sweep at Chantilly drew comparisons with the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup when then Harewood trainer Michael Dickinson saddled the first five horses home.

The result is superior to the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this year when O’Brien was responsible for the first three home courtesy of Minding, Ballydoyle and Alice Springs.

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Second in her last five races, including the Yorkshire Oaks on Knavesmire, the victory also vindicated the judgment of winning rider Ryan Moore who said two years ago that Found would win an Arc.

Unlucky in running 12 months ago, Found quickened brilliantly heading inside the final two furlongs to claim the pacesetting Vedevani and never looked like being caught, keeping up the gallop for an emphatic success.

Big race favourite Postponed was a slightly laboured fifth – Roger Varian’s charge could not pick up in the home straight – while dual Derby hero Harzand could not get in a blow. The Grey Gatsby, trained at Hambleton by Kevin Ryan, was last.

O’Brien said: “I’m so delighted for everyone. It’s a big team effort. It’s a privilege to be here and be part of it. How can you see anything higher (in his career) than this? I couldn’t dream this would happen. You know how difficult the Arc is. We’ve had our eye on this for a long time. When Ryan rode her as a two-year-old and said she could win an Arc, he was obviously right.”

All three of O’Brien’s horses were sired by the champion stallion Galileo, further boosting the prestige of the Coolmore stud.

“I can’t believe it. First, second and third in the Arc, it’s unbelievable,” said Michael Tabor who co-owns the horses with John Magnier and Derrick Smith.

“It’s just incredible. Words can’t describe it. It’s just amazing.”

Referring to Found’s success at last year’s Breeders’ Cup meeting in America, he added: “This is the time of year for her. We knew we had a chance, but this is the Arc and it’s a tough race. It’s unreal.

“She’s a hardy, tough filly. I don’t have to say anything because her results speak for themselves, so it’s fantastic. It’s the race that all of America watches and obviously Europe does, too, so the whole world is watching. It’s a special race to say the least.”

Typically, the Coolmore camp were reluctant to map out an immediate game plan for Found, although Tabor said a return trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita will be under discussion.

However, Moore, winning his second Arc following his triumph on Workforce in 2010, said such talk should not detract from the scale of O’Brien’s training achievement.

He said: “To saddle the first three in an Arc, and to get three horses there in top shape and beat the best around, is quite incredible.”

Speaking from America, Dickinson said last night: “Congratulations to Aidan, it’s a fantastic achievement.

“It’s great to have the power of Coolmore behind him, but he does a brilliant job training them.”