As connections of outstanding stayer Dunaden decide if the six year old returns to Australia to defend his Melbourne Cup title or pursue a European campaign, Ascot winner Danedream will be returning to France to defend her Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe crown.
The Group 1 €4m QATAR Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Longchamp on October 7 could be on the cards for Dunaden but German trainer Peter Schiergen confirmed a defence of the Arc after Danedream took out the Group 1 £1m The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Ascot last week end.
“If everything is all right, we’ll go to Baden-Baden (Grosser Preis Von Baden) next and after that we’ll go to the Arc. She will probably end her career in the Japan Cup,” Schiergen said.
Danedream became the first German horse to win the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes with a nose victory over Nathaniel after giving the Coral-Eclipse winner a start and running him down right on the line with Dunaden labouring in sixth spot.
“It was very tight, but I had a good feeling. This was most definitely one of the best races in the last few years, with so many class horses. It’s an unbelievable moment for Germany,” said winning jockey Andrasch Starke.
“I said before never to forget the best performance from a horse and she had won the Arc. We don’t really know what went wrong last time, but with animals it is going to happen. She fought hard and it’s definitely the biggest moment in my life.”
“It’s tough for her as a filly with the jump from three to four (years old), and this was going to be a difficult track with ups and downs. I think this was the most difficult race, so today is a historic win for her.”
Schiergen was very thrilled when Danedreams’ number went up fater not being ssuree if hiss little filly had arrived in time.
“I thought we were second, but now it’s better we are first. The last race there was no pace, but today there was a good pace. It’s very important for Germany and it’s very good for German racing,” Schiergen said.
Nathaniel’s trainer John Gosden was unable pick the result either as the horses cross the line and was quick to praise the effort of Danedream and was content to stand in the runner’s up stall after going down by a nose to the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe winner.
“I’m delighted with him. I didn’t know which horse had won crossing the line, and I was on the line,” Gosden said.
“The winner has come back to her best. Anyone who was lucky enough to see her win the Arc last year, breaking the track record and destroying the colts, would know she is marvellous. She didn’t handle the ground at Saint-Cloud the other day and she’s come here and run a blinder.”
Danedream set a race record in winning last year’s Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe and Schiergen will return to Longchamp before heading to Japan for the four year old’s final race appearance in the Group 1 US$6.5m Japan Cup (2400m) at Tokyo on November 25
The German filly will be having her second attempt at the Japan Cup after starting favourite last year when finishing sixth to locally trained Buena Vista prepared by Hiroyoshi Matsuda.