Victoire Pisa withdrawn from Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Prix Foy
Japan's Victoire Pisa, in France with plans to take on the Prix Foy on Sept. 11 and eventually the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 2, has been withdrawn from both races. Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii made the decision to give up their second bid for the coveted Arc after Victoire Pisa was diagnosed with an inflammation of his left hind hock.
The withdrawal was announced Friday, Aug. 19, but trouble had been spotted mere days after the 4-year-old colt's arrival in France. Victoire Pisa, winner of this year's Dubai World Cup and seventh in last year's Arc, had only arrived at his training ground on the evening of the 10th. Sumii, on hand at the time, said, "He looked fine being led the day he arrived and while doing light work the next. On the 13th, however, I noticed during training up the hill that he had developed lameness in his left hind leg."
An ensuing veterinarian's examination revealed inflammation of the left hock and five weeks of rest were ordered. With the Arc only six weeks away, Sumii made the decision to withdraw from their planned runs at Longchamp. "We'd been training all along with an eye to the Arc, so it's a huge disappointment," Sumii said. "Because the conditions were such that we wouldn't be able to race in our best condition, we decided to withdraw." The 47-year-old Sumii said he would discuss future plans for the colt with owner Yoshimi Ichikawa and Teruya Yoshida after returning to Japan.
Victoire Pisa was being stabled along with Hiruno d'Amour at the Paris yard of France-based Japanese trainer Satoshi Kobayashi. Plans had been to give him a sharpener for the Arc in the Prix Foy, a 2,400-meter G2 turf race.
It was an especially crushing disappointment for connections of Victoire Pisa. Following his triumphant victory in the World Cup, the first ever for Japan, Victoire Pisa had been aimed for the Hong Kong Queen Elizabeth II Cup in May. There too, he had to be withdrawn due to lameness, at that time in the opposite hind leg.
Victoire Pisa's withdrawal leaves three other Japan-trained horses still in France readying their Arc bids – last year's runnerup Nakayama Festa, Hiruno d'Amour and Nakayama Knight. Nakayama Festa and Hiruno d'Amour are scheduled to run next in the Prix Foy. Nakayama Knight is slated for the Prix Niel the same day.
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