Through Seven Seas finishes 4th in Arc, brings Japan best result in 10 years
At France’s Parislongchamp Racecourse on Sunday, Oct. 1, Through Seven Seas, Japan’s sole runner in this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, sailed to the country’s best Arc finish in a decade. The Dream Journey 5-year-old mare, racing under Christophe Lemaire, unleashed her impressive late speed to cross the line in fourth place, 3 lengths and a short head behind winner Ace Impact, ridden by Cristian Demuro.
Northern Farm-bred Through Seven Seas who’s owned by Carrot Farm Co. Ltd., raced under 58kg and followed Onesto by a length and a quarter. She narrowly beat St. Leger champ Continuous, a Japan-bred Heart’s Cry colt ridden by Ryan Moore.
Through Seven Seas had landed in France on Sept. 15 following a near 24-hour trip from Japan and arrived at her final destination (the Chantilly stables of Nicolas Clement) a few hours later. The days leading into the race proceeded without a hitch and trainer Tomohito Ozeki’s outlook was positive. Through Seven Seas, though only a Grade 3 winner in Japan, with four wins from her 12 starts, had proved consistent, making the Top 3 in all but three of her races back home. Earlier this year, she narrowly missed capturing the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen, where she finished a neck behind winner Equinox. Betting in Japan on the Arc had her at fourth choice.
Running under the No. 9 saddle cloth, Through Seven Seas broke from the No. 5 gate, a position Ozeki had deemed “relatively good” given past Arc results. After a smooth break, Lemaire held the mare toward the rear and on the rail as he matched pace with Ace Impact two wide to his outside. Just before the field turned into the straight, Cristian Demuro moved up and brought Ace Impact out, with Lemaire also moving wider. As the eventual winner flew up the outside, Lemaire steered Through Seven Seas back in, where she caught a wind that moved her powerfully forward.
“Despite the fact that she’s from my stable and I’m partial, I was very impressed by her stupendous effort in the stretch,” Ozeki said.
“It was a great performance that brought her to fourth place. Of course, deep down, I wanted to win, so the result is somewhat frustrating for me as well.
Ozeki added, “The best thing is that, thanks to all the support from so many people, she was able to come this far without mishap, and she was able to give us a very solid performance. Through Seven Seas,” he emphasized, “is the one who has done the most work and she has earned my highest praise.
“I also want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those who supported us, and to those who cheered us on both in and outside of Japan. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Christophe Lemaire, who was riding an Arc hopeful for Japan for his fifth time and Through Seven Seas for his fourth time, also had high praise for the mare: “I think Through Seven Seas really gave a first-rate performance today. She was at her best. She gained ground just before the finish and I think she gave the race everything she had to give. I think this was her best performance yet.”
As Japan’s 32nd entrant since the country’s first Arc bid in 1969, Through Seven Seas reeled in the country’s best result from among 17 hopefuls since 2013, the year Triple Crown champion Orfevre finished second (for his second time) and Kizuna came home in fourth place.
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