Nestled between the Arc Trials and the actual Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend, two weeks later, the Prix du Prince d’Orange (Gr3), a 3-year-old race over 10 furlongs, could be considered as a last gasp prep race for the big one. However, this strategy has not paid off since 1990 and the victories of Saumarez.
Sure enough, last year’s winner Ghaiyyath carefully skipped the Arc in 2018 but only to come back stronger this season: he’s just demolished the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden (Gr1)’s field and stands now amongst the wild bunch that’s getting into town to rob Enable from her promised land in the 2019 saga.
His successor is a 3yo filly who’s steadily improving from the ranks of many courting fillies to the few chosen ones hardy enough to wish for a crown as the season draws to a close. Soudania (Sea the Stars) won a fourth consecutive race here more easily than ever as she left her rivals, led by Queen (Kingman), at 3 lengths. She’d never won by more than 1.5 length before, even when she already beat Queen, last time out in the Prix de Liancourt (L) over 2,100 metres. The third-placed Goya Senora (Anodin) gets her black-type here, a well-deserved reward for a filly who has been consistent throughout the season never dodged a fight up the hill and has now run nine times in ’19.
Soudania’s dam Sahel (Monsun) cost € 320,000 as a yearling at Deauville. She a full sister of the German champions Schiaparelli (Monsun), Samum (Monsun) and Salve Regina (Monsun), all of them Group1 winners, and of Sanwa (Monsun), dam of the renowned sire Sea the Moon (Sea the Stars), a German Derby winner.
Sanwa’s best foal to date was Sortilège (Tiger Hill), a Prix Lydia Tesio (Gr1) winner. Maybe Soudania will do better now. After her, she gave a 10th foal, Tyranique (Dansili), who’s two now.