bog track and the absence of star contenders Snow Fairy, Danedream and
Nathaniel made for an upset result in the Group I Arc de Triomphe overnight
with unheralded French mare Solemia outgunning Japanese favourite Ofevre to
win by a neck.
Champion jockey Olivier Peslier, who was winning this race for the fourth time having achieved success on Helissio in 1996, Peintre Celebre in 97 and Sagamix in 98, rode hard to the line on Solemia, whose previous best win was in the Group II Saint Cloud Prix Corrida.
"I was looking through my binoculars and with 200 metres to run I thought we were going to be second," admitted winning trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias.
"I was happy to be second but when I saw Olivier change the whip I knew he thought he could win because he never gives a hard race to a horse."
A homebred for the Wertheimers, Solemia is the best of five stakes-winners from outstanding producer and Group III winner Brooklyn's Dance and is oen of 30 stakes-winners by the Sadler's Wells stallion Poliglote.
Coolmore's champion three year-old Camelot contested the race finishing a brave seventh in the testing conditions.