July 18, 2024

Bago runs down Cherry Mix to win Arc

Last updated: 10/4/04 1:20 PM

Bago runs down Cherry Mix to win Arc

Bago outgamed Cherry Mix to win one of Europe’s most
prestigious events

(Harold Roth/Horsephotos.com)

BAGO (Nashwan) went undefeated during his juvenile campaign
last year, but dropped his past two starts. On Sunday, all that
was forgotten as the three-year-old gave his owner, the Niarchos
family, as well as jockey Thierry Gillet a first victory in the
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) at Longchamp, France.

Settled back in midpack, Bago and Gillet waited patiently as
North Light (Danehill) and Tap Dance City (Pleasant Tap) battled
it out on the front end, with North Light getting the advantage.
It proved too much for the Epsom Derby (Eng-G1) winner, though,
and he faded as Cherry Mix (Linamix) moved up to take
command. As the wire drew closer, the longshot looked a winner.

It wasn’t to be, though, as Bago suddenly appeared with a
perfectly timed ride from Gillet, who had let Cherry Mix pull
away in the stretch. Accelerating in the final yards, Bago drew
even before putting in a final burst of speed to cross under the
line a half-length better than Cherry Mix. He finished the about
1 1/2-mile event in 2:25 over the good turf.

Cherry Mix held Ouija Board (Cape Cross [Ire]), queen of the
English (Eng-G1) and Irish Oaks (Ire-G1) earlier this year, to
third by a length. Ouija Board’s trainer, Ed Dunlop, was thrilled with the

“She has proved again that she is the best of her sex in Europe with a
top-class run,” Dunlop said. “I think any normal year she would have
won as she was too far back and we’ll have a go again next year. In the meantime
she might go for the (October 30) Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1).”

It was another two lengths back to Acropolis (Sadler’s
Wells) in fourth, and next came North Light, Vallee Enchantee (Peintre
Celebre), Latice (Inchinor [GB]), Silverskaya (Silver Hawk),
Warrsan (Caerleon), Valixir (Trempolino), Execute (Suave Dancer),
Blue Canari (Acatenango), Pride (Peintre Celebre), Imperial
Dancer (Primo Dominie), Mamool (In the Wings [GB]), Prospect Park
(Sadler’s Wells), Tap Dance City, Grey Swallow (Daylami [Ire])
and Policy Maker (Sadler’s Wells). Shirocco (Monsun) was

Trained by Jonathan Pease, Bago adds the Arc to scores in the
Criterium International (Fr-G1), Prix Jean Prat (Fr-G1), Grand
Prix de Paris (Fr-G1) and Prix des Chenes (Fr-G3). He finished
third in the International (Eng-G1) and Prix Niel (Fr-G2) in his
two starts prior to Sunday.

described Bago as “the best horse I have trained,”
before Racing Manager Alan Cooper paid his tribute.

“This is
an enormous event for the Niarchos team and everyone involved
with the farms and the training,” he said. “We always
felt Bago was an exceptional horse, but at York the sticky ground
didn’t help and again was slightly against him in the Niel. He showed us in the mornings that he had bounced back from that
race, which actually helped bring him forward.”

Bago could find himself up against older rivals in his next
start as well, with a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) a
good possibility.