By Jon Lees
Japan: Yutaka Take has revealed he has been offered the ride on Japan in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp next month.
The riding legend said he would participate “without hesitation” – even if it means he has to spend two weeks in quarantine.
Japan is part-owned by Masaaki Matsushima with the Coolmore partners and trained by Aidan O’Brien. Fourth in last year’s Arc, he finished fifth behind stablemate Magical in last weekend’s the Irish Champion Stakes.
Take announced the news on his official website. He said Japan’s participation was not yet confirmed as O’Brien was monitoring his condition following the colt’s latest start. The four-year-old is a 40-1 chance for the Arc with Ladbrokes.
“When I get a ride offer, I will participate without hesitation,” he said. “Even if you have to wait at home for two weeks after returning to Japan.”
In an outstanding career, Take has ridden over 4,000 winners and 117 at Group 1 level.
He has ridden in the Arc eight times, finishing second on White Muzzle in 1993. He was due to ride Ballydoyle horse Broome, in which Matsushima also has a share, 12 months ago but the horse was scratched, with Take switching to Soft Light, who finished sixth.
It has long been an ambition of the Japanese to win Europe’s richest race only to suffer a run of near-misses with Orfevre (twice), Nakayama Festa and El Condor Pasa all finishing second.
Japan’s greatest horse Deep Impact contested the 2006 Arc under Take, finishing third, but was later disqualified after failing a dope test.
The coronavirus pandemic has prevented any horses travelling from Japan to challenge this year but the mare Deirdre, who has been based in Newmarket all year, is on target to run.
Arc betting (Ladbrokes): 6-4 Love, 9-4 Enable, 12 Ghaiyyath, Magical, 14 Mogul, 16 Serpentine, Stradivarius, 20 bar.