By Jon Lees
France: Japanese riding legend Yutaka Take is to compete in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for the ninth time at ParisLongchamp next month, when he will bid to fulfil a dream for owner Masaaki Matsushima on Broome or Japan.
Matsushima, who owns shares in the two Aidan O’Brien-trained horses alongside the Coolmore partners, has made no secret of his desire to win the Arc in tandem with his nation’s riding hero.
Take, 52, travelled to France 12 months ago to ride Japan only for the horse to be withdrawn with O’Brien’s other contenders because of a contaminated feed issue, but he will take on the trip again which will involve another 14-day spell in quarantine on his return.
Speaking on his personal website, Take said: “I received a riding offer for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. This offer is a great honour for this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. I will be away from horse racing in Japan for three weeks , but of course I will go. If it happens, it will be my ninth ride in the Arc.”
Broome was being aimed at the Arc in 2019 but didn’t make the line-up and raced only twice last term. Now five, he has won four of his seven starts this term, including the G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, before finishing fourth in the King George. His participation will depend on his performance in the Prix Foy on the Arc trials card at ParisLongchamp.
Japan was won two G3 prizes this year and went down by a neck to Gufo in the G1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga on his most recent outing.
Take has ridden over 4,200 winners, 117 of them at G1 level. He recorded his best finish in the Arc when second on White Muzzle in 1993. He also partnered Japan’s greatest horse Deep Impact in the 2006 Arc, where the horse was third before later being disqualified over a failed dope test.
Winning Europe’s richest race has become a holy grail for the Japanese whose challengers have suffered a sequence of near-misses with Orfevre (twice), Nakayama Festa and El Condor Pasa all finishing second.
Chrono Genesis (Oisin Murphy) and Deep Bond (Cristian Demuro) are set to provide the Japanese-trained runners in this year’s 100th edition.
The big race is an obsession for owner Matsushima too, who has previously stated: “My dream is to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Yutaka Take.”
Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe betting (Coral): 5-2 Snowfall, 9-2 Adayar, 6 Hurricane Lane, Tarnawa, 8 Mishriff, 10 St Mark’s Basilica, 12 Wonderful Tonight, Chrono Genesis, 20 Efforia, Love, 25 Bar
• Visit the Yutaka Take website