Sunday, 28th Jun 2020
Way To Paris made it fifth time lucky at Group 1 level with a neck victory in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
Tried at a stayers’ trip last season, the popular seven-year-old grey has been a revelation since dropping back. Way To Paris has now won both of his starts over 1m 4f this term.
Pierre-Charles Boudot seems to have found the key to this horse. The jockey completed a big race double on him after his earlier victory aboard Persian King in the Prix du Muguet.
After racing under now typical hold-up tactics, Way To Paris improved when angled out in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud two furlongs from home. He then ran on to lead inside the final 50 yards and prevailed over Czech inside runner Nagano Gold.
Last year’s Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud runner-up Ziyad was a further head behind in third, while Godolphin’s British raider Old Persian bombed out last. The Charlie Appleby trained five-year-old shaped as if badly needing the run.
A deserved Group 1 success earned Way To Paris bookmaker quotes for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomohe ranging from 40/1 down to 20/1.
Jamie Clark, Horsebetting.com Editor
Only one seven-year-old has won the Arc. That was Motrico in 1932, but he had won France’s most famous before two years earlier.
Way To Paris doesn’t have a similar profile to that interwar golden oldie. While he has clearly got better with age and connections have now found the right way to ride him, another try at the Arc couldn’t be advised.
Coming from behind to win races with small fields is Way To Paris all over. His record in events with larger entries isn’t so good.
In the 2018 Arc, Way To Paris was a never dangerous but staying on 11th to Enable. Not bad for a rank 150/1 outsider who was beaten less than six lengths.
He ran into traffic and what gaps appeared came too late. That Arc was run at Chantilly too, not Longchamp with its false home turns.
Although thriving now, the fact is that Way To Paris has to be vulnerable to younger horses. Contenders will emerge that are less than half his age and the Arc terms favour them.
Trainer Andrea Marcialis will be delighted, though. A midsummer break now would be sensible, but connections may still dare to dream with their relative veteran of unlikely Arc glory.