|Victoire Pisa sets sights on Arc de Triomphe|
Brilliant Dubai World Cup winner Victoire Pisa is set to leave his native Japan to prepare for a European campaign that connections hope will result in the premier middle-distance event the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe,( run at Longchamp in October), falling to a horse from the Far East for the first time, writes Elliot Slater.
There were tumultuous celebrations when the Katsushikio Sumii-trained colt got the better of a sustained duel with Transcend to win the world's richest race at Meydan in Dubai on March 26, demonstrating the now truly international nature of the sport of horse racing – the previous year's hero Gloria de Campeao was a Brazilian bred horse who later raced in France. The win came by no means out of the blue, Victoire Pisa having proved successful in Group 1 company in Japan and he also ran very well on his first attempt in the Arc when beaten just six-and-a-half lengths into seventh place behind Sir Michael Stoute's Workforce last October. Those following the Arc de Triomphe betting will be wondering if he can improve on that showing.
Now Sumii believes his horse is a stronger and better performer and hopes are high that the son of Neo Universe can fair much better at Longchamp and maybe add the 'Arc' to his Dubai World Cup success. Victoire Pisa will arrive in France in mid-August to get acclimatized and then race in the big 'Arc' trial the Prix Foy in September, before taking in the main event itself a few weeks later.
One of four potential Japanese runners in the big race that include last year's gallant runner-up Nakayama Festa (33/1), Victoire Pisa is currently offered at odds of between 14/1 and 25/1 to do the double, depending where you choose to bet. Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi is currently 4/1f, both last year's winner Workforce and his Coral Eclipse Stakes conqueror So You Think can be backed at 9/2, and it's 8/1 bar the three.