French jockey Olivier Peslier has won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe race at the Longchamp, riding Solemia, to secure the fourth win of his career in this particular race. The Frenchman held off the challenge from the Japanese horse Orfevre, to grab a victory that will confound many pundits and sports betting fans, as he was rated a 33-1 outsider prior to the start of the race despite his record in this particular race.
Solemia did not look like a potential winner for long stretches of the race, as Ernest Hemingway – trained by Aidan O’Brien led the way for a long period, before Solemia came storming into contention in the home straight to seal a surprise win. Aside from the unexpected triumph for Peslier, the race will have left many of those gambling on it with sports betting and online casino sites scratching their heads as one of the hot favourites Camelot, which was being ridden by Frankie Dettori, proved a major disappointment with a seventh place finish. Following the race, Solemia’s trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias, gave the credit for the win to jockey Peslier:
"It's the Arc. I thought we were beaten in the straight, then I saw Orfevre stopping," Laffon-Parias stated, before adding:
"Sometimes I think the jockey can make the difference and Olivier Peslier is the one who won the race."
Peslier himself appeared delighted to secure his fourth Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe win, especially as he had to overcome the challenge of Japan's horse of the year for 2011, to claim the prize.
"It’s fantastic, for the yard, for everyone," the 39 year-old Frenchman said after the race.
However, despite the excitement in the final straight, the 2012 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was considered something of an anti-climax by many racing commentators, due to a combination of the poor surface and the lacklustre performance of favourites like Camelot.