Unbeaten Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor Ace Impact has been retired to stud.
Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, the three-year-old has enjoyed an exemplary campaign, rising through the ranks from a Cagnes-Sur-Mer all-weather win in January to an electrifying length-and-three-quarters victory in the ParisLongchamp showpiece at the start of this month.
After his initial win in January, Rouget bided his time until sending Ace Impact for a conditions win in April, with a Listed success coming the following month.
Upped to Group One level for the Prix du Jockey Club after that, the son of Cracksman showed his trademark turn of foot to win the French equivalent of the Derby by three and a half lengths from Big Rock.
A Group Two victor in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville in August, Ace Impact was a short-priced Arc favourite and he justified that confidence with a stylish success under Cristian Demuro.
Owned in partnership by Serge Stempniak and the Chehboub family’s Gousserie Racing, connections had considered a possible Japan Cup bid or even campaigning on in 2024, but eventually opted to retire their star to stand at Haras de Beaumont stud in Normandy.
Ace Impact bows out the winner of each of his six career starts, boasting a rating of 128 which puts him just 1lb behind top Japanese runner Equinox.
“The way he races and his acceleration is very rare in a racehorse,” said Rouget.
“Very few racehorses are able to accelerate like that and for me (2008 Arc winner) Zarkava was a super champion and maybe had the superior acceleration, but he is not far from that.
“He gave me a great day when winning the Arc and also the Prix du Jockey Club and all the races were delicious. We started very slowly and then progressed to Listed, Group One and Group Two and then another Group One.
“We had very good days with Almanzor in the Prix du Jockey Club and Sottsass in the Jockey Club and the Arc and (they) were equally good champions. With Ace Impact his acceleration is stronger and with him, in three steps, the race is over.”
On his overriding memories of Ace Impact and the opportunity to train his progeny in the future, the handler added: “We have a few years to wait and we will try to find another one like him.
“We are champion trainer for the fifth time in France thanks to Ace Impact.
“My memory of him will be he is he is not impressive in the morning, but when racing, he is another horse with very strong acceleration.”