Simca Mille entered the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe picture with a decisive victory in the Westminster 133rd Grosser Preis von Berlin.
The Hoppegarten Group One has been used as a stopping point on the route to ParisLongchamp in the past, with 2021 Arc hero Torquator Tasso winning the race in 2020 before chasing home Alpinista during the year of his triumph in Europe’s richest middle-distance contest.
Last year it was Charlie Appleby’s Rebel’s Romance that took home the spoils and stablemate New London made a bold bid from the front looking to repeat the dose for the Godolphin handler.
However, with the challenge of last year’s St Leger second beginning to falter upon straightening for home, the eye was drawn to Stephane Wattel’s French contender who was travelling menacingly in the hands of Alexis Pouchin.
The four-year-old, who skipped the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month, soon stormed clear of his pursuers to give his handler a Group One success and earn quotes of 25-1 from 33s from Paddy Power for the Arc in the French capital on October 1.
“It’s fantastic for the horse and I must admit it is nice for me because it is my first Group One after over 30 years of training,” Wattel told Wettstar.
“I’m so happy it happened here in Berlin in front of a fantastic crowd.
“It’s a difficult job and sometimes you have difficult periods, but when it goes well and you train a horse of this quality, we forget everything and we are so happy.
“He’s engaged in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and as you know, some nice winners of the Grosser Preis von Berlin have won the Arc. We might have a try at that and it will be the next target – a very big one.”