PARIS // Danedream rewarded the brave decision to supplement her to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with an emphatic victory under Andrasch Starke, the German jockey, at Longchamp yesterday.
Heiko Volz paid €100,000 (Dh493,000) on Thursday to put his filly into Europe's middle-distance championship and his faith in the three year old was repaid with a five-length success from Shareta and Snow Fairy. So You Think, trained by Aidan O'Brien, was fourth.
The victory was worth €2.3 million and Danedream is set to continue racing in 2012 with the ultimate aim to become the first repeat Arc winner since Alleged in 1978.
"It was incredible. It is a fantastic moment, it is a dream for us," said Volz on behalf of his family, who have only three other horses in training.
"Having the people next to you, the family, the parents and all of my friends around me is special. I got 20 SMS messages immediately afterwards. Everyone in the racing world wants to win the Arc. For me it is the No 1 race in the world."
Only three horses have won the Arc by a greater margin, Ribot, the dual Arc winner in the 1950s, Sea Bird, generally accepted to be the greatest post-war thoroughbred, and Godolphin's Sakhee.
As Danedream also broke the track record, there is no reason to assume she cannot be a major player next year.
Treasure Beach and Shareta did most of the early work, setting a decent pace before the tempo wound up coming around the wide final bend.
Starke had his filly positioned perfectly on the false inside rail and, as they swept into the straight, Starke angled his mount outside Shareta.
There was not even a missed beat and at the final furlong pole the German filly's finishing kick immediately put the race to bed.
"This is the win of a lifetime," Starke said. "It's like a dream. She made a fabulous burst when I asked her to give it her all. An acceleration worthy of a very, very great filly.'
Danedream may not be much to look at, and even when she was a juvenile she barely caused a ripple at the sales.
Volz paid just €9,000 for the daughter of Lomitas at a breeze-up sale in his home town of Baden-Baden last year.
Her slight frame hides a lithe ability, however, and despite a humble debut in a three-runner race worth €5,000 last year she has blossomed this season.
She showed she could live with the colts when finishing third in the Italian Derby in May before she blitzed two Group 1 fields by five and six lengths.
"She is such a small filly but she's got a big heart," Volz said. "In the morning before the race I saw her, and with my stepfather I went to see So you Think. He was such a bull, and I couldn't believe they were to run together."
Volz would not be drawn into where his stable star would race next, although victory in the Arc allows automatic entry into next month's Breeders' Cup.
The Queen Elizabeth Commemorative Cup in Japan, also in November, is a possibility, while the owner did not rule out a trip to Dubai in March.
"All options are open, but I think she will have a very international campaign," said Volz
"We will go where the money is, but the Arc is the race once again. It is very hard to win the Arc twice, but we will try."
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