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Arc the plan for Luxembourg after Irish Champion Stakes success

14 Sep 2022
Jon Vine 14 Sep 2022
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  • Key quotes after the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown
  • Luxembourg won the feature under Ryan Moore
  • Aidan O'Brien said the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was the next target for Luxembourg, for which he is now the favourite
  • Top stayer Kyprios could also represent Ballydoyle in the Arc
luxembourg leopardstown
Ryan Moore riding Luxembourg (blue/maroon) win The Irish Champion Stakes from Stephane Pasquier riding Onesto (white) at Leopardstown. (Getty)

Luxembourg will be aimed at the 2022 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, following his victory in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Luxembourg2022 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe GET 9/2 HERE
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Following an unbeaten juvenile campaign, which featured an impressive victory in the Vertem Futurity Trophy, much was expected of Luxembourg during his three-year-old campaign. Aidan O'Brien's charge was made the favourite for the Epsom Derby following a third-place finish in the 2000 Guineas on his reappearance. Yet, all Classic plans had to be shelved after Luxembourg met with a setback.

O'Brien's three-year-old wasn't seen again until the Royal Whip Stakes in August, which he won by just a neck. Ryan Moore's mount was well-backed in the lead-up to Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and Luxembourg rewarded his many backers with a gusty, half-length victory over French raiders Onesto and Vadeni.

"I don't think we have had an atmosphere at a Flat meeting in Ireland like this in a long time." O'Brien said following Luxembourg's win. "He got applauded as he went out which is very rare."

"It was unbelievable from a lot of people (to get the horse back following his injury) and Ryan gave him an incredible ride. We felt going to (Royal Whip) that he was only ready for a racecourse gallop."

"He couldn't come here unless he'd had a race, and that's why we were so happy with him at the Curragh. He had 20 to 30 per cent to improve from the Curragh, and you usually don't run a race in a Group race like that."

Attention soon turned to future plans for Luxembourg after he captured the second Group One prize of his career and Aidan O'Brien wasted no time in nominating the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as the next objective.

"The plan and the dream was, if we could get him back, we'd mapped out three races for him - if we could get him to the Curragh he could come here and if he came here he could go to the Arc. The pace was solid and it was an even pace. He's obviously a very good horse."

"He wasn't surrendering at the line today and he could be better over a mile and a half. His head was in the cooker a long way up that straight and he didn't stop."

The Arc is also an option for star stayer Kyprios, who collected his third Group One win of the season in the Irish St Leger on Sunday. Aidan O'Brien did say, however, that his Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup winner could be saved for next season, and the defence of his staying crown.

“He (Kyprios) has an option of going for the Arc." O'Brien continued. "Hopefully we’ll have him next year as he’ll be an exciting horse for the Gold Cup again. We’ll see what everyone thinks but all the options are there, and maybe he doesn’t have to go anywhere anymore this year.”

William Hill make Luxembourg their 9/2 favourite for the 2022 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after Baaeed was taken out of the race, with Kyprios priced up at 33/1. You can see the full updated betting for the Arc here on our website.


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