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Soumillon's set to ride.

Byline: MARTIN KELLY

CHRISTOPHE Soumillon is all set to achieve the improbable and ride Stacelita in today's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after making a double-quick return to action at Longchamp. The Belgian jockey got the allclear to make a remarkable comeback from a fractured elbow suffered on September 9 at Nancy as Christophe Lemaire broke his collarbone in a fall at Saint-Cloud on Friday.

And he struck gold on the second of his two rides, winning the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein on Tamazirte for Stacelita's trainer, Jean-Claude Rouget.

However, Soumillon was still being a little cautious about the prospects of taking part in Europe's premier middle-distance race, which he won last year on Zarkava.

"It is not 100% sure that I will ride. I feel very well today and I hope we make the right decision tonight and see if I can do it," he said.

Confident "I was really lucky in the fall as many horses went past me but it was only the last one who hurt me.

"It was quite good when I came out of my operation. There was no pain, my hand was strong and I was confident to try coming back on this weekend. "But it's a big weekend and when I asked last week I was told it was a bit crazy to take a decision at that time.

"What happened to Christophe Lemaire was a shame for him. I won't say I am happy but it is better for me than it was two weeks ago.

"It is always hard to say how long injuries take to heal as you never know.

"They told me I would be out for two months but I had a quick operation and the bones healed quick and I am happy now.

"I talked to Mr Rouget last night about riding his horses, and I was keen to try.

"The only problem is Sea The Stars, who is one of the best horses we have seen in the Arc for a long time.

"The Arc is the biggest race you want to win if you are a jockey."
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 4, 2009
Words:354
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