Simca Mille, a four-year-old racehorse named after an old French car, is a live contender for the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Trained by Stephane Wattel, who also owns 30% of the horse, Simca Mille has won six races, including a Group 1 victory in Germany in August 2023, and has earned over £500,000. Despite his unusual name, Simca Mille has proven to be a talented racehorse, winning three of his four starts this year and earning his place in the £4.5 million Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Wattel chose the name Simca Mille to start with an ‘S’ after the horse’s dam. He was inspired by the Simca 1000, a small rear-engined car produced between 1961 and 1978 that sold over 2 million units. Although Wattel admits that the car “seemed to be designed by a three-year-old” and was not very attractive, he enjoys giving his horses unconventional names that often produce good horses.
Simca Mille is a 20-1 chance with William Hill for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, in which he will be ridden by young French jockey Alexis Pouchin. Despite not being one of the favourites, Wattel is confident in Simca Mille’s abilities, stating that he comes into the race in the best condition and arrives fresh. With surprises often occurring in the history of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Simca Mille’s chances cannot be discounted.
Simca Mille’s recent victories include the Group 1 Westminster 133rd Grosser Preis von Berlin at Hoppegarten and the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt at Deauville, where he showed himself to have plenty of boot for a mile and a quarter. Wattel believes that Simca Mille should be the best German mile-and-a-half horse and sees the French horse and the Godolphin runner as the ones to beat in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Simca Mille’s success is a testament to Wattel’s training and the quality of the horse. With his unconventional name and impressive record, Simca Mille is a horse to watch on Arc Trials Day and could be a surprise winner in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.