This first Sunday in October see’s the Paris track of Longchamp play host to one of the very best, and possibly THE best of races run anywhere in the world. Serving up a clash of the generations, the crème de la crème amongst the colts and fillies do battle in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Established in 1920, the Arc is run over one and a half miles, or 2400 metres. The race’s most successful jockey is Frankie Dettori who last win came in 2018 when Enable completed her Arc double.
Next Race: Sunday, 4th October 2020
The next race is scheduled to run on 4th October 2020. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 6th October 2019
- Winner: Waldgeist
- SP: 131/10
- Trainer: Andre Fabre
- Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot
A distance of 1m4f is the trip for this most prestigious of Group 1 contests. Set to be run on soft ground this year, the race offers a whopping £4,504,505 in total prize money.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Soft||1m4f||Group 1||£4,504,505||12 Runners||1/5 1-3|
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2019. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
The classic generation have just held the edge here of late, with the three year olds having claimed top spot six times in the past 10 years. No horse older than four has won in this period.
It has paid dividends to side with the fairer sex recently, with seven of the past eight editions seeing a filly or mare coming home in front.
This contest has gone to a British or Irish trained runner in each of the past four years, and we will be banking on more of the same in 2019. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a certain filly called Enable going for an unprecedented third success in the race this year, and we fancy she just might do it.
Always one of the most eagerly anticipated Group 1 contests of the season, the 2019 edition has the potential to be a truly historic event. No horse has yet managed to win this race on three separate occasions, but the market suggests that may all change this year, as the most talented mare in training bids for a place in the history books.
It is of course the John Gosden trained and Frankie Dettori ridden Enable who will be the focus of much of the attention this time around, as she attempts to bring the house down with a third successive Arc triumph. Two and a half lengths too good for the field at Chantilly in 2017, that winning margin was down to a rapidly diminishing short neck at this track 12 months ago. One year on, will this be the season in which she is dethroned?
Detractors may point to that narrow winning margin 12 months ago, and the fact that no five year old has won this since 2002. It should however be noted that the daughter of Nathaniel claimed this in spite of an injury interrupted preparation in 2018, and has enjoyed a much smoother time of things this time around. Now unbeaten in 12 – including no fewer than 10 Group 1’s – if she turns up in peak form, she remains the one they all have to beat. Going in the hands of six-time winner of the race Frankie Dettori, she couldn’t wish for a better partner for the task at hand.
JOY FOR JAPAN?
The clear pick of the rest of the field to our eyes is the rapidly improving Aidan O’Brien runner, Japan. A little slower to come to hand than a number of his stablemates. He nevertheless showed bags of promise and ability when a strong finishing third in the Derby. A hat-trick of wins since that effort – including two at the very highest level – shows he belongs in a line-up such as this, and on a line of form through Crystal Ocean, he would have very little to find with Enable on the ratings.
Aidan O’Brien doesn’t boast quite the dominance in this race as he does in some of the other Group 1’s on the calendar, but he has still won it twice and will have this son of Galileo primed to peak on the big day. If there is a horse most likely to ruin the Enable fairy tale, it would seem most likely to be him.
HAS SOT GOT WHAT IT TAKES?
Another dangerous looking youngster is the Jean-Claude Rouget trained three year old, Sotsass. Attractively bred, being by promising sire Siyouni and out of a Galileo mare, he looked in need of the outing when beaten on his comeback in April, but has since rattled up a trio of wins in most impressive style. A Listed winner on soft at Chantilly, he backed that up with an impressive victory in the French Derby, before winning his trial for this in the Prix Niel in a canter. Rouget is yet to win an Arc, but Sottsass may well represent his best chance yet.
Final Verdict: Enable To Win
Japan is greatly feared, but he does still have a couple of pounds to find with Enable on this season’s form. Whilst the likelihood is that the O’Brien runner has more improvement to come, he is going to need it, and in addition, his run style may put him at a disadvantage here, in a race where traffic problems are far from uncommon.
All in all, the best option looks to be to simply side with the best horse in the race. On all known evidence, that horse is Enable, and whilst it’s always possible something improves enough to surpass her in her fifth year, we don’t see it happening here. As such we will be backing her to further cement her status amongst the all-time greats.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Winners
|2019||Waldgeist||131/10||Andre Fabre||Pierre-Charles Boudot|
|2018||Enable||Evs||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2017||Enable||10/11||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2016||Found||6/1||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2015||Golden Horn||9/2||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2014||Treve||11/1||Christiane Head||Thierry Jarnet|
|2013||Treve||9/2||Christiane Head||Thierry Jarnet|
|2012||Solemia||33/1||Carlos Laffon-Parias||Olivier Peslier|
|2011||Danedream||20/1||Peter Schiergen||Andrasch Strake|
|2010||Workforce||6/1||Sir Michael Stoute||Ryan Moore|
About the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, or rather “the Arc” as many of us this side of the Channel prefer to call it, is the absolute crème de le crème of European flat racing. No contest on the continent is more prestigious than Longchamp’s 2400m battle which usually takes place on the first Sunday of every October.
Boasting a gargantuan purse that stood at €5m in 2018, it stands as the second richest turf race on the planet. A true showpiece of French racing, the Group 1 contest was once described thus: “Ce n’est pas une course, c’est un monument” (“It’s not a race, it’s a monument”).
Born shortly after the end of World War I, the governing body of French racing named this race after the Arc de Triomphe, the monument by which allied forces celebrated victory in 1919. A year later the Prix l’Arc de Triomphe was up and running, with 150,000 francs handed to connections of the winning horse, Comrade.
By 1949, government funding obtained through the Loterie Nationale saw a gigantic increase in prize money but sponsorship soon began to become the main source of income. The government pulled their involvement entirely in 1982 but by this point the Arc was entirely self-sufficient, boasting a global reputation which has gone from strength to strength.
THE ARC RETURNS HOME
Bar a temporary relocation during the Second World War, Longchamp has always been the home of the Arc. This was until mass redevelopment work, starting in October 2015, forced the racecourse to close its doors to the public. Unable to host the 2016 and 2017 Arc renewals as a result, Chantilly instead had the delight of hosting the esteemed contest. As much as the Oise-based course would’ve liked to have made the switch permanent, the Arc returned to Longchamp in 2018 following a $145m facelift. Much of the money was spent on a new grandstand that offers visitors an unobstructed view of both the racecourse and the Eiffel Tower.
O’BRIEN SECURES UNPRECEDENTED 1-2-3
Chantilly’s time hosting the Arc was short-lived but the event’s debut there will live long in the memory thanks to Aiden O’Brien’s unrivalled achievement. The Irish trainer, who had three runners entered in the contest, landed and incredible 1-2-3 during what was far from an uncompetitive renewal. Never before has a trainer managed this feat and it’s one that could well survive the test of time. Leading the trio was the supreme Found, who along with breaking the Chantilly course record, also became the first Irish-trained filly to strike gold in the Arc.
PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE 2016 FIRST TEN
|1||Found||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore||6/1|
|2||Highland Reel||Aidan O’Brien||Seamie Heffernan||20/1|
|3||Order Of St George||Aidan O’Brien||Frankie Dettori||14/1|
|4||Siljan’s Saga||J-P Gauvin||Pierre-Charles Boudot||1001/|
|5||Postponed||Roger Varian||Andrea Atzeni||15/8 F|
|6||One Foot In Heaven||A De Royer-Dupre||Cristian Demuro||100/1|
|7||New Bay||Andre Fabre||Vincent Cheminaud||12/1|
|8||Savoir Vivre||Jean-Pierre Carvalho||Frederick Tylicki||40/1|
|9||Harzand||Dermot Weld||Pat Smullen||11/2|
|10||Vedevani||A de Royer-Dupre||Alexis Badel||250/1|
FABRE REMAINS ON TOP
Despite his incredible achievement in 2016, Aiden O’Brien remains a long way from matching Andre Fabre’s record of seven winners in this French showpiece. The Arc’s leading trainer began with a win in 1987 but he’s not celebrated victory since Rail Link did the business in 2006. Having previously not gone longer than seven years between wins, is Fabre a man losing his touch?
His recent record would suggest misfortune more than anything else is responsible for his dry patch. The Frenchman has regularly had at least one name finishing very high up the order, suggesting that an eighth champion cannot be far away.
ANDRE FABRE’S BEST ARC FINISHER: 2012 TO 2018
|Year||Best Fabre trained horse||Finish|
|2018||Cloth of Stars||3rd of 19|
|2017||Cloth of Stars||2nd of 18|
|2016||New Bay||7th of 16|
|2015||Flintshire||2nd of 17|
|2014||Flintshire||2nd of 20|
|2013||Intello||3rd of 17|
|2012||Masterstroke||3rd of 18|
ENABLE LATEST TO JOIN ELITE LIST
Enable was made to work very hard as she sought to defend her Arc crown in 2018 but she managed to hold off Sea Of Class by the length of a short neck. By successfully claiming back to back victories, John Gosden’s prized horse joined seven other names who have successfully completed an Arc double. Nobody has yet managed to go one better but Enable is being lined up for a historic triple in 2019. Treve was the last to attempt a hat-trick but despite a valiant effort, the French-bred filly finished fourth, just over two lengths behind Golden Horn.
MULTIPLE ARC WINNING HORSES
LADIES BACK ON THE RISE
Having just mentioned Enable and Treve, now seems like a good moment to point out how fillies have regained Arc form. There have been 23 female champions since the inception of the race but following Urban Sea’s win in 1993, the boys ruled supreme for the following 14 renewals. Zarkava’s victory in 2008 has sparked a female fight back though with eight fillies making up the last 11 winners. The full list of recent female champions is as follows:
- Zarkava – 2008
- Danedream – 2011
- Solemia – 2012
- Treve – 2013, 2014
- Found – 2016
- Enable – 2017, 2018
SEGACE DENIED BY CONTROVERSIAL DECISION
Reigning champion Segace was the odds-on favourite on his return to Longchamp for the 1985 edition of the Arc. The title defence had largely gone to plan for the five-year-old but Rainbow Quest to his outside was refusing to give in. The pair battled up the home straight but Segace just edged out during what initially appeared a clean fight.
As the crowd celebrated another French winner, the mood suddenly turned as an announcement revealed that Rainbow Quests’ jockey, Pat Eddery, had launched a complaint. After seven minutes of reviewing the incident, stewards ruled in his favour, reversing the result of the contest. Was the decision a fair one? You can decide for yourself.
HOME ADVANTAGE PROVES TELLING
Drawing in horses from far and wide, the Arc is anything but a purely French affair. It has been horses trained from the host nation who have enjoyed the bulk of success though, despite missing out during the past four renewals. While their short-term dominance may be wavering, their position on top in the all-time record will remain safe for many decades.
Although Japan fails to feature on the chart below, it’s only fair to mention that they have been knocking on the door lately. Nakayama Festa finished second in 2010 and Orferve lost out by a neck two years later. Deep Impact also ran a big race in 2006 although he was later disqualified due to a failed drugs test.