Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Betting Tips - 6th October 2019

French Flag Against Blue Sky

The first Sunday in October sees the eyes of the horseracing world focussed firmly upon the Paris track of Longchamp, as the venue plays host to one of the most prestigious flat contests run anywhere in the world. It is a trip of 1m4f for this Group 1 affair which – being open to runners aged three and older, be they colts or fillies – really lives up to its billing as a true Championship event.

Should any further advertisement as to the quality of this race be required, a look at the list of previous winners should suffice: Mill Reef, Dancing Brave, Montjeu, Sea The Stars, Treve and Golden Horn being just a selection of the superstars to have come home in front.

'The Arc' Betting Tips For 2019

Longchamp, Paris, Sunday 6th October

With a shade over £4.5 million in total prize money on offer, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is quite comfortably Europe’s richest horse race and attracts a field to match. Here we take a look at the main contenders for what looks to be an enthralling renewal in 2019.

Enable – 8/11

Eight horses have won this race on two separate occasions, but none have yet managed to win it three times. The brilliant Treve was the most recent to attempt the hat-trick, but could manage only fourth behind Golden Horn in 2015, and this year we have another superstar mare lining up for a shot at immortality. She of course goes by the name of, Enable.

Only beaten once in 13 career starts, this John Gosden star is now a 10 time Group 1 winner, a perfect one from one at the track, and likewise a perfect one from one on soft ground – when winning the 2017 version of this race at Chantilly.

Looking as well as ever in her three winning efforts so far this season – all in Group 1 company – she goes for the most successful rider in the history of the race: Frankie Dettori. The five year old daughter of Nathaniel does have a pretty strong age trend to defy though, with only eight of the 98 previous renewals having been won by a runner aged older than four years of age.

Japan – 5/1

The three year olds receive a handy weight allowance from their elders in this race, which no doubt contributes to the fact that they have come home in front on 60 occasions here. Only three youngsters go to post this time around, including the rising start, Japan, from the yard of Aidan O’Brien.

By the greatest sire of all time, in Galileo, this one has always made plenty of appeal on paper. It has however only been in his four most recent starts that he has really begun to deliver on what has always been a fairly tall reputation. Third in the Epsom Derby, he took a big step forward when slamming his rivals in the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot, and arrives on the back of a narrow verdict over the talented Crystal Ocean in the Juddmonte International at York.

Going for two-time Arc winning trainer, Aidan O’Brien, Japan would appear to be the leading Irish hope in the race this year.

Sottsass – 7/1

With a total of 66 Arc wins to their name, the French trainers have proven a tough nut to crack in their nation’s most famous race, and they send a four-pronged attack into battle this time around, headed by the Jean-Claude Rouget trained, Sottsass.

Two from two on soft ground, and already a winner over the course and distance in the Prix Niel, this four timer-seeking son of Siyouni arrives right at the top of his game. An easy winner of the French Derby earlier in the season – when accounting for the highly regarded Persian King – the market rates him the most likely French trained winner in 2019.

Jean-Claude Rouget may not have won the Arc as yet, but he has just about every other French Group 1 on his CV, and can be trusted to have Sottsass in peak form on the day.

Ghaiyyath – 10/1

It has been a while since the boys in blue of Godolphin landed the Arc – not since the back to back successes of Sakhee and Marianbard in 2001 and 2002 in fact – and they send just the one to post this year in Charlie Appleby’s four year old, Ghaiyyath.

By Dubawi and out of an Irish 1000 Guineas winning mare by Galileo, this one could scarcely make more appeal on the breeding page. In fairness to the colt, he has largely delivered on that potential at the track too – winning five of seven in his career to date. He did disappoint when beaten at odds-on in the Prix Ganay at this track, but bounced back in resounding style to land a first career Group 1 in Germany last time out. Eased down to win by 14-lengths on what his first crack at this 1m4f trip that day, he adds another intriguing element to what is an already fascinating contest.


About the Arc and the Arc Weekend

Central Paris and the Arc de Triomphe

British racing prides itself as being the envy of the world, with numerous races in countless different countries being inspired by the British Classics. There are more than a few races that take place every year that can give the best-known races run at the likes of Ascot and Goodwood a run for their money, however, with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe being close to the top of the list. The Group 1 flat race is run at Longchamps every year and sees the best horses aged three and over turn up to compete.

’Ce n'est pas une course, c'est un monument’. That’s the slogan that the French racing authority came up with for the race ahead of its running in 2003. Meaning ‘It’s not just a race, it’s a monument’, the slogan indicates just how seriously the French take the event. First run in 1920, it was originally created to show off the very best thoroughbreds in France before being opened up to the rest of the world. Known simply as ‘The Arc’, the race is second only to the Epsom Derby in terms of the prestige in which its held by the horse racing industry and those that love to watch the sport.

Longchamp Racecourse

English readers might not know a huge amount about Longchamp Racecourse, or the Hippodrome de Longchamp to give it its French title. It is located on the Route des Tribunes in the Bois de Boulogne region of Paris. Set over fifty-seven hectares, its most notable feature is a hill that makes life tricky for competitors on any of the interlacing tracks.

There are a number of racetracks that allow for forty-six different starting points and can vary in length from one thousand to four thousand metres. With a capacity of fifty thousand, the course can welcome large numbers of people for the biggest events, of which the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the most important. The course has been open since 1857 and has been renovated numerous times since.

About The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Whilst the race itself takes place during two days of prestigious racing that we’ll go on to tell you more about, there’s no doubt that the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is the main event. It is always run on the first Sunday in October, with other races taking place before it and after it as well as on the Saturday of the same weekend.

Run right-handed on the Longchamp Racecourse over a distance of one and a half miles, which the French refer to as two thousand four hundred metres, of course, it’s for horses aged three and over. Here’s the weight information at play:

  • 3-year-olds: 56.5 kgs
  • 4-year-olds+: 59.5 kgs
  • Mares and fillies are given an allowance of 1.5 kgs

At the time of writing, no horse has won the race three times but eight have crossed the finish line first twice. Ksar was the first to do so in 1921 and 1922, whilst Motrico is the only horse to date to win it twice but not do so in consecutive years, winning in 1930 and then again in 1932. The 1930s, 1950s and 2010s are the most successful decades to date, with each having two horses winning the race twice during them.

As with so many flat races in the UK, the jockey that lays claim to the most wins in the race is Frankie Dettori. The diminutive Italian has won the race six times, including twice on the back of Enable in 2017 and 2018. Some well-known names have also won the race more than once, including the likes of Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery, but it’s Dettori who leads the way.

Between 1987 and 2006 André Fabre notched up seven wins as trainer, making him the race’s most successful trainer at the time of writing. He’s far from the only trainer to have been stood on the winners’ podium more than once, though. Names such as Alec Head, François Mathet and Saeed bin Suroor have also had the honour, whilst both Aidan O’Brien and his namesake Vincent O’Brien have also seen horses that they’ve trained win the race more than once.

In terms of races worth thinking about when you’ve watched this one, here’s a look at some of those that previous winners have gone on to be successful in either before or after winning The Arc, with the name of some of the horses alongside them:

  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Ribot / Enable / Hurricane Run)
  • Breeders' Cup Turf (Enable)
  • Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Treve / Found)
  • Royal Whip Stakes (Found / Alleged)
  • Irish Derby (Hurricane Run)

Obviously the list of horses to have won both races is far from exhaustive, but it gives you an indication of the sort of races to bear in mind when watching The Arc.

The Arc’s Creation

This history of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe lies in the very foundation of French racing. When the sport was just beginning it was governed by a body known as the Société d’Encouragement, which was keen to demonstrate that French racing was just as strong as racing in other countries. As a result their races were limited to horses that had been bred and raised in France up until 1863.

That was the year that the Grand Prix de Paris was launched and the race was the first from the Société that was open to horses from any country. It was so successful that a decision was taken to launch another race, which would also be open to international horses. The Prix du Conseil Municipal gave horses weight to be carried according to how well they’d done in previous raves that they’d taken part in, resulting in the best horses being restricted more than the less successful ones.

The restrictions put onto horses in the Prix du Conseil Municipal weren’t universally enjoyed, so when a new race was suggested at a meeting of the Société d’Encouragement’s committee on the twenty-fourth of January 1920, a decision was taken to follow the rough format of the Prix du Conseil Municipal but without that punishment for the most successful horses.

The race was created with the intention of showing off the strength of French thoroughbred horses and training, with the notion being that it would be a race that complimented the Grand Prix de Paris. Given that this was in the wake of the end of the First World War, the mood in France was one of celebration and the suggested name for the new event was the Prix de la Victoire. That was eventually decided against and the name chosen was similar to one already being run at Longchamps was given to it instead: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Formative Years

When the race was run for the first time in October of 1920 it was won by a horse that was owned by Evremond de Saint-Alary, which was bred and trained in France. The desire to prove the strength of French horses was, therefore, achieved immediately. 150,000 francs were given to the winner, with the format being successful enough that there were no immediate calls to change it. Indeed, things remained pretty much the same until 1935.

That was the year that state funding for the race was secured for the first time, thanks to the formation of a lottery. Prizes were awarded according to the drawing of lots as well as the result of the race. It proved to be immensely popular, continuing up until 1939 when it was cancelled for two years after the outbreak of the Second World War. When the race took place in 1943 and 1944 it did so at a course in the Parisian suburb of Le Tremblay at a distance of two thousand and three hundred metres. The lottery format of funding returned in 1949.

Increases in Prize Money

From 1949 onwards the funding was offered courtesy of the Loterie Nationale, which gave players the chance of winning a jackpot of fifty million francs. The result was that more and more players began to buy tickets, given that it was such a large amount of money, resulting in an increased prize pool for The Arc and the other races run during the same meeting. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the lottery’s popularity began to wane, eventually resulting in its abandonment in 1982.

By that stage The Arc had become one of France’s, if not Europe’s, most popular races, so there were plenty of companies willing to offer sponsorship. The first ones to do so were the likes of Trusthouse Forte, Groupe Lucien Barrière and CIGA Hotels. In 2008 Qatar Racing & Equestrian Group took over sponsorship duties and has remained attached to the race ever since, doubling the prize money on offer initially from €2 million to €4 million and eventually increasing it to €5 million. That means that the Arc is Europe's richest race with The Saudi Cup, Pegaus World Cup, Dubai World Cup, The Everest and the Breeders' Cup Classic as the only races globally to offer more prize money than.

Arc Weekend Race List

As mentioned, The Arc is run on the first Sunday of October every year and comes in the midst of two days of fantastic flat racing. Here’s a look at the race card for both days in 2019 to give you some idea about where the race fits in to the rest of the meeting:

RacePrize MoneyAges
Day One – Saturday
Prix Dollar €200,000 3 Years Old +
Arabian Trophy des Juments €150,000 4 Years Old +
Prix Daniel Wildenstein €200,000 3 Years Old +
Grand Handicap des Juments €70,000 3 Years Old + Fillies
Haras de Bouquetot €275,000 2 Years Old
Prix de Royallieu €300,000 3 Year Old + Fillies & Mares
Prix Chaudenay €200,000 3 Years Old
Prix du Cadran €300,000 4 Years Old +
Prix R&E Club Handicap €28,000 3 Years Old +
Day Two – Sunday
Prix Marcel Boussac €400,000 2 Year Old Fillies
Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere €400,000 2 Years Old Colts & Fillies
Arabian World Cup €1,000,000 4 Years Old +
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe €5,000,000 3 Years Old +
Prix de l'Opera Longines €500,000 3 Year Old + Fillies & Mares
Prix de l'Abbaye €350,000 2 Years Old +
Prix de la Foret €350,000 3 Years Old +
Grand Handicap des Flyers €70,000 4 Years Old +

Arc Weekend Supporting Races in Detail

As you can see form the quality of racing across the board over the two days, there's plenty to say about the supporting races outside of the Arc itself.

Whilst many of the Saturday races are well worth your attention, it’s the Sunday that most people can’t wait for thanks to the fact that it’s full of Group 1 races and the presence of the Arc istelf.

We'll start by having a look at the big races on the Saturday of the meeting, which typically gets underway with the Group 2 Qatar Prix Chaudenay and move on through the Sunday feature races, which begin with the Prix Marcel Boussac.

Prix Chaudenay

First run in 1875, the Prix Chaudenay takes place over one mile and seven furlongs, or three thousand metres to the French, and is run right-handed. It’s limited to three-year-olds with a weight of fifty-eight kilograms, though fillies and mares are given an allowance of one and a half kilograms.

Originally known as the Prix de l’Espérance, when it was inaugurated it was as a trial for the Grand Prix de Paris. It wasn’t run at all during the First World War and was moved to Maisons-Laffitte in 1943, and Le Tremblay in 1944 and 1945 during the Second World War. When the current grading for races came into effect in 1971 this was a Group 3 race, eventually being promoted to Group 2 in 1987.

The race was given a new title in 1990 as a tribute to the former President of the Société d’Encouragement, Hubert de Chaudenay. It was once again raced at the Maisons-Laffitte in 1997 and 1998 and when it returned to Longchamp in 1999 it was part of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe weekend. Hubert’s father also had a race named in his honour, the Prix Jean de Chaudenay, but when that was discontinued in 2004 this race was given its current moniker as a tribute to both Jean and Hubert de Chaudenay.

Prix Dollar

Open to horses aged three and over, the Group 2 Prix Dollar is run over just shy of one mile and two furlongs, or one thousand nine hundred and fifty kilometres. It’s run right-handed and the following weight information applies:

  • 3-year-olds: 56 kgs
  • 4-year-olds+: 58 kgs
  • Mares and fillies are given an allowance of 1.5 kgs
  • Group 1 race winners are given a penalty of 3 kgs
  • Group 2 race winners are given a penalty of 2 kgs

Named after Dollar, the successful racehorse from the nineteenth century, the race was first run in 1905 when it took place over three thousand five hundred metres. In 1934 the Société d’Encouragement celebrated its centenary, so the race was named the Prix du Centenaire accordingly.

Over the years it has enjoyed numerous different lengths and also participation requirements. It has taken place at Longchamp since 1987, being opened to horses aged three and over since 1988. That was also the same year that it was moved to be part of The Arc’s weekend.

Prix Daniel Wildenstein

A Group 2 flat race for horses aged three and over, the Prix Daniel Wildenstein was created in 1882 as the Prix du Rond Point. As with many other races, it has seen its length grown and shorten countless times during its history. When the grading of races currently used came into being in 1971 this was a Group 3 race, gaining its current status in 1990.

In 2002 the race was renamed in memory of the racing horse owner and breeder Daniel Wildenstein, who had died the year before. Run over one thousand six hundred metres, which is a mile, the race was added to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting in 1987 and has the following weight information attached:

  • 3-year-olds: 56.5 kgs
  • 4-year-olds+: 58 kgs
  • Mares and fillies are given an allowance of 1.5 kgs
  • Group 1 race winners are given a penalty of 2 kgs
  • Winners of two Group 2 races are given a penalty of 2 kgs
  • Single Group 1 race winners are given a penalty of 1 kg

Prix du Cadran

Run over two and a half miles, or four thousand metres, the Prix du Cadran is for horses aged four and over. It is the day’s only Group 1 race and boasts a weight of fifty-eight kilograms, though fillies and mares receive an allowance of one and a half kilograms. It is the most prestigious race in France for stayers, making it the country’s equivalent to Ascot’s Gold Cup.

The race’s title comes from the clock face at the École Militaire, which is a building that is next to the Champ de Mars, the race’s original venue. It has been run at different lengths since it first took place in 1837, as well as taken place at numerous different venues. That includes the decision to hold it at Versailles in 1848 because of the French Revolution.

It has been a Group 1 race ever since the grading system first came in and it was only opened to geldings in 1986. Usually run in late May, it got the switch to The Arc’s meeting in 1991.

Prix de Royallieu

The Prix de Royallieu is run right-handed over one mile and four and a half furlongs, which is two thousand five hundred metres. It is only open to fillies and mares aged three and over, with Group 1 race winners from the year it’s taking place and the year before excluded. The following weight information applies:

  • 3-year-olds: 54.5 kgs
  • 4-year-olds+: 57.5 kgs
  • Group 2 winners are given a penalty of 3 kgs
  • Horses that have won two Group 3 races are given a penalty of 3 kgs

Named after the area where the French politician Frédéric de Lagrange had his stables in the late nineteenth century, the Prix de Royallieu has enjoyed an interesting history thanks to lengths and entry requirements being changed, as well as the venue it’s hosted it. The race was a Group 3 offering when the grading came in before being promoted to Group 2 in 1988. That was also the year that it was moved to be part of The Arc’s meeting.

Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac - Criterium des Pouliches

This Group 1 race is open to 2-year-old fillies and is run over one mile, or one thousand six hundred metres. It’s run right-handed and the weight is fifty-six kilograms. Believe it or not, it’s the only Group 1 race that is exclusively for fillies in French racing. If you’re interested to know how horses will do in the following season’s fillies’ Classics then this is the race to watch.

Established in 1969, the race was known as the Critérium des Pouliches, with the best fillies in France having previous competed against their male counterparts in the Grand Critérium. It was named in honour of Marcel Boussac, a successful owner and breeder, in 1980. Having previously been run on the moyenne piste, it was shifted to the grande piste in 1987.

Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère

Inaugurated in 1853 and run over one thousand six hundred metres, or one mile, the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère is open to colts and fillies aged two. That means that geldings are excluded, of course. The weight is fifty-seven kilograms, though fillies are given a one and a half kilogram allowance. It is the oldest and most prestigious race in France that is aimed at juvenile horses and is the richest, alongside the Prix Morny, for horses aged two.

It was originally called the Grand Critérium and run over one thousand five hundred metres at Chantilly. It moved to Longchamp in 1857 and has enjoyed an interesting history. It has been a Group 1 race ever since the current system was introduced, moving to The Arc’s weekend permanently in 2001. It took on its current moniker in 2003 when it was named in honour of the French horse racing breeder and owner Jean-Luc Lagardère, who died that year. It has been part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge since 2011, earning winners a place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Prix de l’Opéra

Open to filles and mares aged three and over, the Prix de l’Opéra is a Group 1 race that is run over one and a quarter miles, which is two thousand metres. The weight information sees three-year-olds get fifty-six kilograms and four-year-olds and over fifty-eight kilograms.

The race was a Group 2 offering when it was first run in 1974. Back then it was limited to three and four-year-old fillies and run over a shorter distance. It was opened to older horses in 1990 and extended to its current length when it was promoted to Group 1 in 2000. Winners get an invitation to take part in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf because it’s been part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge since 2011.

Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp

A Group 1 race, the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp is run on the straight over one thousand metres, which is about five furlongs. It’s for horses aged two and over and the following weight information applies:

  • 2-year-olds: 54 kgs
  • 3-year-olds+: 62 kgs
  • Fillies and mares are given an allowance of 1.5 kgs

Named after the thirteenth century abbey that stood on the northern age of the racecourse and was founded by the sister of Saint Louis, Isabelle, it is one of two races that were created in order to celebrate the centenary of Longchamp racecourse in 1957. The race was in Group 2 when the grading of races was introduced, being promoted to Group 1 in 1976.

Geldings were originally excluded from the race, but that decision was reversed in 2001. It was part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge between 2009 and 2011, giving winners an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, though that is no longer the case.

Prix de la Forêt

The final race worth mentioning is yet another Group 1 offering, the Prix de la Forêt. Open to horses aged three and over, it is run right-handed over seven furlongs, which is around one thousand four hundred metres. The following weight information applies:

  • 3-year-olds: 57 kgs
  • 4-year-olds+: 58 kgs
  • Fillies and mares are given an allowance of 1.5 kgs

The race was originally hosted by Chantilly and is named in honour of the forest in the region. First run in 1858, it was initially for colts and fillies aged two and three and run over two thousand one hundred metres. It was closed to two-year-olds in 1995 then opened to geldings six years after that. It was shifted to be part of The Arc’s weekend in 2005 and switched to the same day as it five years later.

The race has been part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge since 2012, meaning that winners get a place in the Breeders’ Cup Mile automatically.