All eyes will be on Paris later this week for The Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe weekend. Held on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October, the fixture boasts no fewer than 16 flat races, nine of which have Group 1 status.

In the most important race of the weekend, the world's very best thoroughbreds coupled with top international jockeys will do battle in Europe’s greatest horse race - the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

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Saturday's FULL Schedule

  1. Prix Chaudenay
  2. Qatar Arabian Trophy
  3. Grand Handicap Des Juments
  4. Criterium De La Vente D’Octobre
  5. Prix Dollar
  6. Prix De Royallieu
  7. Prix Du Cadran
  8. Prix Daniel Wildenstein


Sunday's FULL Schedule

  1. Prix Marcel Boussac
  2. Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere
  3. Prix De L’Abbaye
  4. Qatar Arabian World Cup
  5. Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe
  6. Prix De L’Opera
  7. Prix De La Foret
  8. Grand Handicap Des Flyers


Feature Races And News

Prix De l'Abbaye

Bryan Smart reports Alpha Delphini to be in "good order" as he prepares to emulate his half-brother Tangerine Trees who won the Prix de l'Abbaye in 2011.

Alpha Delphini registered a Group One victory this summer in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, where he defeated Mabs Cross by a nose in the closest of photo finishes.

Smart has had Europe's premier five-furlong dash in mind for the seven-year-old ever since his August victory:

"Graham Lee rode him a piece of work on Friday and we're all happy with him. He's in good order," said the Yorkshire trainer.

"He'll travel out there this week and hopefully he'll run really well.

"It would be special if he could match his brother, but at least he's going with a Group One under his belt. That's the good thing, he's already done it.

"If he could go and win the Abbaye like his brother did, it would be a fantastic feat."

Mabs Cross

The Michael Dods-trained Mabs Cross will meet Alpha Delphini once again on French soil in the l’Abbaye.

The four-year-old filly is aiming to emulate Mecca’s Angel, who won the Group One in 2015 and 2016 for Dods.


The Charlie Hills-trained Battaash will be heading to Longchamp hoping to defend his crown.

Following his dazzling display in the King George Stakes at Goodwood, the speed merchant was odds-on for the Nunthorpe at York but could only finish a disappointing fourth, leaving connections somewhat bemused.

No horse has gone back-to-back in the Abbaye since Lochsong in 1993/94 so he will have to bring his A-game to Paris.

Soldier's Call

Soldier’s Call is quoted at 8/1 to make the most of the generous weight concessions for juveniles in the Prix de l’Abbaye on Arc day.

After his Flying Childers Stakes victory at Doncaster, his trainer Archie Watson said: "He did a quicker time at Chantilly on similar ground than Marsha did when she won the Abbaye there.

"There are lots of good older five-furlong horses around, (but) you'd like to see him getting a shed-load of weight from them and seeing what he can do.

"I think we will do (need a new jockey to do the weight), off 8st 7lb, yes. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."


Prix De L'Opera

William Haggas has earmarked the mile-and-a-quarter Group One contest on Arc day as the target for his four-year-old Urban Fox.

Since taking the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in July, the filly has filled the runner-up spot in both the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.

Wild Illusion

The Godolphin-owned Wild Illusion, who won the Prix Marcel Bouusac on this card last year, is a leading fancy in the L’Opera.

Having finished fourth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and second in both the Investec Oaks at Epsom and the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, the filly picked up her due rewards by landing the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Her trainer Charlie Appleby recently said that Wild Illusion "is in great order".


Prix De La Foret

Limato has bounced back to form this season with victories in Listed races at Newmarket and York, following a disappointing start to the year.

Should the six-year-old take up his entry on Sunday, he would be seeking a repeat win in the Foret, having won under Harry Bentley in 2016. He was also a fast-finishing second in the 2015 renewal.


Prix Maurice de Gheest heroine Polydream heads the betting and understandably so.

The daughter of Oasis Dream saw off a host of British challengers to provide her trainer with a record seventh victory in the Deauville held Group One.

Freddy Head has twice won the Prix de la Foret as a trainer with top-class fillies Goldikova (2010) and Moonlight Cloud (2013).

Expert Eye

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Expert Eye was runner-up in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, won again at Group Three level at York last month before finishing third on his return to Group One company in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.

Stoute said: “I think the weather will decide where he goes. Good to soft would be acceptable, but he wouldn’t want it any softer. He is in good shape and has come out of his last race well.”


Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe

St Leger winner Kew Gardens is set to take his chance in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt has had a superb season, with his triumph at Doncaster adding to his victory in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot and the Grand Prix de Paris over the Arc course and distance.

O'Brien said: "The plan is that we are going towards the Arc with him. There is a forfeit stage on Monday morning and he's going to be left in. At the moment that's what we are looking at doing.”

After storming to success in her comeback run at Kempton earlier this month, Enable is the red hot favourite (Evs) to become the first back-to-back winner of the French showpiece since Treve in 2013/14.


Click here for all of our Arc weekend horse racing betting markets...

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 25 renewals of the Grand National. 

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