The Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe is run over a distance of 1 mile and 4 furlongs at Longchamp in Paris and it takes place this Sunday.

The race is certainly the highest quality Group 1 middle distance event on the European racing calendar and is arguably the best race of this type in the world.

Some true greats have won the race over the past twenty years including Montjeu, Sinndar, Dalakhani, Zarkava, the renowned Sea The Stars and the wonderful filly- Trêve.

The John Gosden-trained Enable aims to defend her crown from Chantilly last year. If she were to do so she would be the only horse in history to win the Arc at two different courses and she would also give Frankie Dettori his sixth Arc victory.

Here is your runner-by-runner guide to the contenders:

 

Defoe

The son of Dalakhani ran well in defeat on his first start since May when finding only Best Solution too strong in a Group One at Baden Baden at the beginning of September.

Roger Varian will be buoyed by the prospects of some rain on Sunday as the four-year-old is a mile-and-a-half horse that likes a bit of juice in the ground.

 

Salouen

After pushing Cracksman close in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, Sylvester Kirk has not been shy in running his four-year-old in more Group One races.

He went on to finish third to Waldgeist in the Grand Prix De-Saint Cloud, came fourth in a hotly contested King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, then finished third in the Grand Prix De Deauville.

He could easily steal a place at big odds.

 

Capri

The 2017 St Leger hero finished down the field in the Arc last year and has only run twice this term, winning the Alleged Stakes in April and finishing out of the frame in the Prix Foy.

The grey Galileo colt does not look like one of the most obvious picks.

 

Way To Paris

An Italian-trained raider who deserves to take his chance here given he has not been far behind Waldgeist on three occasions this year, most recently in the Prix Foy.

His currents odds totally do him a disservice.

 

Waldgeist

The André Fabre-trained colt looks the best chance the French have got of keeping the trophy on home soil.

The Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner had the perfect prep when winning the Prix Foy in impressive fashion at Longchamp last month. That was his fourth win on the spin and he must go into Sunday with a leading chance.

 

Cloth Of Stars

He ran on through the field for second place behind Enable last year but things have not been going quite to plan this season.

He did however show far more promise in his third in the Prix Foy last time and conditions could be right up his street on Sunday.

Could he be the forgotten Fabre horse?

 

Talismanic

One of a trio of Fabre-trained runners and probably another to take a cautionary glance at.

He finished second to Waldgeist in the Prix Foy and is the type who likes the going rattling fast so you will need to watch the weather forecast closer to the off to assess his chances.

 

Tiberian

Last year’s Melbourne Cup seventh finished fifth in his last run in the Grand Prix de Deauville and looks to have a monumental task on his hooves here. Look elsewhere.

 

Clincher

The Japanese love to have a runner or two in the Arc and have arrived in Paris with many a chance in previous years but this year their offering is pretty underwhelming.

Clincher was beaten eight lengths in the Prix Foy and will need to produce something very special to reverse that kind of a beating.

 

Cracksman

His participation at the weekend is still up in the air with some rain now forecast by some agencies for Paris on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

The four-year-old’s best performances have all been on rain-softened ground and he is undefeated in three starts on soft ground, including his demolition of the field in the Champion Stakes last October.

If the rain comes to his rescue and he runs on Sunday afternoon then the 14/1 quoted about him won’t last very long.

 

Enable

Enable was a smart winner of last year’s Arc at Chantilly but she been plagued with issues with her knees since.

Her return to action this season was belated but she readily beat the high-class Crystal Ocean in the September Stakes at Kempton.

The million pound question is will she bounce? It is certainly a conundrum for punters who like taking a short price.

 

Neufbosc

Hails from a trainer in form and could be somewhat of a dark horse.

He was just worn down by Kew Gardens in the Grand Prix De Paris and ran creditably in the Prix Niel.

 

Patascoy

Finished second in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano Haras du Logis Saint Germain to Study Of Man but really does not look up to troubling the big boys and girls in this.

 

Kew Gardens

This year’s St Leger winner is more than worthy of taking his place in this field. The problem is however that Leger winners tend to run like duds in the Arc as Doncaster appears to leave its mark on them.

The O’Brien runner has a very difficult trend to buck.

 

Study Of Man

Winner of the French Derby but has suffered heavy defeats and Deauville and in the Irish Champion Stakes.

The three-year-old appears to be regressing at the moment and is hard to fancy.

 

Louis D'Or

Ran third at massive odds in the French Derby but appeared not to stay in the Prix Niel. He is almost impossible to make a case for.

 

Hunting Horn

Ran well behind Brundtland in the Prix Niel but looks to be playing a supporting role here in the Aidan O’Brien squad.

 

Nelson

Chief pacemaker for Ballydoyle this season and there will be no change here.

 

Magical

Aidan O'Brien has kept the filly Magical entered here forsaking the alternative option of running in the Prix de L'Opera for which she had a much better chance.

It remains to be seen whether she will stay this distance.

 

Sea Of Class

The Irish and Yorkshire Oaks heroine was added to the field at the last supplementation stage on Wednesday at a cost of 120,000 euros.

The daughter of 2009 Arc winner Sea The Stars is second-favourite at around 7/2 behind Enable, the 11/10 market leader, in the ante-post betting.

 

CONCLUSION

With a chance that the favourite Enable might just bounce and some questions over what exactly Sea Of Class has beaten this season, it may be worth approaching the race from a completely different angle and opposing the front two in the market.

Andre Fabre has trained the Arc seven times and is well overdue another win. Waldgeist looks a really useful sort and his Godolphin-owned pair will also be at peak fitness on Sunday.

Suggestion: Waldgeist (win) Talismanic and Cloth Of Stars (e/w).

 

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

About the Author
By
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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