The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes centre stage on the international horse racing scene in October, whilst Longchamp’s two-day meeting also boasts a strong supporting cast. We’re taking a quick look at the Arc as well as other popular races such as the Prix Dollar, Prix du Cadran, and Prix de l‘Abbaye.
The Turnbull Stakes (Saturday 6 October)
The Turnbull Stakes is another opportunity to see Winx extend her record-breaking winning streak and Chris Waller’s super mare is trading as low as 1/7 with some bookies. This Group 1 race takes place over 2,000 metres and is part of the Spring Racing Carnival held at Flemington Racecourse. The race is also used as a warm-up race for some of the big pre-Christmas targets in Australia, such as the Caulfield Cup, Cox, Plate, and the Melbourne Cup.
Prix Dollar (Saturday 6 October)
The Prix Dollar takes place on the opening day of Longchamp’s Arc de Triomphe meeting, and this Group 2 contest is open to horses aged three and older and run over 1,950 metres. The most notable winner is Cirrus des Aigles, who completed a hat-trick of wins in the race between 2010 and 2012. There have been no English-trained winners of the race since Pipedereamer in 2009, yet most English bookies have installed Loxley as favourite, who is trained by Charlie Appleby, with Ed Dunlop’s Lingfield Derby Trial winner Knight To Behold as second favourite. The French contingent are headed by Noor Al Hawa, who would be stepping up in trip after finishing fourth to Alpha Centauri over a mile at Deauville last time out.
Prix Chaudenay (Saturday 6 October)
The Prix Chaudenay is another Group 2 Race that takes place on day one of the Arc Meeting, with the race run over a distance of 3,000 metres. It’s also another race in which the English-trained horses have a terrible record, having not won the race since 2001. That hasn’t stopped the bookies installing English-trained horses as the first three favourites though, admittedly, the trio of Brundtland, Young Rascal, and Dee Ex Bee are a classy bunch. Brundtland is already a winner at Longchamp over a shorter trip, whilst France’s best chances of success look to lay with Lillian Russell and Ziyad.
Prix du Cadran (Saturday 6 October)
The Prix du Cadran is France’s equivalent to the Ascot Gold Cup, and this race run over 4,000 metres dates back to 1837. Notable winners include Sagaro, Royal Gait, Westerner, and France’s current top-stayer Vazirabad. However, last year’s winner Vazirabad will not be trying to defend his crown this year, which could open the door for Holdthasigreen, with the six-year-old expected to relish the step-up to this distance for the first time.
Prix Daniel Wildenstein (Saturday 6 October)
This Group 2 Contest for horses aged three and older dates back to 1882 and has been won by equine stars such as Arazi and Solow. No English-trained horse has won since Echo Of Light in 2006, but Godolphin will be hoping to add another winner to their three previous successes in the race with Glorious Journey. Meanwhile, William Haggas looks likely to let Addeyb take his chances, with those chances improving if the rain arrives. However, both may struggle to beat the likely favourite Plumatic who returns to what is probably his best trip.
Santa Anita Sprint Championship (Saturday 6 October)
The Santa Anita Sprint Championship is a Grade 1 race run over six furlongs at Santa Anita Park in California. The inaugural running took place in 1985 and was won by Temerity Prince. Since then, the race has been won by notable winners such as Groovy, Kona Gold, Bordonaro, Smiling Tiger, and Points Offthebench. Last year’s Roy H could bid to become the first horse to win back-to-back renewals but will have to see off Ransom The Moon if he’s to do so. The winner automatically qualifies for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (Saturday 6 October)
As the name suggests, the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes takes place over a mile. It is open to horses aged three and older and is run at Keenland Racecourse in Kentucky. Notable recent winners have included Suedois, Wise Dan, Gio Ponti, and Court Vision. Trainer Chad Brown holds an enviable hand with the both Almanaar and Analyze It, but it’s the latter that the early money has been for, which is interesting as he’s a course winner.
Prix de l’Opera (Sunday 7 October)
The Prix de l’Opera is one of the many highlights of day two of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Meeting and it open to fillies and mares aged three and older and run over 2,000 metres. First run in 1974, it has been won by the likes of Hatoof, Timarida, Alexander Goldrun, Mandesha, Lily Of The valley, Covert Love, Speedy Boarding, and Rhododendron. English and Irish trainers have a good record in the race having won eight of the last 18 renewals, including the last three. They look to have a good chance of lifting the prize for the fourth consecutive year, with the form of Wild Illusion and Magic Wand looking superior to that of the French horses.
Prix de La Foret (Sunday 7 October)
The Prix de La Foret dates back to 1858 and this seven-furlong Grade 1 Race has been won by some high-class performers in recent years. These include Soviet Star, Wolfhound, Bigstone, Paco boy, Goldikova, Dream Ahead, Moonlight Cloud, Make Believe, and Limato. English and Irish trained horses have won six of the last 10 renewals, whilst no three-year-olds have won in the last six years, which are two reasons why you might want to oppose likely favourite Polydream.
Prix de l’Abbaye (Sunday 7 October)
The Prix de l’Abbaye may not be the headline act of Europe’s premier autumn horseracing meeting, but it does tend to provide a thrilling spectacle as Europe’s fastest five-furlong sprinters try and win themselves a Group 1. It’s a race that has been won by some of the fastest sprinters of all time, including Marwell, Sharpo, Habibti, Dayjur, and Lochsong.
However, few sprinters have clocked speed-figures like last year’s winner Battaash, and the Charlie Hills trained four-year-old has gears to burn on a flat track when there’s a bit of juice in the ground. However, he doesn’t always run up to his best, but the decent form of the Hills stable and his liking for the course are two reasons why many punters will make him the banker of the whole meeting.
Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Sunday 7 October)
This Group 1 race for two-year-olds was formerly known as the Grand Criterium and dates back all the way to 1853. It is run over a mile and has been won by the likes of Arazi, Rock Of Gibraltar, Oratorio, Wootton Bassett, and American Post. Aidan O’Brien has an enviable record in the race, having won eight of the last 19 renewals, and his Anthony Van Dyck must have a strong chance with the O’Brien team back in top-form. France will be trying to keep this prestigious prize at home though, with the Freddie Head trained Anodor fancied by many to extend his unbeaten record.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Europe’s richest all-age race needs little introduction, as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has been taking place since 1920 over the middle-distance classic trip of 12 furlongs or 2,400 metres. Few horse races on earth can boast a role of honour that compares to one that includes Sea Bird, Mill Reef, Allez France, Detroit, Rainbow Quest, Dancing Brave, Tony Bin, Carroll House, Montjeu, Sinndar, Hurricane Run, Zarkava, See The Stars, and Golden Horn. There have also been a dual winners such as Ksar, Motrico, Corrida, Tantieme, Ribot, Alleged, and Treve, and the 2017 Arc winner Enabled is favourite to add her name to that illustrious list.
However, Enable’s 2018 campaign has been very different from last year’s, when she won multiple Group 1’s including The Oaks, Irish Oaks, and King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes before winning the Arc. This season, she has raced just once, when winning a Group 3 at Kempton Park on the all-weather, though the way she pulled away from Crystal Ocean that day saw her price plummet from 5/1 to around 11/10 for a second Arc victory. She’s also got lucky with a low-draw, whilst most of her rivals have been drawn wide.
Therefore, it’s easy to see her jockey Frankie Dettori getting into her a good early position before taking up the running and drawing right away from what looks a poor field compared to many previous runnings. If there is a potential hurdle, it could be Sea Of Class, whose father Sea The Stars won the Arc in 2009. Her owner also an enviable two from two record with her Arc runners. However, Enable is fancied to give her owner Khalid Abdhullah a sixth win in the race.