The Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe (1-2nd October) is widely considered to be Europe’s biggest and best race, bringing together the cream of the most recent different generations of middle-distance horses, but also the cream of France, England, Ireland and other leading horse racing countries.
The race was first run in 1920, and continues to be run over 12-furlongs at Longchamp. Criquette Head, Andre Fabre, Saeed Bin Suroor, Alain de Royher Dupre and John Oxx have all trained two winners this century, whilst Frankie Dettori has ridden three.
This century, the 16 renewals have been won by eleven 3-year-olds, four 4-year-olds, and one 5-year-old.
Here are the leading protagonist for the 2016 Prix de L’arc de Triomphe.
He has won four group-1s and two group-2s on his last 6 outings, and is the proven middle-distance champion of Europe. He’s also won a group-2 at Longchamp, and handles most types of ground. Sure to be tough to beat, but 5-year-olds don’t have the best record.
La Cressoniere 13/2
Won 8 out of 8 so far, including the French 1,000 Guineas and French Oaks. Handles good and soft and, though she’s yet to prove she stays this far, she is out of a Galileo mare.
Ultra impressive in beating a high-class field in the Irish Champion Stakes, but is reportedly being targeted at the Champion Stakes instead.
Winning his trial conforms he’s likely to turn-up if he stays fit, and this lightly-raced son of Deep Impact will be trying to do what his father could not by winning this. Likely to be well-backed on the day, as Deep Impact was backed into odds-on on the Pari-Mutuel.
Group-1 winner at the Arc meeting as a two-year-old, but last year’s run in the race was a rare flop. Finished second on her last 5 starts, and again will be vulnerable to a top-notcher.
This year’s Derby and Irish Derby winner cut little ice in the Irish Champion Stakes, but will be ideally suited to this test if the ground comes up soft.
Had a busy season and, even though she’s out of the top drawer, even Aidan O’Brien surely can’t get her in the form she’ll need to be to win this.
Mid Term 33/1
Michael Stoute sent over his Derby winner Workforce to win the Arc, and Midterm was a warm Derby favourite before getting injured in the Dante. Ran well in his trial, and could make significant improvement from that. Value outsider.
So Mi Dar 33/1
John Gosden thought the world of this filly before she got injured, and she could be interesting if she wins her trial easily.
Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe Summary
Postponed must overcome the stats to claim this crown and, whilst he could do that easily on form, the two most interesting runners may be lightly-raced Malahiki and Midterm. Harzand is also interesting, as the dual Derby winner would look a big price if the ground came up soft, which it often does on Arc Day.