Sunday 6th October – FRANCE Longchamp – 3:05 – 1m 4f Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Group 1) (3yo+ No Geldings) (Turf) (3yo+)
The Prix de I’Arc de Triomphe was first run in 1920 and was won by the three year old colt Comrade. Prize money for the inaugural running was 150,000 francs compared with the 2,857,000 Euros winning connections will receive in Sunday. Arc weekend includes seven Group 1 races and a further four races with Group 2 status.
The betting has been unreliable as a guide to the likely winner over the last 10 years. Enable, who has won the Arc for the last two seasons, was sent off at odds of 10/11 and evens. The filly was the horse to beat on both occasions and her price clearly reflected this. The 2009 winner Sea The Stars had won the 2,000 Guineas, The Derby and three other Group 1’s in an unbeaten season leading up to his run in the Arc and was consequently sent off as the 4/6 favourite. However, in between, the race has been won by horses with winning odds between 9/2 and 33/1. Enable attempts to retain her crown again this year and is trading in the anti post market at odds on.
The last 10 renewals have been won by horses aged three on six occasions with four year old’s winning on the other four occasions. During the last 10 years Treve won back-to-back Arcs as a three and four year old. Her bid to win it as a five year old failed however, when she finished fourth to The Derby, Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes winner Golden Horn in 2015.
Recent winning form is a good guide as six of the last 10 winners won on their previous outing. Nine of the last 10 winners also had their previous run in September.
Winning form over the race distance of 1 mile 4 furlongs is a very telling statistic, with the caveat that the feat was achieved in a Group 1 race, as only the 2012 winner Solemia failed to do so by finishing third on her only other start in a Group 1 contest over the Arc distance.
The draw needs to be considered, as six of the last 10 winners were drawn in single figures and six of the last 10 winners also won at least 50% of their starts in the season they won the Arc.
If you fancy one of the Classic generation consider the fact that all six of the three year old winners in the past decade won a European Derby or Oaks. Lightly raced runners have also done well recently with four of the last 10 winners running five times or less before winning the Arc.
Despite her very skinny price it is extremely difficult to look behold Enable who attempts to make history by becoming the first horse in the history of the race to win it three times. When Treve tried to achieve the same she was up against a formidable opponent in the shape of Golden Horn. There are no such dangers facing Enable in this year’s renewal.
She is ridden by Frankie Dettori who has an incomparable record in the Arc having won the race on six occasions. Dettori also knows the five year old Bay mare like the back of his hand having ridden her on her last 12 starts – all of which she has won. After her win in the Eclipse in July Dettori said: “It would be wrong of me to say I don’t love horses. I love horses, but I love her more than the rest because she takes me emotionally to places other horses can’t.”
He added: “Look at the races we have won together, the biggest races in the world, it is phenomenal. I have tears in my eyes every time I ride her because she has character. You could argue I’ve ridden better (horses), but her longevity and what she’s done is awesome. She’s one of the best I’ve ridden in my life.”
She has not been beaten since April 2017 clocking up 12 wins in the process with no less that ten coming at Group 1 level. It is not a overstatement to say that consistency is her hallmark. Her campaign this season has been based around her run in the Arc. Therefore it can reasonably be argued that she could produce a performance that is to good for her rivals.
An each way bet at reasonable odds could be Waldgeist who won the Group 1 Prix Foy on his last start in September and was only 2 lengths behind Enable when finishing third in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot at the end of July.
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