Paul Cooper: Arc day in Paris

Many English racing folk would still say the most famous race in the world is the Derby at Epsom in June. Parliament used to be closed on Derby day when it was run on the first Wednesday in June.


The one similarity between the Derby and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne near Paris, is that they are both run over a mile-and-a-half.


The Arc this year is to be run on Sunday 4 October and I along with many others would suggest it is the tops. Some would say the Dubai World Cup, the Japan Cup or the Breeders Cup Classic in the States or jumping fans the Cheltenham Gold Cup or the Grand National. 

The Arc brings together the cream of the 3-year-olds and the older horses from across Europe. Racing is not an institution in France as it is in England and on most days of the racecourses of France attracts small crowds. On Arc day the ‘rosbifs’ outnumber the French. It is not only about the one race either as there are five other Group 1 races, NO LESS. 

The the lure of Paris in the Autumn and the thought of two days’ racing featuring all the top riders of Europe battling out for the top prizes is too tempting to miss.

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