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An Overview of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

One of the most famous and prestigious weekends on the French horse racing calendar will commence on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 1st and 2nd October 2022. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend is set at the beautiful Longchamps Racecourse located near Paris between the Seine and Bois de Boulogne.

The racecourse is internationally renowned and since 1857 it has hosted the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, offering the opportunity for 50,000 spectators to cheer their horse past the finishing post. Immaculately designed, there are four different courses including a large, medium and small oval and a 1,000 metre straight. With a maximum lap distance of 2,750 metres, the 46 different starting points allow for races from 1,000 metres up to 4, 000 metres. Within the circuit there is an uphill section, a descending turn and a faux home straight, making it a supremely challenging course for jockeys to navigate their mounts. The modern amenities include 10,000 grandstand seats, 75 boxes and 18 suites, 150 betting points, 500 screens, 126 stables and an extended parade ring facilitating 30 race days per year.

The racing over the two days usually offers an 8-race card on the Saturday with the featured races being the Prix du Cadran and the Prix de Royallieu. The Prix du Cadran is a Group One race for four-year-olds and above. The race is a gruelling 2m 4f, making it one of the most prestigious races for stayers. The Prix de Royallieu is a race that was included in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1988 and became a Group One race recently in 2019. It is a race for three-year-old plus fillies and mares that is raced over 1m 6f (2,800m).

Sunday at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe brings another eight-race card including the Prix de l’Opera that was included into the weekend back in 1974. Gaining Group One status in 2000 the race is run over 1m 2f (2,000 m) for three-year-old plus fillies and mares. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, also known as ‘Arc’, is the main featured event of the weekend and has been voted in five of the past seven years as the greatest horse race in the world. The race takes place on the first Sunday of every October and has the prestige of being the second richest horse race in the world after the Everest. First run in 1920, it is a flat race on turf over 1m 3f (2,400m) for thoroughbred horses that are aged three years old plus. Weight allowances are made for three-year-old horses against the four-year-old horses, with an allowance also for fillies and mares. The prize fund totalled a huge €5 million in 2021 with the outright winner of the race taking home €2,850,000.

A Brief History of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Way back in 1863 the responsibility of French Horse Racing came from the Société d’Encouragement. That year they decided to introduce a race that would promote the involvement of the finest three-year-old thoroughbreds from different countries. The race would be run in July at Longchamps over a distance of 2,400 metres. A second major international race was introduced to Longchamps thirty years later with the Prix du Conseil de Paris offering another opportunity for leading international horses to race each other over 2,400 metres. Finally in 1920 the committee voted for a third race and so the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was initiated in January of that year.

The forming committee got to work quickly and the first race was held on 3rd October 1920, where a three-year-old colt named Comrade owned by Count Evremond de Saint-Alary won. So, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was officially inaugurated and has continued to the present day with only a two-year break in 1939 and 1940 due to the second world war.

Most Successful Horses of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Since the first race of 1920 no horse has managed to win the race on more than two occasions. That said, eight different horses have managed to win the flat race twice, each time in successive years, except for one horse. The horses that have won twice are Ksar in 1920 and 1921, Motrico in 1930 and 1932, Corrida 1936 and 1937, Tantieme in 1950 and 1951, Ribot in 1955 and 1956, Alleged in 1977 and 1978, Treve in 2013 and 2014 and finally Enable in 2017 and 2018.  There may be another horse to add to the list in 2022 as last year’s winner, Torquator Tasso is included in a list of 86 entries for the 2022 race.

Most Successful Winning Jockeys of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

No other jockey in the history of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has performed quite like Frankie Dettori. He is a six-time winner of the race when he mounted Lammtarra in 1995, Sakhee in 2001, Marienbard in 2002, Golden Horn in 2015 and Enable in 2017 and 2018. With the upcoming 2022 race no other jockey is close to beating the records set by Dettori and he could further extend it.

Most Successful Winning Trainers of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

One of the most successful trainers in the world, André Fabre is the son of a diplomat. He became a leading jump jockey winning more than 250 races before turning to training thoroughbred race horses. No other trainer has as many wins at the Arc than André Fabre. He has won the race in every decade since the 1980’s when in 1987, his horse Trempolino raced to victory. His other victories came in 1992 with Subotica, 1994 with Carnegie, 1997 with Peintre Celebre, 1998 Sagamix, 2005 Hurricane Run, 2006 Rail Link and in 2019 with Waldgeist.

Most Successful Winning Owners of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

There are two owners that have had equal success in winning the Arc a record six times. The first is Marcel Boussac between the period of 1936 to 1949. Marcel Boussac was an entrepreneur in fashion and luxury goods, such as financing Cristian Dior’s new Paris fashion house. He also has one of the most successful thoroughbred race horse breeding stables in European history. His six winners included double winner Corrida in 1936 and 1937, Djebel in 1942, Ardan in 1944, Caracalla in 1946 and Coronation in 1949.

The only other owner to match the success of Marcel Boussac is Khalib Abdullah, another entrepreneur, successful race horse breeder and a member of the House of Saud. He owned six winners including Rainbow Quest in 1985, Dancing Brave in 1986, Rail Link 2006, Workforce 2010 and Enable in 2017 and 2018. Sadly, the chance to surpass the jointly held winning record will not be possible after the passing of Khalib Abdullah in January 2021.

So, there you have it, the Arc will soon be upon us in the 2022 horse racing season, yet it is too early to learn about the final starting line-up. 86 entries have been made including the reigning champion Torquator Tasso not to mention last year’s third and fourth placed horses, favourite Hurricane Lane and Adayar. Also included on the entry list is Baaeed, a four-year-old with seven wins in seven, including most recently the Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes by 3 and a quarter-lengths over one mile. Emily Upjohn is an entry with three wins in three, two of which came in 2022. The three-year-old won the Group three fillies, Tattersalls Musidora Stakes by five and a half lengths over 1m 2,5f. Keep your eyes peeled for the entry list and the final confirmed field listing to be able to keep track of your fancied horses and their form.

You may want to study the trainers of the horses. Trainers having success in recent years include André Fabre, John Godsen and Aidan O’Brien. Alternatively, check out the jockeys leading up to the race and their form. Jockeys with two wins in recent years at the Arc include Frankie Dettori, Christophe Soumillon, Ryan Moore and Thierry Jarnet.

While you wait for the final field to be confirmed for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe stay tuned with us at for all the latest results, form and confirmations of who will be running and riding. Horse racing can be unpredictable and the Arc is no different, especially with such a large field of horses that can spring surprises. We recommend you bet sensibly and carefully and within your financial limits. If you think you have a problem with gambling contact to obtain free help and advice.

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