Run over 1m4f the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is one of Europe’s most valuable Group One contests that is open to horses of either sex that are aged 3 or older and staged at Longchamp racecourse.
In recent years the contest has been dominated by the younger horses with 11 of the last 18 winners being aged 3 years-old, while 13 of the last 18 – came here off the back of a last time out victory. Last year we saw the John Gosden-trained Enable, who had won the race in 2017 and 2018, finish runner-up to the Andre Fabre runner – Waldgeist – which was trainer Andre Fabre’s eighth success in the race.
Enable could be back for more in 2020 though as she will be looking to become the first horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three times.
As always, we are on-hand with all the key stats for the 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – this year run on Sunday 4th October.
Recent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Winners
2019 – Waldgeist (131/10)
2018 – Enable (Evs)
2017 – Enable (10/11 fav)
2016 – Found (6/1)
2015 – Golden Horn (9/2)
2014 – Treve (11/1)
2013 – Treve (9/2)
2012 – Solemia (33/1)
2011 – Danedream (20/1)
2010 – Workforce (6/1)
2009 – Sea The Stars (4/6 fav)
2008 – Zarkava (13/8 fav)
2007 – Dylan Thomas (11/2)
2006 – Rail Link (4/7 fav)
2005 – Hurricane Run (11/4)
2004 – Bago (10/1)
2003 – Dalakhani (9/4)
2002 – Marienbard (158/10)
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Betting Trends
17/18 – Had won a Group 1 race before
16/18 – Had won over 1m4f before
14/18 – Had 4 or more runs that season
14/18 – Drawn in stall 8 or lower
13/18 – Priced 10/1 or shorter in the betting
13/18 – Drawn in stall 6 or lower
13/18 – Had won at least 5 times before
12/18 – Won last time out
12/18 – Had run at Longchamp before
11/18 – Had won at Longchamp previously
11/18 – Aged 3 years-old
10/18 – Placed favourites
9/18 – Won by a French-based yard
8/18 – Ran at Longchamp last time out
8/18 – Female winners
5/18 – Winning favourites
5/18 – Won by a UK-based yard
3/18 – Trained by Andre Fabre (won the race 8 times in all)
2/18 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien (2016, 2007)
3 of the last 11 Epsom Derby winners that season have won
The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 15/2
Trainer John Gosden has won 3 of the last 5 runnings
Since 1976 we’ve seen just 3 winners aged 5 or older
18 of the last 26 winners were aged 3 years-old
Jockey Olivier Peslier has won the race 4 times
Jockey Frankie Dettori has won the race 6 times
RACING AHEAD VERDICT: In a nutshell, you are either with Enable landing her third Arc, or you will be looking to take her on.
There are certainly cases to be made for both, but her chance increased dramatically when her main ante-post rival – Love – was taken out of the race due to the very soft ground at the Longchamp track.
Since then, Enable has been the clear favourite in the betting and it’s easy to see why, She’s already mopped-up two Arcs, so knows how to get the job done in this valuable G1, while with 13 of the last 18 winners coming from stalls 6 or lower then having stall 5 is another big plus.
Those against the 6 year-old ENABLE though will look to two things. Firstly, her age as since 1976 we’ve only seen three Arc winners aged 5 or older. Secondly, is the ground. Yes, she’s won on soft ground in the past, but last year in the Arc conditions came up very soft, which they are likely to be again on Sunday. The ground was also the very excuse that Gosden and Dettori gave for her defeat last year too.
Having said all that, I still think she’s the one to be on, mainly because she’s better drawn this year (last year came from stall 9) and probably did well to finish as close as she did from that berth. She also had two returning runners in Sottsass and Japan back in third and fourth that day and the 2019 winner – Waldgeist – has retired to stud.
Looking at her main rivals and it could be that a horse she knows well – her stablemate, Stradivarius, gives her most to think about. Strady is the best ‘Cup Horse’ around and ran well over this CD to be a close second in the Prix Foy here last month. Soft ground is fine for him and that will also bring his proven stamina into play. The only niggle is that he’s clearly a better horse over a longer trip and also has to give 3lbs away to his stablemate Enable.
The 3 year-olds in the race are also worth a big mention as they get the weight allowance, meaning the likes of Enable and Stradivarius will both have to give significant chunks away to some fair sorts.
Including the Aidan O’Brien-trained Mogul, who showed a liking for this track with a nice win in the Grand Prix de Paris last month – beating In Swoop by 2 ½ lengths. The pair have both been handed good draws too, with Mogul getting stall 3 and In Swoop draw 1 – they also get a handy 3lbs from Enable, but really will that be enough?
Of that pair, Mogul can go well and certainly has the form to be in the mix, but he’s also a horse that’s let his supporters down in the past and that’s backed up by being a beaten favourite twice already this season.
The French-trained Raabihah is another drawn low in 2 and being a 3 year-old filly she gets both the age and filly allowance so 7lbs off Enable. But she was beaten 3 lengths last time over this course and distance in the Prix Vermeille so has a bit to answer for me.
O’Brien has also supplemented the Epsom Derby winner – Serpentine – at a cost of 72k euros – but has not been done any favours by the draw (15) and will do well to pay that outlay back now. While another O’Brien runner – Japan – who was 4th in the race last year has a wide draw in 11 too.
So, I think the main danger to Enable can come from last year’s third – SOTTSASS (e/w). This 4 year-old was only 1 ¾ lengths behind her last year but has been handed another nice low draw (4) and should be spot-on for this now after two runs in August and September.
Age – As already mentioned the 3 year-olds have by far the best recent record – winning 11 of the last 18 renewals – a huge plus for Love – and the weight allowance they receive is obviously a big reason for this. In contrast, we’ve only seen three winners aged 5 or older win the race since 1976, which is not great news for the 6 year-old, Enable. Yes, last year’s winner – Waldgeist, was one of those at 5 years-old, but the stats suggest the younger legged horses hold the edge.
Fitness – With 14 of the last 18 winners (78%) having had at least four runs that season, then it pays to look for horses that have been out a fair few times. At the time of writing, both Love and Enable have had just three outings, but this trend has to be taken with a pinch of salt with the racing lockdown and many trainers plotting different paths for their horses.
Market Guide – In recent years, the Arc has seen five winning favourites in the last 18 runnings (28%), which is not a bad strike-rate. In fact, 10 of the last 18 (56%) market leaders have also been placed, while 13 of the last 18 winners returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting.
Class – With this being one of the top middle-distance Group One races on the racing calendar then having proven form at the highest level is a must. A massive 17 of the last 18 Arc winners had already won at Group One Level.
Trip – Similar to the last trend, it’s no shock to see that 16 of the last 18 Arc winners had already won over this 1m4f tips in the past. With the race often run at a strong pace, then horses stepping up in trip for the first time have a whole new task to tackle, so having proven form over the distance is key.
Draw Advantage – This has been one of the main trends in recent years. Many would think that with the race being run over 1m4f, then the draw might not play a bit part – but that’s not the case! A massive 14 of the last 18 Arc winners (78%) came from stalls 8 or lower, while 13 of the last 18 (72%) were drawn 6 or less. 12 months ago, this was further backed up with the winner Waldgeist coming from stall 3 and the third – Sottsass drawn 1 – while Enable was ‘unable’ to overcome the 9 draw. We’ll have to wait till a few days before the race to get the draw, but once we do this will most certainly impact the betting.
Track Form – Having tasted the Longchamp track in the past is another plus. We’ve seen 12 of the last 18 winners having raced at the course before – with 11 of those 12 had won at the track in the past. This would, of course, be fine for past winner – Enable – but the Aidan O’Brien, Love, would be running here for the first time.
Trainer/Jockey Stats – It’s a race that’s been dominated by the French-based Andre Fabre, with eight wins to his name, including last year, but three wins in the last five, then the John Gosden camp are also starting to make a name for themselves in this contest. It’s slightly surprising that Aidan O’Brien has only two Arc wins to his name, but that could easily change this year. While in terms of jockeys a certain Frankie Dettori has six wins under his belt and is the most successful pilot in the race’s history, with the French veteran, Olivier Peslier, not far back with four wins.