The first Sunday in October sets the scene for one of Europe's most glamorous thoroughbred races, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. This one and a half mile race, which is commonly known as 'The Arc', is the most lucrative and prestigious flat race in Europe and celebrates the tradition of horse racing with typical French flair.
The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is hosted at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris and covers a distance of one mile, three furlongs, and 204 yards. In 2016 and 2017, the event was held on the Chantilly Racecourse while Longchamp underwent renovations. Chantilly and Longchamp are right-handed courses with Longchamp requiring the field to make three right turns before the race is completed and Chantilly requiring a single arcing right turn before entering the home straight.
This event is open to Group 1 thoroughbreds from around the world of both genders. Each competitor must meet a minimum age requirement of three. A weight requirement applies and varies on the basis of age and gender. Older males must carry 9st-5lbs and females 9st-2lbs. Three-year-olds carry 8st-12lbs or 8st-9lbs respectively.
Location: Longchamp Racecourse
Grade: Group 1
Race Type: Flat
The race was introduced in 1920 and was originally designed as an opportunity for French breeders to show off their best thoroughbreds of the season. Since then the race has evolved into a truly international meeting attracting thoroughbred horses from all over the globe.
Still, the French usually prevail on their own turf! In the majority of The Arc's history, a high percentage of French-trained horses have won the event followed by a fair number of winners from England, Ireland, Italy, and Germany.
While the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe takes place during the course of a weekend racing festival, there is no dispute about which is the main event of the meeting. It is the most coveted prize for horse racing professionals in continental Europe, and even contenders from overseas, long for the glory of winning 'The Arc'.
With a total purse of €5 million, it is by far the most lucrative race of the European flat racing calendar.*
It's one of the oldest continuously run races in the country and was inaugurated in 1870 as the Champion Stakes. Then several years later, it was dubbed the Chater Cup in 1926. Finally, in 1955 it was given the name it's known by today and has been part of the Hong Kong Triple Crown since the series was introduced in 1992.
Year Name Age Jockey Trainer Winnings/Purse 2017 Enable 3 L Dettori J H M Gosden €3,150,000 €5,000,000 2016 Found 4 R L Moore A P O'Brien €3,149,999 €4,999,999 2015 Golden Horn 3 L Dettori J H M Gosden €3,149,999 €5,000,000 2014 Treve 4 T Jarnet Mme C Head-Maarek €3,150,000 €5,000,000 2013 Treve 3 T Jarnet Mme C Head-Maarek €2,746,080 €4,800,000
With an attractive purse and plenty of fanfare, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe attracts top competitors worldwide and international horse race punters. These are a few of the records for the event.*
Andre Fabre trained seven winners from Trempolino in 1987 to Rail Link in 2006.
Christiane Head-Maarek is the most successful female trainer with three wins.
Only seven horses have managed to win the event twice. These include Ksar, Motrico, Corrida, Tantieme, Ribot, Alleged, and Treve.
Frankie Dettori rode five winners from Lammtarra in 1995 to Enable in 2017.
In 2016, Found set a lap record fastest time of 2 minutes and 23.61 seconds.
France is the undisputed leader in producing the majority of Arc champions with 59 wins. The UK is next with 13 wins followed by Ireland with 11.
Top talent tends to yield some of the best moments in horse racing found anywhere in the world. Below are a couple of emotional Arc moments that have stood out in recent years.*
The 2016 event was memorable for the stunning performance of Irish trainer Aiden O'Brien. The top three places were filled by his trainees for one of the best moments in recent history. In addition, the winner Found made history by setting a new record fastest time making her one of the most successful fillies to triumph at The Arc.
The greatest upset in recent history occurred in 2012 when 33/1 shot Solemiastole victory by a neck from Japanese star Orfevre, that also won the Japanese Kikuka Sho, robbing the nation of its dream to one day triumph at The Arc.