The French slogan says it all: Ce n’est pas une couzse, c’est un monument” which translates to – “It’s not a race, it’s a monument”. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is historically run on the first Sunday in every October and has had some of the best staying horses in the world salute.
It has made headlines in recent years with Treve winning the 2013-14 Arcs and becoming the first horse since Alleged in 1978-79 to win the great race twice.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe’s origins – where did it all begin?
The first ever Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was run on October 3, 1920 and was named after a monument which had been at the scene of the victory parade of the Allies in the wake of World War I in 1919.
The French governing body up until this point had restricted its thoroughbred racing to only horses of French breeding, but decided this race would be open to the world’s best.
It drummed up a sponsor in the form of a state lottery which kept the great race financial until the 1970s, with several big name sponsors coming on board since to ensure the future.
The weekend of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe now has seven group 1 races associated with it, with another four races held with group 2 status to make it one of the most anticipated week’s on the racing calendar worldwide, equalling events like the Melbourne Racing Carnival and the Triple Crown for prestige.
The Arabian World Cup, the highest paying race in the world for purebred Arabian horses, is also held on the Arc weekend, with some of the biggest bets in punting history being recorded on this race by wealthy Arab businessmen.
Famous winners of the race
In recent years few horses have met, and even exceeded expectation quite like champion French-bred horse Treve; who won the 2013 and 2014 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Treve started second favourite in 2013, where she started poorly after sweating up prior to entering the stalls, but rocketed home to record a five length victory.
In 2014 after a lull in form, the French-born filly was a ranked outsider to repeat last year’s heroics, but still managed to sprint two lengths clear by the final post to record – the first horse since 1978 to go back-to-back in the prestigious race and placed herself amongst Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe royalty, being one of only seven horses to win the race on two separate occassions.
Another horse to do the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe back-to-back was American bred Alledged.
Alledged won the 1977 and 1978 races, and was only beaten once in its career, coming second in the 1977 St Leger in England after starting a short priced favourite.
In total just seven horses have won the Arc twice with no horse ever managing the feat a third time, showing just how competitive the race is.
Horses with multiple Arc wins
Ksar – 1921, 1922
Motrico – 1930, 1932
Corrida – 1936, 1937
Tantieme – 1950, 1951
Ribot – 1955, 1956
Alleged – 1977, 1978
Treve – 2013, 2014
Leading Arc jockeys
Jacques Doyasbère – Djebel (1942), Ardan (1944), Tantieme (1950, 1951)
Freddy Head – Bon Mot (1966), San San (1972), Ivanjica (1976), Three Troikas (1979)
Yves Saint-Martin – Sassafras (1970), Allez France (1974), Akiyda (1982), Sagace (1984)
Pat Eddery – Detroit (1980), Rainbow Quest (1985), Dancing Brave (1986), Trempolino (1987)
Olivier Peslier – Helissio (1996), Peintre Celebre (1997), Sagamix (1998), Solemia (2012)
Thierry Jarnet – Subotica (1992), Carnegie (1994), Treve (2013, 2014)
There have been a lot of famous trainers, but few can match the longevity and success of French thoroughbred trainer Andre Fabre.
Fabre has won the race on seven separate occasions, with his first with Trempolino back in 1987, and his most recent 19 years later with Rail Link in 2006.
The fastest recorded victory in the race was set by Danedream in 2011, clocking in an impressive 2 minutes 24.49 seconds, a time that has yet to be surpassed.
French entrepreneur Marcel Boussac has the most victories as an owner in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, winning the race an impressive six times over 13 years. Two of these times coming with champion horse Corrida, who won back-to-back in 1936 and 1937.
There have been six different jockeys who have won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe four times, but surprisingly only Jacques Doyasbere with Tantieme and Thierry Jarnet with Treve have rode the same horse to victory twice in the prestigious race.
Tips for finding the winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has become synonymous with horse racing royalty over the years, with the winner of the race usually crowned a ‘champion’ of the sport even if it does not go on to win another race.
As such, the pressure is enormous on everyone involved to get their mount over the line in first position.
There are a number of lead up races to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe that can often give a good indication as to how certain horses are faring in this preparation, with the Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud a great guide in the lead up to the big race.
Wining form is good form, as back-to-back winner Treve can attest to. The French filly is going for an unprecedented third title at Longchamp, and after successfully returning to the track at the Prix Corrida, Treve is the early bookies favourite to win the race and etch her name in horse racing immortality.
Hot form is a great indicator no matter what level it of horse racing it is, and as such, lead up form – especially that of a champion horse with a proven track record – cannot be taken lightly.
Betting sites for Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Those wishing to make an investment on this famous race have an excess of options when it comes to wagering their money, but it obviously depends on where you are located in the world.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is extremely popular in France with on-course bookies, however French punters will struggle to find the means to bet online on this event.
Strict gambling laws prohibit online betting on horse racing, but there is still several options which might appeal to punters in this country including Panama-based BetOnline.
The biggest betting countries in the world like Australia and the United Kingdom will have unparalleled access to betting on the Arc, with all the big corporate bookmakers offering extensive futures and race day betting options.
Bet365 is at the head of the list when it comes to Arc betting, with fixed odds markets prior to the race, with a no-runner no-bet policy and a ‘best bet odds guaranteed’ dealer.
When it comes to the European racing, few bookmakers are across all the action quite like WilliamHill.com.au, a native English company who has long standing ties with the industry.