The 2021 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the biggest flat race in Europe and the winner will be labelled the best middle-distance runner of the calendar year. The Derby is open only to three-year-olds, but the Arc guarantees that the best runners in Europe take each other on, regardless of their age. Longchamp will play host to an incredible weekend of racing, featuring a total of eight Group 1s across the two days.
When is the Arc on?
Arc weekend takes place this coming weekend on Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3. It will be hosted by Longchamp racecourse, which is in the heart of beautiful Paris. The race is due to get underway at 3.05pm GMT on Sunday.
What makes the Arc so special?
The Arc is the ultimate test for any middle-distance horse. It is one of the most prestigious races in the world and attracts horses from all over the globe, including Japan.
Some of the true greats and household names have won the Arc. Sea The Stars, Mill Reef, Enable and Dancing Brave are some of the very familiar horses that have their name etched in history.
Who is the most successful jockey?
The Italian maestro Frankie Dettori is the most successful rider in the Arc. He has won is six times in total including winning the race back to back aboard Enable in 2017 and 2018. Andre Fabre is the top trainer with eight victories.
Who are the main contenders?
The Dermot Weld-trained Tarnawa is probably the horse that they all have to beat. She has already won two Group 1s at Longchamp and she won the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year. This will have been the ultimate target after a recent prep run.
Godolphin have put all of their eggs into the one basket this year and could be double-handed with Adayar and Hurricane Lane. Winless in the race since 2002, that isn’t good enough for connections and they will be hopeful they can stop the rot this year. Golden Horn was the last Derby winner to win the Arc, can Adayar follow in his footsteps?
If Snowfall takes her chance and is at her best, then everyone must watch out. She suffered her first defeat of the season on Arc trials day. Ridden by Dettori on the day, it has to be said that it wasn’t Frankie’s finest moment in the saddle. Ante-post favourite for this race for many weeks earlier in the year, don’t write her off.
What other races are at Longchamp?
There are two Group 1s on the Saturday at Longchamp. The Prix du Royallieu is a contest run over 1m6f for fillies and mares and Wonderful Tonight won the race last year. Moving on to the Prix du Cadran, this is the ultimate test of stamina for a horse and is run over 2m4f. It is essentially the French Gold Cup and we could see a clash of the titans as Stradivarius will take on Trueshan.
On Sunday, there will be six Group 1 races in total. The Prix Marcel Boussac (1.15) is a race for the juvenile fillies and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (1.55) is a 7f contest for fillies and colts. Aidan O’Brien has a great overall record in the race but it is a race that has gone to the French in recent years. Next is the Prix de l’Opera (3.50), a race won by Tarnawa last year before we move on to the Prix de l’Abbaye (4.25), a 5f sprint to the line. The other Group 1 on the card is the Prix de la Foret (5.00), a race for 7f specialists.
Where can you watch the Arc?
If you are not fortunate to get to France to watch it in the flesh, don’t worry you will be well covered. Sky Sports Racing will have full coverage of the full weekend of action, while ITV Racing will be on terrestrial TV from 1pm on Sunday.
What is myracing’s Arc tip?
Tarnawa ticks all the boxes for us and is by far the most likely winner of the Arc. Christophe Soumillon teamed up with the star when they were successful in both the Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Opera last season. She is a dual Group 1 winner at Longchamp and has proved her versatility by also winning in America. There was no disgrace in losing to St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion Stakes where she was badly hampered in any case and she can make amends on Sunday.
If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.