From Australia to Japan, South Africa to France to America, horse racing has a truly international following.
Huge races like the Grand National, the Melbourne Cup, the Kentucky Derby, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe are watched all over the world and are some of the most important betting events each year.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe or ‘the Arc’ as it’s more commonly known, is one of the most prestigious and valuable horse races in the world.
The first running was in 1920 when a horse called Comrade emerged victoriously.
Tarnawa (8/1) – Tarnawa was agonisingly denied in this year’s Arc and her trainer Dermot Weld has made public that he thought she would have won had the ground not been as soft as it was.
Weld is a master at campaigning his horses and in Tarnawa he has one of the best and most consistent in training. She currently heads the market for the 2022 Arc and if next season goes well, you’d expect her to go close once again.
Hurricane Lane ( 8/1) – A narrow third in this year’s Arc. Hurricane Lane has done nothing but progress as a three-year-old and looks the type of horse to improve further next season.
He stays the Arc distance of one mile four furlongs extremely well, so this year’s soft, stamina-sapping ground should have suited him perfectly.
Under similar conditions, he must have every chance next year, but on the quicker ground, he might find other rivals too speedy.
Adayar ( 10/1) – Adayar came into this year’s Arc as one of the favourites on the back of his Epsom Derby victory and then King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes win at Ascot.
He wasn’t handed a favourable draw in stall 11 and that made things difficult as it meant he was posted on the outside of the field throughout. If getting more luck with the draw next year he should prove a big player once again.
Torquator Tasso ( 10/1) – After Marcel Weiss’s horse had pulled off an unlikely upset, many people were quick to suggest that this year’s renewal of the Arc was not as strong as it had appeared to be on paper.
He was sent off at best betting odds of 80/1 with the British bookmakers, becoming the third biggest priced Arc winner in history, but there is plenty to suggest that the form of the race is up to scratch.
One thing is for sure, Torquator Tasso will be a much shorter price if he lines up in next year’s Arc.
Raclette ( 20/1) – This two-year-old filly was a late withdrawal, on account of the soft ground, from the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac, a race run earlier on Arc day.
French master trainer Andre Fabre has made no secret of how highly he rates this wonderfully bred filly, mentioning that she might even be the best he has trained.
It will be fascinating to see if she can fulfil her potential next season.
It is run on the first Sunday in October every year at the famous Parisian racecourse, Longchamp, over a distance of one mile four furlongs. Horses three years or older compete for the first prize of over £2.5 million.
What makes the Arc such a brilliant spectacle is that it is a race usually contested by the best middle-distance horses of all different ages.
It occurs at the end of the Flat racing season so is often the place three-year-old Classic-winning horses head and they are joined by older runners who might have competed in Arcs of the past.
The Arc is also a truly international race. Japanese trainers have a fixation with the race and have been trying to win it for many years, and while British and Irish-trained horses have won several Arcs, the French can be hard to beat on home soil.
This season, Torquator Tasso became only the third German-trained winner of the Arc at rewarding odds of 72/1 on the French PMU.
Attending the Arc at Longchamp is seen as a rite of passage for many racing fans, and thousands of fans from around Europe and the world descend on Paris every October for the event.
There have been many brilliant winners of the Arc through the ages, including Italian-trained dual Arc winner Ribot, the mighty Sea Bird and ultra-tough Mill Reef.
One of the best Arc performances of all time came in 1986 when Dancing Brave produced a brilliant burst of speed towards the finish under an ice-cool ride from Pat Eddery.
He chose to hold Dancing Brave up at the rear of the field, and running inside the final two furlongs, he was still well behind the leaders.
However, once pulled wide by Eddery, Dancing Brave produced an electric turn of foot to swoop down the outside of the field, winning by two lengths in a race record time.
The brilliant Sea The Stars was not known for flashy displays, but more for his insatiable will to win. However, he served up what was perhaps his most impressive display in the final race of his career when winning the 2009 Arc, bursting clear under Mick Kinane to win by an easy two lengths.
Japanese trainers have been trying to win the Arc for many years, and the race is hugely popular in their home country.
In 2012 they came agonisingly close, when victory celebrations quickly turned to despair, as Orfevre, who looked to have the race in safekeeping, was nailed on the line by the fast-finishing Solemia.
To win the Arc twice is a remarkable feat, one which has been achieved by eight horses in the past. In recent years two mares have managed two successive Arc victories but have just fallen short of an elusive third win in the race.
As a three-year-old filly, Treve made light work of her opposition, storming clear to win the 2013 Arc by five lengths for trainer Criquette Head and jockey Thierry Jarnet.
After an indifferent 2014 season without a win in the lead up to the Arc, Treve was sent off at 11/1 at Longchamp, but she proved the doubters wrong. Janet was at his best as he plotted an inside route against the rail and produced Treve perfectly to lead as she won by two lengths.
Her hattrick bid looked likely after an unbeaten season coming into the 2015 Arc, but she had no answer to John Gosden’s star three-year-old Golden Horn in the final stages.
Ironically Gosden would experience similar emotions to Criquette Head five years later. In 2017 to 2019, his star mare Enable took the racing world by storm as she won ten Group One races in a row, including the 2017 and 2018 Arcs.
She was sent off a 1/2-on favourite for the race in 2019, but unfortunately, rain fell in Paris and the ground went against her, leaving her vulnerable to the Andre Fabre trained, German-bred, Waldgeist in the closing stages.
For any horse race, the type of bet you place is an important consideration. This is because every race market is different, due to the number of horses running and the odds of those horses.
Knowing the best bet to place in different circumstances can improve your chance of winning.
Here are a few common horse racing bets.
A bet placed on a single outcome, for example, on one horse in a race. These can be divided into different types of bets: win, place and each-way bets.
There are two types of forecasts: a straight forecast and a reverse forecast. A straight forecast is a bet where you select two horses to finish first and second in a race.
They must finish in the correct order to win the bet. With a reverse forecast, the two horses can finish in any order.
Much like a forecast, there are also straight and reverse tricasts. A straight tricast challenges you to predict the first three horses in a race in the correct order.
A reverse tricast gives you a few more possible outcomes if you are not confident about the finishing order of your selections.
The Arc is a Group One which means that it is not a handicap and generally horses carry the same weight. However, there are different weight allowances dependant on a horse’s age and sex.
Three-year-old horses receive a six-pound weight allowance from older horses.
Fillies and mares also receive an allowance of three pounds from colts. That means that a three-year-old filly would receive nine pounds from a four-year-old colt.
Here are three things to look for that can help you form a betting strategy to get an edge over the bookies when looking at the Arc.
Three-year-old horses receiving weight from their older rivals can hold an advantage.
While there have only been three three-year-old Arc winners in the last ten years, since the first Arc in 1920, there have been 60 three-year-old winners, to 40 wins by older horses. This suggests three-year-olds with a high-class form to their name are always worth following in the Arc.
The draw for the Arc is announced two days before the race and can have a big bearing on a horse’s chances.
Six of the last 10 Arc winners have been drawn in stalls one to six. Those drawn in low numbered stalls tend to hold an advantage, as they can save ground by running on the inside.
Horses drawn in high numbered stalls instead may have to settle in a position on the outside of other runners around the right-handed turns, which extends the distance they have to run in the race.
A good example of this from this year’s Arc is Adayar, who began as one of the favourites, but once his draw was announced in stall 11, his price continually drifted, as punters looked elsewhere.
Of course, a high draw doesn’t necessarily spell the end for a horse’s chances, a case proved by Torquator Tasso who won from stall 12.
At Longchamp, horses tend to struggle to come from a long way back in the field and win, so finding a horse that is likely to race prominently can be a good place to start when looking for a bet in the Arc.
In the last 10 years, there has only been one Arc winner that was held up off the pace and came through the field to win, when Waldgeist got the better of Enable in 2019.
Of course, this strategy depends on the number of prominent racers in the field, as if there are too many the pace might be too strong and horses that like to race in midfield or even those likely to be held up become more interesting.
However, as a general rule in the Arc, finding a horse with a low draw that also likes to race prominently is a good place to start.