Without doubt the most esteemed racing event in Europe, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe or “Arc”, is a truly international race. It is run in October at Longchamp in France, and regularly features the best horses from around the world battling it out to win the coveted prize.
I have to admit that the Arc isn't my favourite race on the calendar, I find it more snooty than prestigious if I'm honest. However there is no doubting its global appeal. Consider it a World Cup of horse racing and you can see why so many people regard it as the race where champions can truly prove their quality.
The 2014 Arc
Trêve won the 2014 Arc. In my opinion this wasn't the best race in recent years, but there is no denying the win was deserved, as Trêve has now won two in a row. What odds on the hat-trick this year then?
History of the Arc
Scanning the history of the Arc reads like a who’s who of flat racing – some of the most prestigious horses on turf have claimed the race over the years. The first Arc was run on October 3rd 1920, the race was named in honour of the famous Arc de Triomphe monument that stands in Paris and was won by Comrade in a time of 2 minutes 39 seconds. Not a bad performance, but much faster runs were to follow in later years.
Thanks to government backed lottery funding, by 1949, the Arc was able to offer lucrative prize money totalling some 50 million francs. This lottery money slowly dwindled however and by 1982, was removed completely. Since then , the Arc has been through several sponsors – at present the race is sponsored by the Qatar Racing Club which has seen the prize money reach an incredible 5,000,000 EURO.
The overall leading jockey title for the Arc is shared by six jockeys who have each taken glory four times each; Jacques Doyasbère, Freddy Head, Yves Saint-Martin, Pat Eddery, Oliver Peslier and Thierry Jarnet.
Leading trainer is the legendary Andre Fabre who has seven wins to his name alongside his victory in the Epsom Derby and four Breeders Cup Races. Marcel Boussac sits as the top owner with six wins between 1936 and 1949.
The fastest time ever recorded in the race was posted in 2011 by German super-mare Danedream, a rapid 2 minutes and 24 seconds.
A number of horses have managed to come out on top twice in the big race including most recently the French Filly Treve, who will go for an unprecedented third Arc victory later this year.