The Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe is run over a distance of 1 mile and 4 furlongs at Longchamp in Paris and it takes place this Sunday.
The race is certainly the highest quality Group 1 middle distance event on the European racing calendar and is arguably the best race of this type in the world.
Some true greats have won the race over the past twenty years including Montjeu, Sinndar, Dalakhani, Zarkava, the renowned Sea The Stars and the wonderful Trêve.
The John Gosden-trained Enable is aiming for an unprecedented third victory in the race. She is already the only horse in history to win the Arc at two different courses and she would also give Frankie Dettori his seventh Arc success.
Here is your runner-by-runner guide to the horse racing betting contenders this year:
Sixth in the Listed Grand Prix de Nantes last autumn, the Henri-Alex Pantall-trained French King has had one hell of a season, winning four races on the spin.
The last of those wins was in the Grosser Preis von Berlin, formerly known as the Deutschland-Preis, one of Germany’s most prestigious races Group One races.
Sottsass put in a devastating performance in the Prix du Jockey Club, beating Andre Fabre’s classy Persian King.
Arguably he got lucky in the Prix Niel, having found trouble up against the rail, but he managed to get out and showed a blistering turn of foot to land the spoils.
That turn of foot may just see him through here.
Czech star Nagano Gold has shown that he can mix it with some of the best horses in Europe and he looks well overpriced in the betting.
He almost pulled off a big shock in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and would probably need a few things to go wrong in-running for the market principals to scoop this pot.
A third-placed effort in the Prix Foy last month hardly had punters rushing in to back this Japanese-trained Arc hopeful.
Admittedly he did run lazily that day but he will have to sharpen up his game to figure on Sunday.
Anthony Van Dyck
According to his trainer Aidan O’Brien, Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck will only line up if the ground is good or better so the prospects of seeing him on Sunday appear pretty slim.
Currently the most fancied of the Japanese triumvirate, Fierement won the Tenno Sho (Grade 1), before coming third to rival Blast Onepiece, in Japan’s traditional warm up race for the Arc – the Sapporo Kinen.
He is owned by the same connections as Orfèvre who was twice runner-up in the Arc.
He was the winner of the Sapporo Kinen but is surprisingly weaker in the betting at the moment than Fierement.
A son of Harbinger, Blast Onepiece scored at the highest level in the Grade 1 Arima Kinen last December and his connections believe he will appreciate the step up in trip.
Japan has slowly come to the boil since his Dante fourth back in May and is a really serious contender. He had an unlucky passage in the Derby, but since then has done nothing wrong.
A King Edward VII Stakes romp was followed up by successes in the Grand Prix De Paris and the Juddmonte International, the latter race showing off his battling spirit and dogged determination.
The Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist is sure to have plenty of home support but Fabre is well aware that his five-year-old will have to be at his very best if he is to improve on last year’s fourth.
The winner again of the Prix Foy, Waldgeist has gone down the exact same tried and tested route as last season.
He does however need to find some improvement from somewhere if he is to reverse the beatings he received from both Enable and Magical over the summer.
Magical’s win in the Irish Champion Stakes puts her right up there in the mix and she has followed the very same path that Aidan O’Brien plotted for Found when she won the Arc.
Magical has finished second to Enable a couple of times this season but a new jockey on her back may bring about a new result this weekend. It’s a great opportunity for 21-year-old Donnacha O’Brien to improve upon his two previous Arc rides (fourth and fifth).
The Godolphin-owned four-year-old stormed into the Arc picture when scoring by a wide margin in the 147th Longines Grosser Preis von Baden in Germany.
That was Ghaiyyath’s first race since he was soundly beaten at odds-on in the Prix Ganay in April, but his trainer Charlie Appleby always believed that he would relish a step up in distance.
Carroll House, Marienbard and Danedream all went on to take the Arc after winning the Grosser Preis von Baden so he cannot be discounted, especially if history repeats itself.
She definitely needs no introduction being as she is already a ten time Group 1 winning mare, a 128 rated horse and a dual Arc winner, who also stands one step away from being a history maker.
After her victory in the Yorkshire Oaks she went to the top of the world’s best racehorse rankings.
Her three victories this season in reverse order have been a 2 3/4 lengths beating of Magical at York, a neck verdict over Crystal Ocean in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and a three-quarters of a length win over Magical in the Coral-Eclipse.
Enable and Frankie Dettori are undefeated in 12 races together and it is going to take some almighty effort by one of these rivals to knock them off their pedestal.
Conclusion: Who Wins?
As much as I want to witness in person Enable creating history on Sunday afternoon at ParisLongchamp, from a punting point of view I believe the percentage call in the race is an each-way wager on Sottsass.
If your heart is currently ruling your head then this could be the perfect bet for you.