2018 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Odds and Betting Preview
The current flat racing season has offered up some of the most wondrous races and stories in 2018, and while the sun is about to set on another summer campaign, perhaps the best is yet to come in Paris this Sunday as Longchamp – freshly rebuilt – hosts the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with the start time due off at 15:00 BST.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a Group 1 flat horse race, open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. The race is run over the classic middle-distance trip of one mile and four furlongs (2400m).
Popularly referred to as the “Arc”, it is Europe’s most prestigious horse race. Its roll of honour features many highly acclaimed horses in its history, and its winners are often subsequently regarded as champions. It is currently the world’s richest turf race and thirdrichest horse race – behind the Pegasus World Cup and Dubai World Cup.
First run back in 1920, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was won by Comrade, a three-year-old colt, with the winner’s prize of 150,000 francs. From 1935, the race was helped via lottery funding to maintain its high-profile status within the sport, until the early 1980’s, when sponsorship became heavily involved.
Up to the present day and the race is now bankrolled by Qatar Racing, with the prize fund totalling five million euros. Following a twoyear absence for racecourse renovations, the ‘Arc’ is back at its Longchamp home following the previous two years’ races being held at Chantilly.
Some of the all-time great horses have laid claim to the biggest prize in European turf racing over the years. Montjeu, Sinndar, Dalakhani, Zarkava, Sea The Stars and the mighty French filly, Treve have all tasted glory in the Paris showpiece within the last two decades.
John Gosden’s star filly Enable is back in 2018 hoping to emulate Treve by claiming her second Arc. 18 possible opponents will line-up against her following the final declaration stage, can she double up? Read on for our thoughts in this preview.
Are Gosden and Dettori ‘Enable’ to Repeat?
Eight wins from nine career starts and almost four million pounds in prize money, Enable is the jewel in the crown of the John Gosden stable. Following an early season setback which left season plans in doubt for the female superstar, Enable put the doubters to rest on her reappearance at Kempton by scooting clear in her usual style.
Owned by Khalid Abdullah, Enable is just even money (1/1) with the majority of bookmakers including Betway and 888Sport to retain her Arc crown, but it would take a brave punter to back against her in my view – especially with her kind draw from stall six. Okay, there are some potential doubts, the course being one, as Enable won at Chantilly last year and tackles Longchamp for the first time.
Her three-and-a-half length victory over Crystal Ocean at Kempton was visually impressive, but the filly was in receipt of seven pounds on adjusted ratings and only won by less than four – but she could only do no more than win.
There will be plenty of punters prepared to back against the Gosden/Dettori combination I’m sure, but I believe this filly is one of the all-time greats of the sport, and her coronation could be confirmed on Sunday afternoon if she can live up to the billing.
Does Sea have the Class to win?
William Haggas’ star three-year-old filly has had an exceptional 2018, but this is her toughest task to date. After following a slightly similar three-year-old path to Enable in claiming the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks, Sea Of Class now meets the heroine herself on Sunday afternoon for the French showdown.
Sea Of Class is a generally available 7/2 chance with various bookmakers including William Hill and 188Bet and looks to be one of the few rivals to challenge Enable. She will have to overcome the wide draw of stall 15 however, which statistically at least, will not be easy to achieve. Golden Horn (2015) is the only Arc winner in the last 20 years to win from an outside draw and that highlights the negative.
The French team generally have stiff opposition on home soil to the rest for most Arc renewals, but this season seems to be an exception. Leading French trainer, Andre Fabre has won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on no less than seven separate occasions within the last thirty years, and his four-year-old Waldgeist looks to be his main hope in 2018.
Widely available as a 7/1 shot, Waldgeist took the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud back in July with a narrow victory over the John Gosden trained, Coronet. This victory is among three others for the son of Galileo so far this season, but Gosden could well have his measure with Enable – who is an obvious upgrade over Coronet on form. At 7/1 though, Waldgeist represents decent each-way value, and has obvious place claims in this field – despite an unfavourable draw in stall 13.
Others of Note
The quality of the field really drops off from the aforementioned trio in my view, but honourable each way mentions must go to Kew Gardens, who deserves to take his chance following an admirable performance to win the St Leger at Doncaster last month. The three-year-old is the choice of Ryan Moore from the Aidan O’Brien quota of five in the race. He can run well despite an unfavourable draw at the best industry price of 12/1.
One to consider as an each-way play at a huge price is the 50/1 shot with William Hill – Neufbosc – trained by Pia Brandt. After finishing behind Kew Gardens in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp back in July, Neufbosc was rested over the summer. The three-year-old was back out three weeks ago for a warm-up race and finished third without being fully tested. He could be worth chancing at big odds.
Enable is the obvious starting point, and if she runs to her best form, the Gosden filly wins the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for a second time, in my opinion. She has a kind draw from stall six, the urgings of one of the greatest jockeys of all time, and the ground conditions to suit. Everything looks to be in place for her to cement her place in history, albeit at the short price of even money.
Sea Of Class rates as the main danger, and could be the ‘new Enable’ in waiting. I just have the nagging doubt that this younger generation filly is a level below what is required to lower the colours of Enable.
Waldgeist is perhaps in the same bracket at Sea Of Class, being of a lesser standard to Enable, but he is double the odds and is worthy chancing at 7/1.
- Enable to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at even money with Betway