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Horse Racing: Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe Preview and Early Odds

By Philip Andrews
Published on September 18, 2017
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Early Odds

Europe’s premier horse race is just three weeks away with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe returning to Paris on October 1st. The race will be held at beautiful Chantilly Racecourse for the second straight year while its normal home, historic Longchamp, completes its €145 million renovation.

This year’s talented field will take aim at last year’s record-quick winning time of 2:23.61, posted by winner Found and jockey Ryan Moore who won the race for the second time (2010 he rode Workforce to victory as well). Is the new course partially responsible for the shaving of several seconds of any time since 2011, or was the 2016 field, most notably Found, just that strong?

Last year’s race was won by 1 ¾ lengths, but the race was most notable for trainer Aidan O’Brien placing all three of his horses in the money. Found was followed by Highland Reel and Order of St. George – both of whom are contenders to finish in the money again in 2017. The 16 runners in this year’s field vying for the $5 million Euro purse are still yet to be finalized, but there is a strong chance there will be some familiar names in the blocks taking aim at the overwhelming filly favorite, Enable.

However, last year was a keen reminder that nothing is guaranteed in horse racing. The overwhelming favorite entering the race was Postponed, after posting six consecutive wins including the , Dubai Sheema Classic, Coronation Cup and International Stakes. He finished a distant fifth, more than three lengths out of the money. Found was the fifth favorite by betting odds, Order of St. George seventh, and Highland Reel nowhere to be found.

Suffice it to say it was a fine afternoon, and a profitable one, for Aidan O’Brien. Can he repeat the magic in 2017??

Here’s a look at some early odds for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, or simply, “the Arc”

  • Enable 4/5
  • Ulysses 8/1
  • Cracksman 10/1
  • Order of St. George 12/1
  • Highland Reel 12/1
  • Brametot 12/1
  • Zarak 12/1
  • Winter 12/1
  • Satono Diamond 16/1
  • Eminent 16/1
  • Dschingis Secret 20/1
  • Capri 20/1
  • Shakeel 25/1

There are odds listed on another 15 or so horses, but for now, let’s keep our discussion slightly more narrow. Because despite all the many horses with odds, the clear and dominant favorite is Enable. The three-year old English bred filly has been dominant in races leading up to The Arc, most notably winning with almost boredom in her last race at Yorkshire Oaks on August 24th, leading trainer Josh Goodson to remark after the easy five-length victory, “She got lonely in the last part, she was looking around and idling. It’s not her favourite (sic) way of racing but she can do it that way.” That’s drop the mic awesomeness right there, and the reason she is a commanding favorite to win again in a few weeks in Paris.

The race is a long track compared to American Triple Crown Races, clocking in at 2400 meters, or a little over a mile and a half, so if the times seem slow at a glance – they aren’t.

Enable is obviously the favorite, but despite the overwhelming odds, there are a host of other horses who could push the filly in the biggest race of the year. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top contenders

TOP CONTENDERS AT “THE ARC” – Odds converted to American

  • Enable +120
    As mentioned above, Enable is the dominant favorite and for good reason. She won her last race at Yorkshire with boredom. Prior to that race, she has won her last six races and done so largely with ease. It would be an upset were she to lose the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next month. Barring an injury leading up to the race, she will remain a commanding favorite.
  • Ulysses +800
    The leading contender to pull the upset is four year old Ulysses. He has won two of his last three starts, and has finished in the money in all five 2017 starts, including three wins and a place. He has shown exceptionally well as a three-year old, winning the Gordon Stakes and finishing fourth in the . And as mentioned above, he has been even better in 2017, taking the Gordon Richards Stakes and went on to record victories in the Eclipse Stakes and the International Stakes.

Ulysses is far from the favorite, but a strong contender to finish in the money, and perhaps even push the seemingly indomitable filly, Enable.

  • Cracksman +1000
    These are pretty lofty odds for a horse that tends to go off low, but it because he finally came through on the promise last month. He was a 4/6 favorite at the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes on August 23rd, and delivered an impressive race, winning by six lengths in commanding fashion. After the race, the talk turned to the Prix de l’Arc, but trainer John Gosden emphasized that the colt was still maturing and that “his main programme is next year.” But after yet another commanding win last week, Crackman is becoming more and more of a contender.
  • Order of St. George +1200
    It’s been an impressive 2017 season for the three-year-old colt, winning three races and placing in his other two starts. Racing.com notes that “Order Of St George has emerged as a star stayer for Coolmore in his European three-year-old season” after an impressive eleven-lengths victory in the Group One Irish St. Leger. The horse has raced three times over 2200 meters and is still unbeaten.
  • Highland +1200
    The five-year-old has posted some nice victories and has had a wonderful racing career – and an especially impressive two-year-old season, but a recent fourth-place finish at the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes is cause for pause from a wagering perspective. He finished four lengths out of the money and over nine lengths behind the winner, Enable. It’s hard to see Highland contending for the win, but perhaps as entry on a trifecta or superfecta card, he merits some consideration.

OVERALL OUTLOOK

There are a few challengers but the fine filly, Enable, is the overwhelming favorite for a reason. Her performance at the King George was just another in a long line of evidence that this is clearly the top horse in Europe and a force to be reckoned with. There is every chance she can follow in the footsteps of Mill Reef and Dancing Brave by winning the King George and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the same season.

Stay tuned over the next couple weeks as the official field begins to round into form and odds shift. But if you want some early value, it’s hard to see the odds getting much more generous on Enable than the current even money +100.

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