One of the most fascinating things about the race is the clash of each new classic generation of three year olds with the older horses. Recently the advantage has been with the younger brigade, but the balance is never too far in one direction or the other.
The leading trainer in the Arc is French legend Andre Fabre. With a whopping 21 straight French Trainers’ Titles, it is no surprise that Fabre leads the way in victories in his countries’ most famous race with seven wins between 1987 and 2006.
French trainers do well in general, and surprisingly it is one of the few Group One races that Aidan O’ Brien has failed to dominate, with his single victory coming in 2007 with Dylan Thomas.
One factor that has been increasingly important is the draw. Longchamp is a right handed track, with a couple of turns on the course for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, meaning that a draw in single figures can be very advantageous. Those drawn wider risk being caught wide going into the turns, or else must drop in behind horses early. Coming from far back requires plenty of luck in running in what can be quite a rough race.
Despite this, the race rarely throws up a bad winner, and the vast majority of Arc winners were Group One winners before taking part in the race. Longchamp requires tactical speed, and one thing all winners have in common is a proper turn of foot at the end of the race.
Frankie Dettori riding Golden Horn to Arc success.