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Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Group 1 race
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Location Longchamp Racecourse
Paris, France
Inaugurated 1920
Race type Flat / Thoroughbred
Sponsor Qatar
Website france-galop.com
Race information
Distance 2,400 metres (1½ miles)
Track Turf, right-handed
Qualification Three-years-old and up
excluding geldings
Weight 56 kg (3yo); 59½ kg (4yo+)
1½ kg for fillies and mares
Purse 6.3million(2010)
1st: 57.14%, 2nd: 22.86%
3rd: 11.43%, 4th: 5.71%
5th: 2.86%

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is a Group 1 flat horse race in France which is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. It is run at Longchamp over a distance of 2,400 metres (about 1½ miles), and it is scheduled to take place each year, usually on the first Sunday in October.

Popularly referred to as the "Arc", it is the most prestigious horse race in Europe, and one of the most renowned international events in any sport. Many of its winners are subsequently regarded as champions, and its roll of honour features such highly acclaimed horses as Ribot, Sea Bird, Dancing Brave and Sea the Stars. It is currently the world's second richest horse race on turf, after the Japan Cup.

A slogan of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, first used on a promotional poster in 2003, describes the event as "Ce n'est pas une course, c'est un monument" – "Not so much a race as a monument".




The former governing body of French racing, the Société d'Encouragement, had initially restricted its races to thoroughbreds which were born and bred in France. In 1863, however, it launched a new event, the Grand Prix de Paris, which was designed to bring together the best three-year-olds from any country. Thirty years later it introduced a second international event, the Prix du Conseil Municipal, which enabled the leading horses of different age groups to compete against each other. This race was run over 2,400 metres in October, and its conditions included "overweights and underweights", a handicap system based on the previous performances of the participating horses.

The creation of a third such race was proposed by the Société d'Encouragement at a committee meeting on January 24, 1920. The new event, like its predecessors, would take place at Longchamp. It was to be an international race to complement the Grand Prix de Paris, and it would serve as a showcase for French thoroughbred breeding. It would have similar characteristics to the Prix du Conseil Municipal, but unlike that event it would use the weight for age system, with each horse competing on equal terms, unpenalised for previous victories.

Coming in the wake of World War I, it was decided that the race would be named after the Arc de Triomphe, a famous monument in Paris which had been the scene of a victory parade by the Allies in 1919. The title Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe had been previously assigned to a minor event at Longchamp. Another suggested title had been the Prix de la Victoire.

Race history

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was first run on Sunday October 3, 1920. The inaugural running was won by Comrade, a three-year-old colt owned by Evremond de Saint-Alary. The winner's prize was 150,000 francs.

The event secured state funding in 1935 by the means of a lottery, which awarded prizes according to the race result and the drawing of lots. The system was first used in 1936, and it continued until 1938. The "Arc" was cancelled twice during World War II, in 1939 and 1940. It was switched to Le Tremblay in 1943 and 1944, where it was run over 2,300 metres. It returned to Longchamp in 1945.

Government funding of the race resumed in 1949, with money obtained through the Loterie Nationale. Offering an attractive jackpot of 50 million francs, this enabled a rapid increase of the prizes for both the "Arc" and its supporting races. By the 1970s, however, the assistance of the lottery had diminished, and the system was finally discontinued after the 1982 running. Since then the "Arc" has had several sponsors, including Trusthouse Forte, CIGA Hotels and Groupe Lucien Barrière.

The present sponsor of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC). The sponsorship agreement between France Galop and the QREC was signed in Doha in 2008, and it covers the five runnings of the "Arc" from 2008 to 2012. As a result of this deal the prize fund of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was doubled from €2 million to €4 million. It has thus become the world's second richest turf race (after the Japan Cup), and the third richest overall, behind the Dubai World Cup. The purse for the whole weekend of the "Arc" meeting now stands at €6.7 million (about USD $10 million). It includes seven races classed at Group 1 level, and four with Group 2 status.


Most successful horse (2 wins):

  • Ksar1921, 1922

Leading jockey (4 wins):

  • Freddy HeadBon Mot (1966), San San (1972), Ivanjica (1976), Three Troikas (1979)
  • Yves Saint-MartinSassafras (1970), Allez France (1974), Akiyda (1982), Sagace (1984)
  • Pat EdderyDetroit (1980), Rainbow Quest (1985), Dancing Brave (1986), Trempolino (1987)

Leading trainer (7 wins):

  • André FabreTrempolino (1987), Subotica (1992), Carnegie (1994), Peintre Celebre (1997), Sagamix (1998), Hurricane Run (2005), Rail Link (2006)

Leading owner (6 wins):

  • Marcel BoussacCorrida (1936, 1937), Djebel (1942), Ardan (1944), Caracalla (1946), Coronation (1949)








1920 Comrade 3 Frank Bullock Peter Gilpin Evremond de Saint-Alary 2:39.0
1921 Ksar 3 George Stern Walter R. Walton Mrs Edmond Blanc 2:34.8
1922 Ksar 4 Frank Bullock Walter R. Walton Mrs Edmond Blanc 2:38.8
1923 Parth 3 Frank O'Neill James H. Crawford A. Kingsley Macomber 2:38.2
1924 Massine 4 Albert Sharpe Elijah Cunnington Henry Ternynck 2:40.8
1925 Priori [1] 3 Marcel Allemand Percy Carter Gérard de Chavagnac 2:33.8
1926 Biribi 3 Domingo Torterolo Juan Torterolo Simon Guthmann 2:32.8
1927 Mon Talisman 3 Charles Semblat Frank Carter Edouard Martinez de Hoz 2:32.8
1928 Kantar 3 Arthur Esling Richard Carver Ogden L. Mills 2:38.8
1929 Ortello 3 Paolo Caprioli Willy Carter Giuseppe del Montel 2:42.8
1930 Motrico 5 Marcel Fruhinsholtz Maurice d'Okhuysen Max de Rivaud 2:44.8
1931 Pearl Cap 3 Charles Semblat Frank Carter Diana Esmond 2:38.8
1932 Motrico 7 Charles Semblat Maurice d'Okhuysen Max de Rivaud 2:44.6
1933 Crapom 3 Paolo Caprioli Frederico Regoli Mario Crespi 2:41.6
1934 Brantome 3 Charles Bouillon Lucien Robert Edouard A. de Rothschild 2:41.8
1935 Samos 3 Walter Sibbritt Frank Carter Evremond de Saint-Alary 2:42.6
1936 Corrida 4 Charlie Elliott John E. Watts Marcel Boussac 2:38.6
1937 Corrida 5 Charlie Elliott John E. Watts Marcel Boussac 2:33.9
1938 Eclair au Chocolat 3 Charles Bouillon Lucien Robert Edouard A. de Rothschild 2:39.8
1939 no race 1939–40
1941 Le Pacha 3 Paul Francolon John Cunnington Philippe Gund 2:36.2
1942 Djebel 5 Jacques Doyasbère Charles Semblat Marcel Boussac 2:37.9
1943 Verso II [2] 3 Guy Duforez Charles Clout Hubert de Chambure 2:33.4
1944 Ardan [2] 3 Jacques Doyasbère Charles Semblat Marcel Boussac 2:35.0
1945 Nikellora 3 Rae Johnstone René Pelat Mrs Robert Patureau 2:34.8
1946 Caracalla 4 Charlie Elliott Charles Semblat Marcel Boussac 2:33.3
1947 Le Paillon 5 Fernand Rochetti William Head Lucienne Aurousseau 2:33.4
1948 Migoli 4 Charles Smirke Frank Butters HH Aga Khan III 2:31.6
1949 Coronation 3 Roger Poincelet Charles Semblat Marcel Boussac 2:33.2
1950 Tantieme 3 Jacques Doyasbère François Mathet François Dupré 2:34.2
1951 Tantieme 4 Jacques Doyasbère François Mathet François Dupré 2:32.8
1952 Nuccio 4 Roger Poincelet Alec Head HH Aga Khan III 2:39.8
1953 La Sorellina 3 Maurice Larraun Etienne Pollet Paul Duboscq 2:31.8
1954 Sica Boy 3 Rae Johnstone Pierre Pelat Mrs Jean Cochery 2:36.3
1955 Ribot 3 Enrico Camici Ugo Penco Mario della Rocchetta 2:35.6
1956 Ribot 4 Enrico Camici Ugo Penco Mario della Rocchetta 2:34.8
1957 Oroso 4 Serge Boullenger Daniel Lescalle Raoul Meyer 2:33.4
1958 Ballymoss 4 Scobie Breasley Vincent O'Brien John McShain 2:37.9
1959 Saint Crespin [3] 3 George Moore Alec Head Prince Aly Khan 2:33.3
1960 Puissant Chef 3 Maxime Garcia C. W. Bartholomew Henry Aubert 2:44.0
1961 Molvedo 3 Enrico Camici Armando Maggi Egidio Verga 2:38.4
1962 Soltikoff 3 Marcel Depalmas René Pelat Simone Del Duca 2:30.9
1963 Exbury 4 Jean Deforge Geoffroy Watson Guy de Rothschild 2:35.0
1964 Prince Royal 3 Roger Poincelet Georges Bridgland Rex C. Ellsworth 2:35.5
1965 Sea Bird 3 Pat Glennon Etienne Pollet Jean Ternynck 2:35.5
1966 Bon Mot 3 Freddy Head William Head Walter Burmann 2:39.8
1967 Topyo 3 Bill Pyers C. W. Bartholomew Suzy Volterra 2:38.2
1968 Vaguely Noble 3 Bill Williamson Etienne Pollet Wilma Franklyn 2:35.2
1969 Levmoss 4 Bill Williamson Seamus McGrath Seamus McGrath 2:29.0
1970 Sassafras 3 Yves Saint-Martin François Mathet Arpad Plesch 2:29.7
1971 Mill Reef 3 Geoff Lewis Ian Balding Paul Mellon 2:28.3
1972 San San 3 Freddy Head Angel Penna, Sr. Countess Batthyany 2:28.3
1973 Rheingold 4 Lester Piggott Barry Hills Henry Zeisel 2:35.8
1974 Allez France 4 Yves Saint-Martin Angel Penna, Sr. Daniel Wildenstein 2:36.9
1975 Star Appeal 5 Greville Starkey Theo Grieper Waldemar Zeitelhack 2:33.6
1976 Ivanjica 4 Freddy Head Alec Head Jacques Wertheimer 2:39.4
1977 Alleged 3 Lester Piggott Vincent O'Brien Robert Sangster 2:30.6
1978 Alleged 4 Lester Piggott Vincent O'Brien Robert Sangster 2:36.5
1979 Three Troikas 3 Freddy Head Criquette Head Ghislaine Head 2:28.9
1980 Detroit 3 Pat Eddery Olivier Douieb Robert Sangster 2:28.0
1981 Gold River 4 Gary W. Moore Alec Head Jacques Wertheimer 2:35.2
1982 Akiyda 3 Yves Saint-Martin François Mathet HH Aga Khan IV 2:37.0
1983 All Along 4 Walter Swinburn Patrick Biancone Daniel Wildenstein 2:28.1
1984 Sagace 4 Yves Saint-Martin Patrick Biancone Daniel Wildenstein 2:39.1
1985 Rainbow Quest [4] 4 Pat Eddery Jeremy Tree Khalid Abdullah 2:29.5
1986 Dancing Brave 3 Pat Eddery Guy Harwood Khalid Abdullah 2:27.7
1987 Trempolino 3 Pat Eddery André Fabre Moussac / McNall 2:26.3
1988 Tony Bin 5 John Reid Luigi Camici Veronica del Bono Gaucci 2:27.3
1989 Carroll House 4 Michael Kinane Michael Jarvis Antonio Balzarini 2:30.8
1990 Saumarez 3 Gérald Mossé Nicolas Clément McNall / Gretzky 2:29.8
1991 Suave Dancer 3 Cash Asmussen John Hammond Henri Chalhoub 2:31.4
1992 Subotica 4 Thierry Jarnet André Fabre Olivier Lecerf 2:39.0
1993 Urban Sea 4 Eric Saint-Martin Jean Lesbordes David Tsui 2:37.9
1994 Carnegie 3 Thierry Jarnet André Fabre Sheikh Mohammed 2:31.1
1995 Lammtarra 3 Frankie Dettori Saeed bin Suroor Saeed bin M. Al Maktoum 2:31.8
1996 Helissio 3 Olivier Peslier Elie Lellouche Enrique Sarasola 2:29.9
1997 Peintre Celebre 3 Olivier Peslier André Fabre Daniel Wildenstein 2:24.6
1998 Sagamix 3 Olivier Peslier André Fabre Jean-Luc Lagardère 2:34.5
1999 Montjeu 3 Michael Kinane John Hammond Michael Tabor 2:38.5
2000 Sinndar 3 Johnny Murtagh John Oxx HH Aga Khan IV 2:25.8
2001 Sakhee 4 Frankie Dettori Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin 2:36.1
2002 Marienbard 5 Frankie Dettori Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin 2:26.7
2003 Dalakhani 3 Christophe Soumillon Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:32.3
2004 Bago 3 Thierry Gillet Jonathan Pease Niarchos Family 2:25.0
2005 Hurricane Run 3 Kieren Fallon André Fabre Michael Tabor 2:27.4
2006 Rail Link 3 Stéphane Pasquier André Fabre Khalid Abdullah 2:26.3
2007 Dylan Thomas 4 Kieren Fallon Aidan O'Brien Magnier / Tabor 2:28.5
2008 Zarkava 3 Christophe Soumillon Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:28.8
2009 Sea the Stars 3 Michael Kinane John Oxx Christopher Tsui 2:26.3

1 Cadum finished first in 1925, but he was relegated to second place following a Stewards' Inquiry.
2 The 1943 and 1944 editions were run at Le Tremblay over 2,300 metres.
3 Midnight Sun dead-heated for first in 1959, but he was placed second after a Stewards' Inquiry.
4 Sagace finished first in 1985, but he was demoted to second following a Stewards' Inquiry.

Miscellaneous information

  • Fastest winning time – 2m 24.6s – Peintre Celebre (1997)
  • Widest margin of victory – 6 lengthsRibot (1956), Sea Bird (1965), Sakhee (2001)
  • Oldest winning horse – 7-years-old – Motrico (1932)
  • Leading sire of Arc winners – Bruleur (4 wins) – Ksar (1921, 1922), Priori (1925), Samos (1935)
  • Most runners – 30 in 1967 (the present maximum is 20)
  • Fewest runners – 7 in 1941
  • Fillies and mares – seventeen wins – Pearl Cap (1931), Samos (1935), Corrida (1936, 1937), Nikellora (1945), Coronation (1949), La Sorellina (1953), San San (1972), Allez France (1974), Ivanjica (1976), Three Troikas (1979), Detroit (1980), Gold River (1981), Akiyda (1982), All Along (1983), Urban Sea (1993), Zarkava (2008)

  • Criquette Head-Maarek, the trainer of the 1979 winner Three Troikas, remains the only woman to have trained an Arc winner.
  • The third-placed horse in 2006, Deep Impact, was later disqualified after testing positive for the banned substance ipratropium.

  • Wins by country trained

Flag of France France – (64 wins)
Flag of United Kingdom Great Britain – (10) – Parth (1923), Migoli (1948), Mill Reef (1971), Rheingold (1973), Rainbow Quest (1985), Dancing Brave (1986), Carroll House (1989), Lammtarra (1995), Sakhee (2001), Marienbard (2002)
Flag of Republic of Ireland Ireland – (7) – Ballymoss (1958), Levmoss (1969), Alleged (1977, 1978), Sinndar (2000), Dylan Thomas (2007), Sea the Stars (2009)
Flag of Italy Italy – (6) – Ortello (1929), Crapom (1933), Ribot (1955, 1956), Molvedo (1961), Tony Bin (1988)
Flag of Germany Germany – (1) – Star Appeal (1975)

  • Wins by country foaled

Flag of France France – (44 wins)
Flag of Republic of Ireland Ireland – (17) – Parth (1923), Migoli (1948), Vaguely Noble (1968), Levmoss (1969), Rheingold (1973), Star Appeal (1975), Tony Bin (1988), Carroll House (1989), Carnegie (1994), Montjeu (1999), Sinndar (2000), Marienbard (2002), Dalakhani (2003), Hurricane Run (2005), Dylan Thomas (2007), Zarkava (2008), Sea the Stars (2009)
Flag of the United States United States – (14) – Mill Reef (1971), San San (1972), Allez France (1974), Ivanjica (1976), Alleged (1977, 1978), Rainbow Quest (1985), Dancing Brave (1986), Trempolino (1987), Suave Dancer (1991), Urban Sea (1993), Lammtarra (1995), Peintre Celebre (1997), Sakhee (2001)
Flag of United Kingdom Great Britain – (7) – Comrade (1920), Ballymoss (1958), Saint Crespin (1959), Prince Royal (1964), Akiyda (1982), Saumarez (1990), Rail Link (2006)
Flag of Italy Italy – (6) – Ortello (1929), Crapom (1933), Nuccio (1952), Ribot (1955, 1956), Molvedo (1961)


  • Winner's previous race (since 1980; won unless stated)
Prix NielTrempolino, Carnegie, Helissio, Peintre Celebre (2nd), Sagamix, Montjeu, Sinndar, Dalakhani, Bago (3rd), Hurricane Run, Rail Link
Prix FoyGold River (3rd), All Along (2nd), Sagace, Subotica (2nd)
Irish Champion StakesCarroll House, Suave Dancer, Dylan Thomas, Sea the Stars
Prix VermeilleDetroit (3rd), Akiyda (2nd), Zarkava
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth StakesRainbow Quest (3rd), Lammtarra
Select StakesDancing Brave
Premio Federico TesioTony Bin
Prix du Prince d'OrangeSaumarez
Prix Gontaut-BironUrban Sea
International StakesSakhee
Grosser Preis von BadenMarienbard

  • Major races at the 2009 Arc meeting
Prix Chaudenay, Prix de la Forêt, Prix de Royallieu, Prix Daniel Wildenstein, Prix Dollar
Prix de l'Abbaye, Prix Marcel Boussac, Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère, Prix de l'Opéra, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Prix du Cadran


  • horseracingintfed.comInternational Federation of Horseracing Authorities – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2009).
  • The Breedon Book of Horse Racing Records. Breedon Books. 1993. p. 190. ISBN 1-873626-15-0. 

See also


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