The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is generally considered to be one of the most prolific European horse races for the open age category. The 2400-metre contest takes place annually on the opening Sunday in October and attracts horse racing fans from all over the world at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France.
If you have never been to horse racing before in Europe, this event may be the perfect opportunity for you to experience how a meeting unfolds overseas. This year’s Arc, as it is commonly known around the world, is the first at the newly renovated Longchamp; the meeting has been held at Chantilly for the last two years while work was completed at the Paris-based track.
The defending champion Enable currently tops the horse racing betting for the 2018 contest at +500, but she has yet to run so far in the campaign as a leg injury has kept her off the track. John Gosden’s filly had a fantastic season in 2017, which was capped off by her success in October where, with Frankie Dettori on her back, she beat a strong field by over two lengths.
Enable could make her return to action at York later this month in the Juddmonte International, which takes place during the Ebor Festival. The four-year-old won the Yorkshire Oaks at the same meeting 12 months ago, in what was one of five Group One victories, which also included the Oaks at Epsom and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
If she can make a successful return to the track and lines up at Longchamp in October, Enable will be bidding to become the first horse since Treve in 2014 to prevail in back-to-back renewals of the prestigious middle-distance turf contest.
Poet’s Word goes into the 2018 Arc as the in-form horse in Europe this season. Sir Michael Stoute’s runner has won two of the leading races in the division so far in the campaign as he claimed the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot where he beat odds-on favourite Cracksman. Meanwhile, just a month later, he proved that victory was no fluke as he claimed the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at the same track.
At the age of five, Poet’s Word has found the best form of his career, which should lead to him having a shot at the Arc. Stoute’s runner has never lined up in the middle-distance race in France before. However, he does have experience at racing abroad as he ran in the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin last year, where he finished sixth of the 12 runners, while back in March, he came home second in the Sheema Classic at Meydan in Dubai.
Poet’s Word can be backed at +700 to win the Arc and that price is likely to get even shorter if he can add the Juddmonte International to his honours this year. The race in October is shaping up to be one of the best renewals in many years, therefore if you are looking to make the trip to France, you could be set to see a cracking contest.