2016 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Ante-Post Betting
Europe’s biggest race is not too far around the corner and our 2016 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe ante-post betting market is already attracting plenty of punters. Who can forget Golden Horn’s thrilling 2015 win, or Treve’s back-to-back victories in 2013 and 2014? Previous Arc winners include Sea The Stars, Montjeu, Suave Dancer, Dancing Brave and Mill Reef. Let’s take a look at the horses most-likely to grab the glory, at Longchamp this year…
Roger Varian’s incredibly-gifted 5-year-old is unbeaten in his last 6 races, 4 of which have been G1 encounters. Postponed has already proven an ability to win at Longchamp, scooping the Prix Foy last September. A brace of victories at Meydan followed, including the Sheema Classic (with Highland Reel well-beaten in 4th). Victories in the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup and the Juddmonte International Stakes laid any doubts to rest and Postponed is likely to start this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as the favourite.
Following an underwhelming debut at Gowran Park last September (his only 2015 outing), Harzand has been sensational in his Classic campaign. After an easy 16-length victory at Cork, the Sea The Stars colt was too good for Idaho in the Ballysax Stakes and was then sent to England for the Epsom Derby. US Army Ranger put in a strong challenge, but never really looked like getting on terms with Harzand. He was slightly less-convincing when beating Idaho by just half-a-length in the Irish Derby, but this 3-year-old will be a major player at Longchamp.
The 3-year-old Le Havre-sired filly is out of a dam called Absolute Lady and she’s been absolutely fabulous, since winning in Listed company on debut at Saint-Cloud in March. Wins in the D’essai Des Pouliches and the Prix De Diane Group (both G1) came before another G2 victory at Deauville. She’s getting plenty of market-support and it’s easy to see why.
Despite Harzand’s success, many would argue that it is Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo-sired filly, that has emerged as the best 3-year-old in the current campaign. Beaten only once, in her last 9 contests, she overcame dreadful trouble in-running to win the Epsom Oaks and looked a class above every other horse in the field. Subsequent victories in both the Pretty Polly Stakes and the Nassau Stakes indicate she will be a real danger, in this year’s Arc.
The Japanese Derby winner beat both Deep Impact and Dee Majesty, so must be respected. However it’s becoming difficult to argue that Japanese horses don’t perform anywhere near their best, when competing on European soil. Makahiki is trained by Yasuo Tomomichi and is out of Wikiwiki, a French Deputy Mayor. Can this one buck the trend?
This Wootton Bassett-sired 3-year-old followed-up victory in the Guiche Stakes with a 1.5 length defeat of the highly-rated Zarak, in the Prix Du Jockey Club. Mekhtaal, Imperial Aviator and Foundation were all well-beaten and the French colt has since won the Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes at Deauville, where Zarak once again came off second-best. He cannot be ruled out.
3rd in last year’s Arc and just a neck behind Flintshire, Andre Fabre given the Dubawi colt just a brace of outings in 2016. Unplaced in the D’ispahan Stakes, he reminded us all of his ability when winning comfortably at Deauville in G3 company. The 4-year-old won last season’s Prix Du Jockey Club (beating Highland Reel) and has found friends in the market.
Order Of St George
No horse has beaten Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo-sired 4-year-old, since June of last year, although all but one of those wins came on Irish turf. The other came at Royal Ascot, where the Gold Cup was won by 3 lengths. He was last seen at the Curragh, winning the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes fairly cosily. Looks up against it, in this company though.
The filly is another of Aidan O’Brien’s inmates and she’s become expensive to back, in 2016. Runner-up in all of her last 4 races, questions remain as to whether she has the genuine will to win at the very-highest level. Horses that have finished behind her recently include A Shin Hikari, Simple Verse and Arabian Queen. She has bags of ability, but perhaps lacks the heart to win Europe’s most prestigious race.
If you are looking for a wildcard, this German thoroughbred might just fit the bill. Sired by Monsun, he won the 2014 Darley Prix Kergorlay Stakes before carrying Ryan Moore to the spoils in that season’s Melbourne Cup. Victory in the 2016 Grosser Preis von Berlin delighted his many fans. Could Protectionist emulate Danedream, the German horse that won in 2011?
Why Longchamp Is The Home Of French Racing
Longchamp is France’s most important racetrack and more than 50% of the nation’s G1 encounters are run at this famous old course. Built in 1857, it was a place where the French aristocracy would often visit, before the Revolution.
Let’s take a look at the G1 fixtures that are held here.
The Prix Jean Luc Lagardere is run over fourteen hundred metres and is for two year-olds.
The Prix Marcel Boussac is for two year-old fillies and run over a distance of a mile.
The Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp is a five furlong straight sprint for horses aged two years and above.
The Poule d’Essai des Poulains is a one mile race for three year-old colts and was introduced in 1883.
The Grand Prix de Paris is run over a mile and a half. Three year-old horses can take part, although geldings cannot be entered.
The Poule d’Essai des Pouliches is for three year-old fillies. They race a mile for a four hundred and fifty thousand euro purse.
The Prix Saint Alary has only been run since 1960. It is a mile and a quarter fixture for three year-old fillies.
The Prix de la Foret is a seven furlong race and the runners must be three years or above.
The Prix Royal Oak is a one mile and seven furlong stamina test for three year-olds. It was inaugurated in 1861.
The Prix du Moulin de Longchamp was first run in 1957. It’s a mile race for three year-olds and up.
The Prix Vermeille is for fillies and mares. The race distance is one and a half miles.
The Prix de l’Opera was introduced in the mid-1970s. It is a mile and a quarter race for fillies and mares.
The Prix d’Ispahan is for slightly older horses, aged four years or more. The race distance is nine furlongs.
The Prix du Cadran is also for runners aged four years or more. It’s a stayers race, with a race distance of two and a half miles.
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