Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2023: Mail Sport’s guide to the 15 runners eyeing big race glory in Paris
- Fifteen runners arrive in Paris bidding for glory in the famous race at Longchamp
- The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe gets underway at 3.05pm on Sunday afternoon
- Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here
Fifteen runners arrive in Paris bidding for Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe glory.
Longchamp’s showpiece gets underway at 3.05pm on Sunday.
Here, Mail Sport offers a guide to all of the contenders.
The 2021 German Derby winner has raced with credit around the globe and ran near to his best when three-quarter length second to Sunday’s opponent Simca Mille in the Group One Grosser Preis Von Berlin in August. Poor run since and he’s only won three of his 14 starts and he shouldn’t be a threat at this exalted level.
2 HAYA ZARK
At his best when the ground is very deep and has won two group three races including the course and distance Prix d’Hedouville in May. This is the first group one race he has ever contested and it’s hard to find an argument why he should figure even if the going turns in his favour which is unlikely given the forecast.
Hukum is bidding to become the first six-year-old to win the Arc but has got better with age
His course arnd distance victory in last season’s Group One Grand Prix de Paris would give him a squeak of a place and certainly improving on last season’s 10th place. However, this season’s form, including a disappointing seventh behind Auguste Rodin in the Irish Champion Stakes, drains enthusiasm.
4 SIMCA MILLE
You have to respect the chance of a colt who won last year’s Prix Niel – one of France’s main Arc trials – but was saved for a tilt at this year’s race. Beat Sisfahan in the Grosser Preis Von Berlin, a race which was the springboard for the last two Arc winners Torquator Tasso and Alpinista. He doesn’t look up to their level but could easily pinch a place finish.
5 BAY BRIDGE
Ability cannot be questioned having won last year’s Champion Stakes beating Adayar, arguably up with anything on offer in the race. The negative is that only one horse has won that 10-furlong contest and the Arc. He did easily win the September Stakes at Kempton on his first try at the Arc’s mile and a half distance but the opposition was weaker than he faces here.
Trying to become the 16th winner who was beaten in the race the previous year. Last season’s Irish Derby winner has looked a better horse than the 2022 model which finished sixth to Alpinista. Stays well which can be an asset in this race. Only a head separated him and Hukum when he was just touched off in the King George at Ascot and he has a more favourable draw than that rival.
Bidding to become the first six-year-old to win the Arc but has got better with age and has reached his peak this season with his win from Westover in Ascot’s King George. Stays very well and appears to be getting quicker as he matures. That makes him an all-round solid contender with tactical flexibility. His wide draw in stall 14 of 15 is tricky but past results show it is not insurmountable.
8 PLACE DU CARROUSEL
Odds of around 25-1 for a filly trained by eight-time Arc winning trainer Andre Fabre are tempting for an each-way dabble. She nabbed Nashwa on the line to win the 1m 2f Prix de L’Opera at last year’s meeting and looks to have been brought to a peak this term with a neck win from Iresine in the Prix Foy, her first try at 1m 4f.
9 THROUGH SEVEN SEAS
Trying to be the first much-craved Japanese winner of the race after 30 runners have tried and failed before, albeit with some going agonisingly close. Her neck second to Equinox, currently the highest rated horse in the world, at Hansin in June clearly means she must command respect.
10 FREE WIND
Frankie Dettori’s last ride in the race he has won a record six times. Progressed really well last season. Taken time to reach peak this year but her second to Warm Heart in the Yorkshire Oaks looks better after that rival subsequently landed the Group One Prix Vermeille. She’s drawn well in stall 3 but it will probably take a genius Dettori ride to lift her home.
Star jockey Frankie Dettori has his last ride in the race he has won a record six times
11 MR HOLLYWOOD
The German Derby runner-up whose form has been franked by the German Derby winner Fantastic Moon beating Feed The Flame in the Prix Niel. Only just touched off by a decent French horse in Zagrey in a German group one race since. With only five runs under his belt he has scope to improve but he needs to make an impact.
12 FEED THE FLAME
Fourth to Ace Impact in the 1m 2f French Derby before an eye-catching length win in the Grand Prix de Paris. The form of that race could be questioned but he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Beaten by Fantastic Moon on the Prix Niel but Christophe Soumillon was more intent to teach his mount than win what was a very messy race. A big player who is well drawn.
13 ACE IMPACT
The unbeaten French Derby winner looked sensational in his Classic win in June, passing his opponents like they were trees and winning by three and a half lengths in record time. There is a chance he is a special talent but the worry is he has never raced over a mile and a half. Will the extra stamina test dull his speed? No French Derby winner has gone on to win the Arc in the same year since the race was reduced to 10 furlongs in 2005.
Aidan O’Brien’s sole Arc runner Continuous romped home in the St Leger earlier this month
14 FANTASTIC MOON
Trying to become the first German Derby victor to win the Arc and his team have paid 120,000 euros to add him to the race after he landed the Prix Niel. Commands respect as the best of the German challenge which history shows should not be underestimated. It would be unfair to say that his Niel win was fortunate but it was a messy race. Capable of finishing in the first three.
You wouldn’t have put much money on him being Aidan O’Brien’s sole Arc runner in the summer but his form has gone to a new level, winning the Great Voltigeur Stakes and romping home in the St Leger. Another supplementary entry and well drawn, he is on a roll but faces a tougher opponents this afternoon. Some St Leger winners have gone close in the Arc but none have won.
1 FEED THE FLAME
3 PLACE DU CARROUSEL
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