All you need to know about the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe before this weekend’s battle

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Learn more
  • The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe horse race is a Group One Flat race held usually at Longchamp racecourse in France on the first Sunday of October each year. The contest is for horses aged three or over and is run over about 1½ miles. It is regarded as Europe’s most prestigious “all-aged” race and the winners are often considered champions.

    The first running of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

    The famous race was first run on Sunday, 3 October 1920. The inaugural running was won by Comrade, a three-year-old colt owned by Evremond de Saint-Alary.

    A monument

    The top-class contest is named after the famous monument standing in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe. In a promotional poster for the big race in 2003, a slogan in French claimed: “It’s not a race, it’s a monument.”


    The Arc was cancelled twice during World War II, in 1939 and 1940, and it was run at Le Tremblay in 1943 and 1944. Due to renovations at Longchamp, the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Arc took place at Chantilly.

    A healthy purse

    Qatar Racing currently sponsors the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the winning prize-pot is an impressive £1,452,712.

    Can Enable do it?

    A total of 15 horses will battle it out on Sunday (4 October) for the prestigious title, but on “very soft” ground this year. Ground concerns resulted in the withdrawal of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Love.

    Race favourite Enable, who is trained by Britain’s John Gosden, will be attempting to race into the history books by being the only horse to win the Arc three times – before she retires to the breeding shed.

    Eight horses have won the Arc twice; Ksar (1921, 1922), Motrico (1930, 1932), Corrida (1936, 1937), Tantieme (1950, 1951), Ribot (1955, 1956), Alleged (1977 — pictured top with Lester Piggott in this year — and 1978), Treve (2013, 2014), Enable (2017, 2018).

    The 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe horse race runners (by draw)…

    1 – In Swoop (Ronan Thomas)
    2 – Raabihah (Maxime Guyon)
    3 – Mogul (Ryan Moore)
    4 – Sottsass (Cristian Demuro)
    5 – Enable (Frankie Dettori)
    6 – Way To Paris (Ioritz Mendizabal)
    7 – Persian King (Pierre-Charles Boudot)
    8 – Royal Julius (Shane Foley)
    9 – Gold Trip (Stephane Pasquier)
    10 – Sovereign (Mickael Barzalona)
    11 – Japan (Yutaka Take)
    12 – Deirdre (Jamie Spencer)
    13 – Chachnak (Tony Piccone)
    14 – Stradivarius (Olivier Peslier)
    15 – Serpentine (Christophe Soumillon)

    Like this? You might also enjoy reading these:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.

    You may like...