Galikova works towards the Arc

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Galikova works towards the Arc
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John Gilmore

Seven Group I Races on Arc de Triomphe Day

The 4 million euro Arc de Triomphe headlines a rich day of racing at Longchamp.

The €4 million Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the premier group I race in France and one of the five richest races in the world. Held at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, the race is open to 3-years-old and up and is run over 1 1/2 miles.

“If you have any ambition when you start training, you want to win the Arc,” the 64-year-old Sir Michael Stoute said last year after winning his first Arc with Workforce.

Bookmakers have made Sarafina (5-2) and So You Think (9-2) the early favorites for the race. The Alain De Royer-Dupre trained Sarafina finished third in the Arc last year and has been aimed back at Longchamp all year by her connections.

The 4-year-old French-bred daughter of Refuse to Bend—Sanariya, by Darshaan, has been in great form this year. She has won three consecutive group stakes—the Prix Corrida (Fr-II), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I), and the Qatar Prix Foy (Fr-II)—and finished second in the group I Prix-Ganay-Prix Air Mauritius among her four starts of the year. Her last two victories were won at 1 1/2 miles.

Aidan O’Brien’s So You Think has been confirmed as a runner at Longchamp after a stunning career in Australia.The 5-year-old New Zealand-bred son of High Chaparral—Triassic, Tights, has also great form this season, having won four of five starts in group company. His victories include the High Chaparral E.B.F. Mooresbridge Stakes (Ire-III), Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I), Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I), and Red Mills Irish Championship Stakes (Ire-I). So You Think finished second in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot.

The day of racing is as equally compelling as the Arc. There are six other group I races on the card, including the Prix de la Foret in which is entered the multi-year champion mare Goldikova. The 6-year-old daughter of Anabaa—Born Gold, by Blushing Groom, is the only horse to have won three consecutive Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championship races. She’s won the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) in 2008-2010 and will be making a fourth bid in November at Churchill Downs. Goldikova’s half sister and group I winner, Galikova (by Galileo) is expected to start in the Arc.

First post on Oct. 2 will be at 7:10 a.m. EDT with the Prix du Cadran kicking off the seven group I events. The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is scheduled to be run at 10:15 a.m. EDT. The race card is as follows:

•      7:10 a.m. - Prix de Cadran
•      7:45 a.m. - Prix de l’Abbaye
•      8:20 a.m. - Prix Marcel Boussac
•      8:55 a.m. - Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere
•      9:30 a.m. - Prix de la Foret
•    10:15 a.m. - Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
•    11:45 a.m. - Prix de l’Opera

AmWest Entertainment is working with racetracks, offtrack betting centers and account wagering providers around North America to arrange betting and video opportunities on the Arc Weekend programs. Four group II races will be featured on the seven-race Oct. 1 program, all with purses of €130,000. First post for the program of seven races will be 8 a.m. EDT, with the first group II race, the Prix Chaudenay, at 9:40 a.m. EDT. This is the first year that the entire weekend of racing surrounding the Arc, Europe’s richest racing program, has before been completely offered for betting in North America.

Past winners of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

2010 Workforce 3 Ryan Moore  Sir Michael Stoute
2009 Sea the Stars 3 Mick Kinane  John Gosden
2008 Zarkava  3 Christophe Soumillon Alain de Royer-Dupre
2007 Dylan Thomas 4 Kieran Fallon Aiden O’Brien
2006 Rail Link 3 Stephane Pasquier Andre Fabre
2005 Hurricane Run 3 Kieran Fallon Andre Fabre
2004 Bago  3 Thierry Gillet Jonathan Pease
2003 Dalakhani  3 Christophe Soumillon  Alain de Royer-Dupre
2002 Marienbard  5 Frankie Dettori  Saeed bin Suroor
2001 Sakhee 4 Frankie Dettori  Saeed bin Suroor
2000 Sinndar  3 Johnny Murtagh John Oxx
1999 Montjeu 3 Mick Kinane    John Hammond