The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is Europe's richest turf race and this year's renewal takes place on Sunday 1st October at Longchamp in Paris.
The 2022 Arc was won by the mare Alpinista, ridden by Luke Morris and trained in Newmarket by Sir Mark Prescott, and now we have taken a look at the leading contenders for the 2023 race as the countdown to the Sunday showdown in Paris intensifies.
The Arc is universally acknowledged as the pinnacle in the autumn Flat calendar with a stellar list of big-race winners including the likes of Mill Reef, Dancing Brave and modern greats Sea The Stars, Treve and Enable.
|Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
|3.00, Sunday 1st October 2023
|How to watch
|bet365 Sports Live Streaming, ITV & Sky Sports Racing
|Ace Impact 3/1, Hukum 9/2, Westover 13/2, Feed The Flame 8/1, Bay Bridge 12/1
Current Outright Odds – 3/1
Only two of the last eight Arc winners have been trained in France, but Jean-Claude Rouget, who won the race in 2020 with Sottsass, is aiming to strike a blow for the home team with his unbeaten three-year-old Ace Impact.
He shot to the top of the Arc betting thanks to a brilliant win in the Prix du Jockey Club at the start of June, recording a record time in the race.
Since then, the colt returned to action at Deauville and made it five wins out of five with success in the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano.
Ace Impact is expected to handle the step up to 1m4f in the Arc and Rouget's star sets the standard, while he has won on ground ranging from good to heavy this season.
Current Outright Odds – 9/2
Hukum won the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June 2022, but his campaign was cut short by an injury to a hind leg which required surgery.
Trainer Owen Burrows has the six-year-old fit and firing again this season and Hukum defeated 2022 Derby winner Desert Crown in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in May before a gutsy victory over Westover in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
He has won at Meydan, so travelling holds no fears, and he's fairly versatile regarding ground and he could be a big player especially on soft ground. No six-year-olds have won the Arc (although seven-year-old Motrico did in 1932). Burrows suggests he 'doesn't have a lot to prove' in regards to his Longchamp credentials.
Current Outright Odds – 5/1
Very impressive winner of the St Leger at Doncaster in September, powering clear late on. The proximity of that race to the Arc might be a worry but Aidan O'Brien chose to pay the supplementary fee to get in here and that's a positive.
He has a bit to find with the best three-year-old in the race, Ace Impact, based on their Prix du Jockey Club meeting but is rapidly improving.
Current Outright Odds – 13/2
Last year's Irish Derby winner was sixth in the Arc at the end of the 2022 campaign but has come back with a bang this year, enjoying Group 1 success in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
The Ralph Beckett-trained four-year-old started his 2023 season at Meydan and was second in the Coronation Cup and the King George behind Hukum.
The very soft ground for last year's Arc was his only outing in such conditions, so connections likely won't want it too testing, with Ralph Beckett suggesting only solid rain for 48 hours beforehand would be a worry – and that is not in the forecast.
Current Outright Odds - 8/1
Fourth to Ace Impact in the Prix du Jockey Club, Feed The Flame boosted his Arc credentials with victory in July's Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
Jockey Cristian Demuro, who has ridden both Ace Impact and Feed The Flame this season, was impressed by the latter's stamina and Christophe Soumillion, an Arc winner in 2003 and 2008 and runner-up on Vadeni last year, is likely to be on board come Sunday. He has nearly seven lengths to find with Ace Impact on their clash in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly..
Current Outright Odds – 9/1
The German Derby winner was confirmed as a supplementary entry on Wednesday morning at a cost of €120,000. Fantastic Moon, who won the Prix Niel on his last start, had looked set to miss the Arc in favour of a trip further afield but with the prospect of drying ground in Paris, the €5m contest was deemed the preferred target by trainer Sarah Steinberg.
She added that connections 'continue to hope for sunshine and good ground conditions in Paris for him to be able to call up his best form.'
Current Outright Odds – 12/1
Leading hope for Sir Michael Stoute in his quest to add a second Arc after Workforce in 2010. Won the Champion Stakes at Ascot in this month last year and routinely at home when there is give underfoot. That performance last autumn would surely take him close, even in this company.
Easy winner of the September Stakes at Kempton recently, a race used by Enable as a stepping stone to Arc glory.
Current Outright Odds – 16/1
Japan's main hope of finally ending their quest for Arc glory in 2023 now rests on Through Seven Seas after superstar Equinox was not aimed at this prize.
In the last calendar year, the horse that has got the closest to Equinox is Through Seven Seas, when there was just a neck between them at the end of the Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin. He's set to be the 31st Japanese-trained Arc runner and, in truth, better horses than him have tried and failed.