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Richard Hoiles: Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe preview

30 Sep | news | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe preview

The racing broadcaster proveds a runner-by-runner guide to Sunday's feature race, along with his predicted top five.

The middle-distance crown in Europe remains up for grabs in the Qatar Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe on Sunday. There has been no stand-out performer this season, which raises the prospect of an open, competitive contest. It is one of five Group 1s on ITV4’s coverage, and here is a runner-by-runner look at those lining up, along with a star rating out of five for each of their chances.

1. Sisfahan 100/1

His main asset is that he comes from Germany, whose horses nearly always go off over the odds in international markets. On form, however, he has yet to win this season, and who wants to back an overpriced loser? *

2. Haya Zark 100/1

Dual Group 3 winner this season including at Longchamp under Christophe Soumillon, who has chosen to ride Feed The Flame. He could be handy from stall 4 and will be one that the leading fancies will be wary of getting trapped behind turning into the straight, where he will likely be going backwards. *

3. Onesto 28/1

Finished 10th last year when sent off at 11/1 but seemed to come back from the Japan Cup with an issue and did not appear until August. He could not repeat his Irish Champion Stakes second and would probably prefer some rain. He does look over the odds, though, and not the worst each-way punt. ***

4. Simca Mille 25/1

Named tongue-in-cheek after a rather slow mass-produced car of the 70’s, he has proved consistent and reliable and beat Sisfahan in a German Group 1 last time. Other flashier models appeal more. ***

5. Bay Bridge 12/1

Just been coming up short in the major 10f races this season, he scored over his first try at 12f in the September Stakes on the all-weather at Kempton – a race Enable used as her final prep race in 2018 and 2020. He may have preferred softer ground, but that will help him stay and he is well drawn in stall 6. Expect him to be on the fringe of the places. ****

6. Westover 13/2

Far more the finished article this season than when sixth last year. His second to Equinox in Dubai has worked out really well and he just lost out to Hukum in the King George. The conundrum is he can be keen, but he will surely sit handy or even lead from stall 1 as he is one of the genuine stayers in the field. I expect him to be right there in the finish. *****

7. Hukum 11/2

Sparingly raced, he beat Westover in the King George and is a top class performer. The Arc is a gruelling race, though, and he has been done no favours drawing stall 14. Given his price, that is enough for me to pass him over. He is a leading chance if he gets a good trip, but he could also get held three-deep the trip which would surely end his hopes. ***

8. Place Du Carrousel 20/1

Won the L’Opera on Arc day last year. Started this season behind Simca Mille and Bay Bridge in the Ganay on her return, and winner of the Prix Foy on trials day seeming to last the 1m 4f ok. Certainly not the worst chance, and expect her to be in the front half of the field but maybe only just. ***

9. Through Seven Seas 10/1

The sole Japanese runner this time around but she looks as if she will have her ground, has the assistance of one of the world’s best jockeys in Christophe Lemaire and a good draw. She was a big price when running Equinox to a neck in a Japanese Group 1 and could fare better than some of her better-fancied compatriots from previous years. ****

10. Free Wind 20/1

Frankie Dettori’s final Arc ride as he bids for his seventh victory in the race. She has been a cliff horse for me this season and is the sort of result I dread, but she will be overbet on the Dettori factor and her form doesn’t read well enough. Deserting her, so you know what will happen next. **

11. Mr Hollywood 33/1

Another German horse who will go off over the odds and is the German Derby runner-up. Trained by Henk Grewe, he couldn’t steal the Moon that day and doubt he will be able to do so here either with Fantastic Moon taken to confirm the form. **

12. Feed The Flame 8/1

Fourth in the French Derby to Ace Impact before winning the Grand Prix De Paris on his first time at a mile and a half. Possibly allowed Fantastic Moon first run when a short-priced favourite in the Prix Niel, and Christophe Soumillon will be looking to make amends. Drawn inside, but that could be a poisoned chalice unless he is ridden more forward than usual. ***

13. Ace Impact 3/1

If there is a genuine star in the field it could be the French Derby winner who has been kept relatively fresh since that win in early June. A Group 2 success at Deauville was achieved comfortably enough and he looks a leading contender at his first try at the trip. *****

14. Fantastic Moon 12/1

Supplemented for this race after the ground dried up, having been taken out of a race in Germany after the heavens opened. Beat Feed the Flame in the Niel and is the most likely of the over-priced German horses to be involved in the finish. Stall 12 does make it tricky, but Rene Picheluk rode Torquator Tasso to win from that very same stall in 2021. ****

15. Continuous 6/1

The second supplementary entry, having won the St.Leger last time. He has more speed than most stayers but the stats are against him both as a Leger winner and an Aidan O’Brien three-year-old (one placed from 30+ starters). He was also well behind Ace Impact in the French Derby. ***


  1. Ace Impact 3/1
  2. Westover 13/2
  3. Through Seven Seas 10/1
  4. Fantastic Moon 12/1
  5. Bay Bridge 12/1

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Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.