ParisLongchamp, the Qatar Arc Trials

ParisLongchamp, the Qatar Arc Trials

#ParisLongchamp #horseracing #france

On Sunday at ParisLongchamp, the Qatar Arc Trials will take place. Three races, two Group 1s and a Group 2, to prepare for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the Thoroughbred World Championship which will take place on the 4th October. Three weeks until this huge event, now it’s time to find out who is ready to take part in the greatest race in the world!

  • The Qatar Prix Vermeille, a Group 1 for 3-year-old and older fillies, has attracted 10 runners. The 3-year-old filly Raabihah, who is trained at Deauville by Jean-Claude Rouget, is looking to confirm on her brilliant win in the Prix de Psyché, in August at Deauville, against an international field. She is not alone in the race…
  • The Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris, Group 1 for 3-year-olds, usually takes place on the 14th July. The Covid-19 pandemic caused the date to be changed and it now replaces the Qatar Prix Niel, the prep race for the « Classic » generation (the 3-year-olds). Jean-Claude Rouget once again well-armed in this race with Port Guillaume, who will be taking on two Derby winners: Serpentine, winner of the Epsom Derby, and the French-bred In Swoop, who won the German Derby.
  • The big attraction of the Qatar Prix Foy will be Stradivarius, the king of the stayers (long-distance horses- who run over further than 2400 meters). He will be shortening up to run over 2400 meters this Sunday.


The Qatar Prix Vermeille carries a Group 1 label, the highest status of a race worldwide. This means that the Qatar Prix Vermeille is both a stepping stone to the big event and an objective in itself.

The detailed runners’ fact files.

The five most recent winners of the Vermeille & Arc double

Year                         Horse

2013                         Trêve

2008                         Zarkava

1979                         Three Troïkas

1972                         San San

1945                         Nikellora

The seven most recent winners of the Qatar Prix Vermeille and their Arc result

Year           Vermeille winner                             Arc result

2019           Star Catcher                                     Did not run

2018           Kitesurf                                            Did not run

2017           Bateel                                               Did not run

2016           Left Hand                                        12th

2015           Trêve                                               4th

2014           Baltic Baroness                                Did not run

2013           Trêve                                               1st

2012           Shareta                                             9th

We will see a showdown between the 3-year-old generation and their elders, and also between the French and foreign runners as there is nearly a 50/50 split of the runners: five French fillies against five raiders coming from across the Channel (England & Ireland). The French-trained Raabihah is a strong pretender and will be taking on Even So, who won the Irish Oaks. The 4-year-old filly, Dame Malliot, is the most decorated performer amongst the older fillies, and she will be attempting to emulate Star Catcher, winner of this race last year for the same silks – those of Anthony Oppenheimer – and with the help of the same jockey, the celebrated Lanfranco Dettori.  


The Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris has been transplanted to the Qatar Arc Trials race day from its traditional date of the 14th July. It replaces the Qatar Prix Niel, the traditional prep for 3-year-old colts aiming for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

This race is a Group 1, and so, like the Qatar Prix Vermeille, is an objective in itself. The winning horse will receive a free entry into the world’s best race if he is not already entered… This is the case for the Irish runner Serpentine, the surprise winner of the Epsom Derby for the superpower Coolmore.

The detailed runners’ fact files.

The winners of the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris & Arc double since 1990

Year                     Horse

2006                    Rail Link

2004                    Bago

1997                    Peintre Célèbre

1990                    Saumarez

The seven most recent winners of the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris and their Arc result

Year                     Winner                               Arc result

2019                    Japan                                  4th

2018                    Kew Gardens                     7th

2017                    Shakeel                              Did not run

2016                    Mont Ormel                       Did not run

2015                    Erupt                                  5th

2014                    Gallante                             Did not run

2013                    Flintshire                           8th

Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is currently the dual titleholder of this race, and he is fielding three runners in his attempt to land the prize for the third consecutive year. Serpentine, who will be ridden by crack jockey Christophe Soumillon, won the Epsom Derby, Great Britain’s best race for 3-year-old colts. He wasn’t the stable favourite for the race, and pressure is on to prove that his performance that day was no fluke. The pressure is on: the colt is not entered in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and if his connections wish to avoid a costly supplementary fee, there is only one option: winning on Sunday! France will be defended by Port Guillaume, fifth in the Prix du Jockey Club (the French equivalent of the Epsom Derby), and recent winner of the Prix Hocquart Longines.


The Qatar Prix Foy, labelled Group 2, is the traditional prep for horses of the age of 4 and older for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The “Foy-Arc” double was realised just last year by Waldgeist, now a sire. This race features 6 runners, with English runner Stradivarius the hot favourite.

The detailed runners’ fact files.

Most recent Foy & Arc doubles

Year              Horse

2019             Waldgeist

1984             Sagace

1974             Allez France

The seven most recent winners of the Prix Foy and their Arc result

Year              Winner Prix Foy                       Arc result

2019             Waldgeist                                 1st

2018             Waldgeist                                 4th

2017             Dschingis Secret                       6th

2016             Silverwave                                13th

2015             Postponed                                 Did not run

2014             Ruler of the World                   9th

2013             Orfèvre                                     2nd

2012             Orfèvre                                     2nd

There is a big star in this race: the English Stradivarius. The horse, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Lanfranco Dettori (like a certain Enable, in search of a third title in the next Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe), won everything in the stayers’ division – horses specialized in long-distance races (over 2,400 meters). So much so that his connections have set a new challenge: to compete against the best horses over 2,400 meters, the Classic distance, that of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The last time he ran this distance, on June 5, he finished third. But it was for his comeback and he has risen to power since, with two prestigious successes, in the Gold Cup and the Goodwood Cup. He will be the horse to beat.


Matthieu Vincent, Director of racecourses and training centres at France Galop, explains:

“This week, two maintenance waterings were carried out: 7 mm on Sunday, September 6 and 8mm on Thursday, September 10. A control visit to the ParisLongchamp track will be carried out in the late afternoon this Friday and, if necessary, an extra watering can be done. The objective is to obtain GOOD ground, at a 3.2 penometric index, this Sunday, September 13 for the Qatar Arc Trials, with the expected sunshine (good weather), temperatures expected between 25 and 27 degrees with little wind announced.

The rail will be at zero. This ground has not been used since mid-July to preserve this strip of track for the big autumn events. »

Information for Saturday and Sunday:

– Weather: sunny

– Temperature: 26°C

– Wind: North 5 to 10 km/h

– Mowing to 10.50 cm this Friday.

– Sunday the rail will be at 0

The goal for Sunday: Ground GOOD (3.2) at the start of the meeting.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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