Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Longchamp Racecourse; Paris, France
By Kristen Manning
Run since 1920, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is justifiably considered one of the best races in the world and whilst most eyes this Sunday will be on the hot favourite Enable, the talented Zarak is one of great interest to fans of pedigrees.
For he is attempting to become the third Arc winner whose dam also won the big race.
The son of Dubawi is the first foal for the unbeaten Zarkava and as a last start winner of the Gr.1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud he is doing his five times Group One winning mare proud.
Twenty other mares have won the Arc with Urban Sea and Detroit the others to produce another Arc winner.
Of course Urban Sea’s exploits at stud are well recognised and her Arc winner Sea The Stars (winner of another five races at the elite level) is not even her most influential son; that accolade going to the Epsom & Irish Derby winner Galileo, sire of 256 stakes winners – 68 of those being Group One winners.
Also dam of the dual Group One winner Black Sam Bellamy, the Group One winner My Typhoon, the Group Three winner Urban Ocean and the Listed winner Born To Sea, Urban Sea is grandam of the Irish Oaks heroine Bracelet.
Detroit is the other Arc winning dam of an Arc winner in Carnegie – one of her three black type performers with the others being the Group Two galloper Antisaar, the Group Three winner Lake Erie, the Listed winner Honfleur and the Group three placed G3 Wayne Countym
Throughout Arc history the race has been an outstanding producer of high class broodmares. In fact the first female winner of the race in Pearl Cap (1931) did a great job after also winning the French 1000 Guineas, the Prix Morny and the French Oaks… producing the Epsom Derby hero Pearl Diver and the Group Three winner Pearl Clip.
Corrida earned her name in history by winning consecutive Arcs (1936/37). Also winner of the Prix Morny, the dam of the multiple Group One winner Coaraze very sadly disappeared from her paddock during a World War II battle.
Eight years after her Arc success Nikellora was in the winners circle and too did a great job at stud with the dual Group One (Prix d’Ispahan and Prix Ganay) winner Chief, the Group three filly Princess Lora and the Listed winners Nearque, Masai King and Maliza.
One of the best female Arc winners was Coronation who is remembred as being one of the most closely line-bred horses to win the big race with her sire Djebel and dam Esmeralda both being by Tourbillon. Sadly she was infertile – some said due to her breeding but her full sister Ormara was able to produce the feature race winner Locris.
1935 Arc winner Samos fared well at stud with the triple Group winner Marveil and the stakes placed Sakountala, in turn dam of the dual Group One winner Hugh Lupus.
Other Arc winners to produce Group winners include San San (Sprite Passer), Three Troikas (Three Angels), Allez France (Action Francaise) and All Along; dam of dual Group winner Along All and Listed winner Arnaqueur.
Gold River meanwhile produced the Group Three galloper Chercheur D’Or and the Group One Prix Saint-Alary winner Riviere D’Or, in turn dam of dual Group One winner Gold Splash and grandam of 14 times Group One winner Goldikova.
Mares have won five of the last six Arc runnings (Danedream, Solemia, Treve twice and Found) and it is of course too early to judge their broodmare accomplishments.
So discounting them, of the 15 previous female winners of the Arc twelve have produced stakes winners… an enviable record indeed!
Kristen Manning is a freelance racing writer and pedigree analyst based in Melbourne. A keen owner/breeder who loves every aspect of thoroughbred horse racing, she has written two books focusing on the deeds of Fields Of Omagh and Prince Of Penzance.