The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting at Longchamp is one of the biggest and best flat racing events in the world, and whilst the Paris-based festival is topped by the prestigious Arc, the richest flat race in Europe with a prize purse topping €5,000,000, there are several exciting races scattered across the two days, including 10 Group 1 contests.
The main attraction may take place on the second day of the meeting, but thousands of spectators still flock to the historic Longchamp for the first day of racing and they certainly aren’t short of entertainment with five Group races on the card, including two Group 1s. So, with plenty of thrilling action taking place in the French capital earlier this month, let’s take a look back at the opening day’s action.
Prix Chaudenay – Group 2
Day one’s card began with Group 2 action in the form of the Prix Chaudenay and Manobo landed a victory in the one mile, seven-furlong race — setting the tone nicely for a day littered with British winners. Unbeaten in all three of his races prior to Prix Chaudenay, the Charlie Appleby-trained horse set off as the odds-on favourite in the horse betting and he duly delivered. Racing in midfield, Manobo closed in on the leaders with two furlongs to go, taking the lead just half a furlong later and he was driven home by James Doyle, beating his stablemate Kemari by three quarters of a length.
Arabian Trophy des Juments – Group 1
The first Group 1 of the day, the Arabian Trophy des Juments went in the favour of 5/2 favourite Teema. The Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte-trained horse looked set to be beaten by her stablemate Elaf, who had the advantage by a couple of lengths in the closing stages. However, after one last big push from jockey Loritz Medizabal, Teema edged out the four-year-old to win by a nose on the line.
Prix Daniel Wildenstein – Group 2
After narrowly missing out on a victory in the Prix Chaudenay, the famed Godolphin owners got their victory in the proceeding Prix Daniel Wildenstein. Real World, who has picked up wins at Royal Ascot, Newbury and York already this season, was the favourite at 17/10. The Saeed bin Suroor-trained horse took the lead in the final furlong under the guidance of Frankie Dettori and he held on under extreme pressure to beat The Revenant over the line by nothing more than a short neck.
Prix du Cadran – Group 1
It was certainly a good day for those bettors who like to back the favourites, as Trueshan stormed home in the first feature race of the day, the Prix du Cadran. The Goodwood Cup champion had settled in midfield but improved after being shaken up three furlongs out before taking a share of the lead with two furlongs to spare. Now narrowly in the lead, Trueshan streaked clear in the closing stages to beat Stradivarius by a comfortable four and a half lengths. It could be the last time we see the great John and Thady Gosden-trained horse as he could fare no better than second.
Prix de Royallieu – Group 1
The Prix de Royallieu was another race with a thrilling finish, as there was little to separate Loving Dream and Believe In Love. The pair split away from the rest of the field shortly after the turn for home and battled hard for the lead in the final two furlongs, with nothing to separate them right up to line, where Loving Dream, trained by the Gosdens and ridden by Dettori, eventually got his neck in front to get over the line ahead of her Roger Varian-trained counterpart. The favourite, Valia, was two lengths back in third.
Prix Dollar – Group 2
With Purplepay winning the preceding Haras de Bouquetot – Criterium Arqana (Conditions), Group racing was rounded off with the Prix Dollar, and the favourites were back to winning ways with Dubai Honour landing a victory for William Haggas in the one mile and two furlongs race. Shaken up and improved with a furlong to go, the three-year-old took the lead in the final 75 yards and went on to beat Magny Cours despite drifting right.
Pegasus and Woot City finished off the day with victories in the Prix de la Place de l’Etoile and the Prix Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club Handicap respectively.