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Who will win the 2020 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe based on previous trends?

Enable: looking to become the first six-year-old to win the Arc
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The Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe takes place this Sunday with a top-class field lining up at Longchamp (3.05). We look at previous Arcs and pick out the key factors to help predict this year's winner.

Previous Arc runs

It took a mighty performance from Treve to end the 35-year wait for a back-to-back winner of the Arc in 2013 and just a few years later Enable repeated that feat for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. 

Enable, this year's favourite, was narrowly denied last season and is bidding to become the first horse since Motrico in 1932 to regain the crown, as well as attempting to land a record-breaking third success.

Only one horse in the last ten years, Waldgeist, has been beaten in the Arc before winning it. He finished fourth in 2018 but took a big step forward the following season to famously deny Enable.

Age

Twelve of the last 20 winners were three-year-olds, six were four-year-olds, and Marienbard and Waldgeist scored at the age of five.

What is more worrying for Stradivarius, Enable and Deirdre backers is that no winner of the Arc in it's 99-year history has won at the age of six. You would have go to 1932 to find the only horse to triumph at the age of seven, a negative for Way To Paris and Royal Julius.

Stradivarius: age not on his side in the Arc

Winners of the Arc are typically three-year-olds, which bodes well for key challengers In Swoop, Serpentine and Raabihah.

Form

Six of the last ten winners came to Longchamp following wins, while an additional two had placed form. Nine of the last ten winners had adjusted RPRs of 131 and just one of the last ten were previous Group 1 winners, suggesting proven class is just as important.

Japan: has the class to win but not the form

On RPRs there are five in the field with adjusted ratings higher than 131: Enable, Persian King, Stradivarius, Japan and Sottsass, all of whom have won a Group 1. The first three named were all winners last time. The recent form of Japan and Sottsass is a big negative.

Distance

All of the last ten winners of the Arc had won over 1m4f and this is one of the most crucial factors. But quite a few of the fancied rivals are yet to race over the distance which, on trends, is a big concern.

Stradivarius has had three runs and defeats over this trip, Raabihah has won over 1m3f but was fourth on her only outing when tested over the additional furlong. Royal Julius, Deirdre and Gold Trip have not yet won over 1m4f.

Raabihah: trends against the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained filly

Persian King is interesting as he is making his debut over 1m4f. The four-year-old put in a career-best to win over a mile in the Prix du Moulin last time. Chachnak is also trying the trip for the first time.

Other factors

It is no surprise the progeny of Galileo have dominated in recent years with success from Found (2016) and Waldgeist (2019) his granddaughter Enable. The leading sire is represented by four runners – all trained by Aidan O'Brien.

Found: daughter of Galileo won the Arc in 2016

The traditional Arc trials have not proved too informative in recent years with form figures from the Prix Niel 40040303, Prix Foy 072290641 and Prix Vermeille 99140. Meanwhile Derby winners have a good record of 17719 but Irish Derby winners have struggled, returning 00790.

Seven of the last ten winners have been fillies, which bodes well for the chances of Enable, Deirdre and Raabihah.

Ground

As analysed by French correspondent Scott Burton, Arcs run on soft  and heavy ground are much less susceptible to draw bias.

On good ground ten of the last 11 winners were from a single-figure stall but on testing ground, from soft to heavy, three of the last eight were from double-figure stalls, two between nine and six and three lower than five.

It appears pretty balanced and, despite wide draws traditionally deemed harder to win from, they could be worth close attention in the conditions expected at Paris.

Verdict

The trends suggest Enable has plenty in her favour as she looks to become the oldest Arc winner in 88 years. Fillies and mares do well in this race, while she has form, class and experience on her side.

Serpentine makes a lot of appeal considering he earned an RPR of 130 with his Derby win and previous Epsom winners have a good record as three-year-olds. His last run is, however, a concern.

Sottsass has the class but not the recent form. He is another who could outrun his odds.


Read more ahead of the Arc

Enable draws stall five as O'Brien withdraws Love from Arc

Sink or swim? 33-1 shot stands out as we assess the runners in soft-ground Arc

Punters plunge into French colt In Swoop as testing ground awaits at Longchamp

Queen Enable in her pomp as she puts sparkling final touches to Arc preparation


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What is more worrying for Stradivarius, Enable and Deirdre backers is that no winner of the Arc in it's 99-year history has won at the age of six
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