What recent history tells us about the rating needed to win an Arc | horse racing news

By Scott Burton, France correspondent

With a distant split, this year’s potential line-up for Qatar’s Arc de Triomphe (3.00) has a degree of familiarity with it.

There are a lot of very good horses that are just a few pounds in between and a few horses that don’t even think about making up the numbers.

But what rating is a winner likely to need? Does disappointing prep look like the end? And how much improvement can we expect from those who haven’t hit that number yet?

The average ten-year Racing Post for the Arc award-winning rating is 126, with peak performances in that period of 131 from Treve’s glittering 2013 victory and 122 posted by Enable from a rushed setup in 2018.

So how does this year’s potential field measure what they’ve already achieved? It omitted horses that were entered but not under consideration, such as Mishriff ranked 124.

Masakazu Takahashi

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The 125-winner Takarazuka Kinen race is the highest recorded this year among prospective runners in the arc.

Masakazu Takahashi

Driving Arc entries by Racing Post تصنيف rating

Torquator Tasso

bay bridge
title holder

Luxembourg *
Fadini *
is available *


Very Elegant (needs to be completed)
Deep Bond


great glory

Tuesday* (needs to be completed)
stay fool

Is the devil *

Little Coco

Simca Mille * (need to be completed)

bubble gift

Nice lady (needs to be completed)

lasso *

The slash indicates a foal/mare due to receiving an allowance of 3lbs per bow

* Indicates that the child is three years old because he gets 6 pounds instead of weight for age

Big improvement possible

A year ago, the Torquator Tasso put 8 pounds over his previous best when he finished second in the Alpinista and then won the Grosser Preis von Baden.

This is clearly a sign of much improvement, coupled with perhaps the realization that his German form may have been taken a bit.

But three Ark winners this decade have made even bigger jumps from warm-ups—two of them also improved on their personal bests by 12 and 13 pounds, respectively.

Ten years ago, Solemia improved 14 pounds from her prep ride on the Prix Vermeille, and her 124-pound RPR win was 12 pounds better than anything she’s ever achieved.

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Trev left her former form in the dust on both occasions and won the bow

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Treff was unbeaten en route to the 2013 Arc, having won the first set in each of her previous starts, yet she’s 11 pounds better than her best in Prix Diane and 13 pounds in “prep” at Vermael.

She managed to make the exact same improvement a year later when she bounced back from a disappointing RPR of 113 when she finished fourth at Vermeille to beat the Arc again, scoring 126.

These jumps are especially important for French chances at Arc this year, because the bottom five numbers in our RPR table belong to the horses that ran on the day of the Arc Trials.

With the exception of Bubble Gift, the other four all ran their best season number in their Longchamp experience, which means they would need to show Torquator Tasso levels at least an improvement – if not Treve or Solemia – to win a middle arc.

But as we’ve seen before, this can and does happen.

Those quantum leaps came in the form of a winner in soft or heavy ground arcs. If it rains in Paris before October 2, such conditions can be a potential incentive for one or more horses to take a big step forward.

Taking the three horses placed from each of the last 10 brackets, 15 of the 30 have improved by 5 pounds or more in their last round. Nine of them were trained in France, five of them by Andre Fabre, who may not end up with this year’s runner.

Beware the horse “now”

The most obvious reason that many horses post their best bow is the deepest opposition they have faced.

Treve had never raced against ponies prior to the 2013 race and ended up defeating three Class A horses at Orfevre, Intello and Kizuna.

Many British and Irish racing fans grew up on Arks won by France-trained horses that seemed to come out of nowhere, out of trials and straight into the winners circuit Carnegie-style in 1994.

Setting aside the fact that we now have access to a lot of foreign racing, the past 10 years suggest caution when it comes to a horse that comes into the picture relatively late in the season.

Of the 30 horses placed in the last 10 editions of the race, only seven set a career high record on their previous start.

Of those seven, only two have actually won.

Once again Torquator Tasso is the poster boy here, while Found also triumphed in the arc from the back of an improved effort when chasing home Almanzor in a stellar Irish championship.

as we saw On the way to the arch last weekIrish Champion Stakes became a major factor for the Arc compared to other trials.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Luxembourg (blue sleeves) and Onesto (right) performed high profile titles at the Irish Champion Stakes

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Luxembourg was denied the chance to score a serious RPR due to injury this season, but his 124th at Leopardstown was still 6 pounds above the figure he ran in 2000 Guineas.

Having Onesto, Vadeni, and Mishriff allowed him to improve his profile to the point that, if you add 6 pounds he would get from older horses like Titleholder and Torquator Tasso, it would appear correctly at the top of the profile.

Who do you know? If 1m4f suits him better than the Irish hero’s ten furloughs, the sky might be the limit.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that it would be unusual, given that eight of the last ten winners did better in their closet than they produced in their setup.

Similar comments apply to Leopardstown runner-up Onesto, who we know stays a mile and a half but built on his Grand Prix de Paris win by 5 pounds over the Racing Post Ratings.

The headline from our analysis of the various trials history last week was that the Irish champ has replaced Prix Niel as the first port of call when looking for the winner of the Arc.

The caveat this year is the risk that either Luxembourg or Onsto will do too much in Leopardstown to advance again at Longchamp.

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