Waldgeist winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Image supplied by France Galop

A French race is formerly recognised as the greatest sporting challenge in the world of horseracing! Once more, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has been recognised as the best race in the world, based on the Longines World’s Best Horse Race rankings. Since its creation in 1920, this sporting challenge attracts the world’s best thoroughbreds, ridden by the most talented jockeys.

The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is receiving this honour for the fourth time since the award was created five years ago. Previous editions that were recognised as the best race in the world included the 2015, 2017 and 2018 editions. The announcement that the 2019 edition of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe had once again been rated the best race in the world was made on the 22nd of January 2020 during the Longines World’s Best Horse Race ceremony, which was attended by Edouard de Rothschild, the President of France Galop, who received the trophy. 

The 2019 edition of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe went to France

It was a French trained horse that first crossed the finish line in the 2019 edition of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The André Fabre trained Waldgeist, partnered by the very talented French jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot beat the British trained favourite Enable, hence preventing her from recording a historic treble in this mythical race.

 To the great pleasure of British racing fans, Enable is staying in training in 2020 and could be given another opportunity to add a third victory in the Arc to her record.

On Sunday, 4th October, the champion mare could once more line up against the best thoroughbreds from France, England, Ireland, Japan, Germany ….

Each year, on the first weekend in October, the ParisLongchamp racecourse welcomes up to 50,000 spectators that come from all over the world to watch the Euros 5 Million Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the richest race in France. 

The race is broadcast in over 50 countries and in the ParisLongchamp stand, fans that have often travelled thousands of miles to support their equine champions, shout and jump up in excitement as the horses approach the famous finish-line, creating a unique atmosphere. During this international racing weekend, spectators can enjoy a variety of entertainment at the Parisian racecourse.

How the greatest race in the world found its name 

In 1920, following the renaissance of racing after the Great War, the Société d’Encouragement (the predecessor of France Galop) decided to create an international horse race that would immediately become the ultimate challenge in the world of thoroughbred racing. Obviously, this sporting challenge needed a prestigious name. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was chosen in reference to the famous monument built to commemorate the victories of the French armies and which had been the scene of the victory parade on 14th July 1919.

The first edition of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe took place on Sunday, 3rd October 1920 at the Longchamp racecourse. The race was won by the Evremond de Saint-Alary owned Comrade. Prizemoney for the first edition was 172,000 Francs. Since then, its reputation has grown continuously. 

In partnership with its title sponsor, the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club, prize-money of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has reached €5 Million, making it the richest race in the French racing calendar.