Last updated October 3rd, 2021
Compare 2021 Arc de Triomphe odds from the top online bookies using the betting table below. You can also claim bookmakers’ free bets on Europe’s richest horse race.
Arc Betting Odds
3.05pm Longchamp, Paris, France, Sunday 3rd October 2021 live on ITV; click best odds in bold; Each-Way Place Terms: Bet365: 1/5 odds 1,2,3,4; Others: 1/5 1,2,3.
Arc Betting Trends: Age Pays
Arc betting is always competitive and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe represents the culmination of the flat horse racing season. It is the final opportunity to have a bet, in Europe at least, on the top talents that have emerged during the season.
The race is usually held on the first Sunday in October at Longchamp, Paris, over a mile and four furlongs. It is one of the world’s richest flat races on turf. The weekend meeting includes seven Group 1 contests and four Group 2s. It attracts plenty of top quality UK and Irish horses and provides a number of opportunities for betting on horses you already know well, even outside of the big race itself.
The Arc is open to three-year-olds and older horses. There is no penalty for previous wins but horses over the age of three have to carry extra weight based on the weigh-for-age scale. There is a 3lb concession for fillies and mares. It is definitely worth looking carefully at the weights as they appear to have had a significant impact on the results and a good three-year-old filly (like Zarkava, Danedream and Treve to name but three) is getting all the concessions.
Tips for defying Arc odds
Age is undeniably important thanks to the weight concessions. Three year olds have by far the best record with the vast majority of winners benefiting from carrying just the base weight. In 2008 (Zarkava), 2009 (Sea The Stars), 2010 (Workforce), 2011 (Danedream) and 2013 (Treve) three-years-olds won. Three of those were fillies and two were colts. In the 24 Arcs from 1990 to 2013, 18 of the winners were three-year-olds. That is a whopping 75% strike-rate for that age group.
In 2012 Camelot represented that age and gender and was well backed by the partisan British crowd. Maybe they imbibed too much of the local ‘vin rouge,’ because the colt had already been beaten when looking ill at ease in the St Leger. His Epsom Derby victory, while emphatic at the time, subsequently had more holes in the form than a piece of Swiss cheese.
Camelot had been hyped beyond his talents, not least because of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s repeated false representation that this was the best horse he had ever trained! ‘Lol’ as they say.
Occasionally a four year old will prevail. That happened in 2012 when 33/1 outsider Solemia, a four-year-old filly, beat the heavily-backed Japanese favourite Orfevre. Once in a blue moon, a five year old wins but, if you are looking at betting in the Arc, it pays to be ageist.
There are consequently very few repeat winners. You have to go back to the 1970s to find one. The Vincent O’Brien trained Alleged managed to achieve consecutive victories in the Arc under Lester Piggott but the lure of stud fees today means that relatively few horses are even entered more than once.
The same rule on age may not apply if you are looking for place money. There should be a statue of the Mick Channon trained Youmzain at Longchamp if there were recognition for consistent, non-winning performances. Youmzain managed to be runner-up in three consecutive years and often delivered much better returns for place punters than for picking the winner.
Record of Arc betting favourites
Since the turn of the century short priced favourites seem to have achieved their status in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe betting for good reason. Only one favourite starting at odds of less than 2/1 has failed, the Peter Chapple-Hyam trained Epsom Derby winner, Authorized. He started the 11/10 favourite in the Arc betting in 2007. He came into the race with impressive credentials, a Derby win, a second in the Coral Eclipse and a victory in the Juddmonte, but finished well back in the field. The Aiden O’Brien trained four-year-old, Dylan Thomas 11/2, won the race, beating aforementioned 66/1 shot Youmzain by a head.
2007 was one of the few years where the market got it wrong for no immediately apparent reason. The third and fourth horses, Sagara and Getaway, started at 33/1 and 50/1 respectively. The second favourite at 100/30, O’Brien’s Soldier of Fortune, could only manage fifth.
It was business as usual in subsequent years. The 2008 race rewarded favourite followers. The quirky, Royer-Dupre trained filly Zarkava triumphed at odds of 13/8, beating Youmzain, a 12/1 chance this time, by two lengths. Zarkava was carrying just 8st 8lb whilst Youmzain, then a five-year-old, was shouldering an additional 11lb for his age and gender.
The John Oxx trained Sea The Stars started the 4/6 favourite in the 2009 Arc betting, partnered by Mick Kinane. The outstanding colt had not only won the 2009 Derby but followed up with impressive victories in the Eclipse, Juddmonte and Champion Stakes.
Sea the Stars was following in the footsteps of his dam, Urban Sea. She triumphed in the 1993 Arc de Triomphe as a four year old at significantly longer odds of 37/1. The heavy going seemed to make a mockery of the bookies’ odds that year, with a 54/1 shot taking second.
Oppose a favourite over 2/1 in Arc odds
The favourites don’t always have it their own way, especially if they are offered at odds of over 2/1. In 2006 the 9/4 favourite in the Arc betting, the Japanese horse Deep Impact, was beaten into third by Rail Link, the Andre Fabre trained three-year-old colt (another winner with that age group) who started at odds of 8-1 and Pride, a Royer-Dupre trained six year old. Not only was Deep Impact beaten by two horses at much longer odds, but he was subsequently disqualified as a banned substance was subsequently found in his system.
Another favourite starting at over 2/1 got beaten in the 2005 race too. The 5/2 favourite that year was the Michael Bell trained colt, Motivator. Hurricane Run, another Andre Fabre trained three old and 11/4 shot took the spoils. In 2011 Sarafina and So You Think were vying for favouritism and both bombed behind the unfancied German filly Danedream (20/1).
Bookmakers in the UK can usually count on this race to provide a welcome fillip to a lull in activity in October. If a UK-based horse is among the favourites, ante-post markets can attract fairly respectable volumes. Flat racing enthusiasts have plenty of time to make their selections, deprived of premier class horse racing action after the final UK classic, the St Leger, in September.
Yes, there is always the Breeders Cup later in the year but, whatever the prizemoney and volume of international talent attracted to it, American dirt simply cannot compete with the stunning spectacle presented on the lush, green turf of Longchamp. The limited scale of UK television coverage and inconvenience of time zone differences for Breeders’ Cup action also does little to increase the interest of the majority of non-American punters.
Ironically, the French seem to have stolen the finale to UK flat racing season. The message to anyone who enjoys Arc betting is it’s your last chance of the season to profit from top class flat racing.