Since 2002, Dylan Thomas is the only horse to have won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe that wasn’t a female, a three-year-old or both.
The weight concessions handed out in the Arc (3lb for a female, 8lb for a youngster and 11lb if a three-year-old filly), give the older males a mountain to climb if they are to triumph in a race regularly referred to as Europe’s most prestigious.
Fame And Glory, So You Think, Workforce, St Nicholas Abbey, Orfevre, Al Kazeem and Ruler Of The World are among the horses that have attempted, and failed, to win the Arc carrying 9st 5lb in this period.
Even Dylan Thomas’ 2007 success had its knockers, as he escaped a lengthy steward’s enquiry when veering right at a critical moment of the contest and upsetting the momentum of others.
However, the betting for the 2016 Arc indicates that a rare victory for the older males may be on the cards again.
Postponed is the 4/1 favourite, having looked mightily impressive this season in three starts since switching to the yard of Roger Varian from Luca Cumani.
Two victories over 1m4f at Meydan were followed by a dominant Group 1 success at Epsom’s Derby meeting in the Coronation Cup. Interesting, he comfortably gave 3lb to three top-level winning mares in the process.
Yet in the Arc this year, he would have to concede 11lb to Epsom Oaks winner Minding, who has displayed a serious turn of foot in winning her last two starts. How well she would see out a real test over 1m4f remains to be seen
Three-year-old colt Harzand, who has already landed the Epsom and Irish derbies this term, is the other leading rival, but the consensus is that he will not only need a stamina test, but also soft ground to be seen at is best.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.