The winner of one of the Arc weekend races last fall at Longchamp.
You may have noticed my banners lately reflect a horse-racing theme. That's in honour of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Europe's biggest flat race on Sunday, Oct. 5 at Hippodrome de Longchamp. The Aga Khan-bred filly Zarkava is expected to win the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe. Top-class three-year-olds are hard to beat in the Arc. After a mid-season break by trainer Alain De Royer-Dupré, Zarkava should hold her own, guided by popular French jockey Christophe Soumillon.
In the Observer, Eddie Frementale writes about Zarkava's chances. Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien's Soldier of Fortune and Duke of Marmalade are also expected to be strong contenders for the Arc title race, along with Jaber Abdullah's Youmzain and Sheik Mohammed's Schiaparelli.
The Arc weekend festivities are the jewel in the crown of French racing. Races begin Saturday, Oct. 4, with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday afternoon. That's also the day women wear stylish hats, so I shall be there with my camera (and wearing an Italian hat purchased in San Francisco).
Europe's largest flat-race was inaugurated in 1920, in celebration of the Allies' victory in World War I. Racing at Longchamp began on Sunday, April 27, 1857. Napoleon III and his wife Eugénie sailed down the Seine on their yacht to watch the third race. Until 1930, many Parisians came to the track on steamboats via the Pont de Suresnes. These days they're more likely to take the metro or a bus. Luckily, for me Longchamp is just across the street! And thousands of Brits either take Eurostar or chartered buses to cross the Channel for the special occasion.