Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2023: The contenders for the crown will meet on Sunday at ParisLongchamp

5 September 2023


We are now just five days away from the Qatar Arc Trials (Sunday, 10th September 2023 at ParisLongchamp), a warm-up meeting for the action-packed Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend, which will take place on the 1st of October at the home of French flat racing.

Let’s take a look at some of the standout contenders for this year’s showpiece.











Some of the standout contenders for this year’s showpiece:



  • Deauville Training Centre

Ace Impact, the unbeaten favourite

Trainer : Jean-Claude Rouget

Regular Jockey : Cristian Demuro

The favourite for this year’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hails from France. Ace Impact, trained in Deauville by Jean-Claude Rouget, is unbeaten in five runs. He was the winner of the Qatar Prix du Jockey Club, or ‘the French Derby’,  before following up on 15 August in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano, a Group 2 over 2000m at Deauville. Ace Impact carried the colours of the Chehboub family’s Gousserie Racing for the first time in his most recent triumph, as they purchased half of Serge Stempniak’s colt following his success at Chantilly. Their objective? In the hope that the horse will become a stallion at their Normandie-based stud, Haras de Beaumont. Ace Impact will not take part in Arc Trials Day, with connections opting to keep him fresh ahead of his first attempt at 2400m.

Zagrey, the international flair

Trainer : Yann Barberot

Regular Jockey : Christophe Soumillon

What a rise through the ranks Zagrey has had this year! The four-year-old landed his first Group 1 last Sunday in Germany when taking the Grosser Preis von Baden. The colt hit the crossbar at the top level on multiple occasions this year, having finished third in the Dubai Sheema Classic, behind Japan’s Equinox and the English raider Westover, and also when finishing second in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, where he also chased home Westover. Zagrey signed off his 2022 campaign with a win at Listed level in the Grand Prix du Nord, and his win in the Grosser Preis von Baden has now opened the door towards a chance in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Zagrey will attempt to follow the path of Torquator Tasso, who landed the same German showpiece before going on to win the Arc of 2021. 

Simca Mille, the people's favourite

Trainer : Stéphane Wattel

Regular Jockey : Alexis Pouchin

A third Deauville-trained candidate for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Simca Mille will forever hold a special place in the heart of his trainer, Stéphane Wattel, having offered him with a first Group 1 success when taking the Grosser Preis von Berlin. Similar to Zagrey, Simca Mille has progressed from strength to strength this year and doesn’t look finished yet.  In recent years, three horses have landed the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe following on from a win in the Grosser Preis von Berlin… but with a year’s gap in between! They were Alpinista, Torquator Tasso and Danedream. Could Simca Mille manage the double in the same year? Connections will be hoping that conditions will not become too testing at ParisLongchamp, but they can be confident in their jockey selection, with 22-year-old Alexis Pouchin riding at the top of his game this season.

  • Chantilly (Oise) Training Centre 

Feed the Flame, winner of the Grand Prix de Paris

Trainer: Pascal Bary

Regular Jockey : Christophe Soumillon

A three-year-old, Feed the Flame has only run four times, but the colt trained by Chantilly-based Pascal Bary and owned by Jean-Louis Bouchard has already made his voice heard. Encountering the same course and distance as Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on his most recent start, Feed the Flame trounced his opponents when landing the Grand Prix de Paris on July 14th. On Sunday, the colt will line up for the Qatar Prix Niel, the three-year-old’s historical trial for the Arc. In 2006, Rail Link successfully plundered the same treble, the Grand Prix de Paris, the Qatar Prix Niel and the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe…Can Feed The Flame be the same?



Hukum, the miracle story

Trainer: Owen Burrows

Regular Jockey: Jim Crowley

Hukum is a miracle! The career of the Owen Burrows-trained six-year-old should have ended last year following his success in the Coronation Cup (Group 1), as the colt needed to be operated and pinned to repair a fracture!  With his illustrious pedigree, connections could have sent him straight to stud. However, Sheika Hissa Al Maktoum decided to give Hukem time to recover and see what could be achieved. Hukum made a winning return to action at Sandown this summer and then secured the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, considered the Arc of the UK.

Hukum will not have a prep run, and connections hope to bring him to Paris fresh in October.



Savethelastdance, the Iron Filly

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Regular Jockey: Ryan Moore

Although among the world's top trainers, Aidan O’Brien has ‘only’ won the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on two occasions. In 2016, Found headed up a famous 1,2,3 for the Tipperary-based trainer as she galloped clear of stablemates Highland Reel and Order of St George. At this stage, it is hard to tell which of Aidan O’Brien’s team will head to ParisLongchamp, but his best chance could be the three-year-old filly Savethelastdance. A daughter of Galileo and from an exceptional maternal line, Savethelastdance has enjoyed a fantastic season in 2023, having won the Irish Oaks – which is equivalent to the Prix de Diane Longines in France. She also finished second in the Yorkshire Oaks, with her trainer going on record as saying that she will be even better later in the season… especially on softer ground.


Through Seven Seas, an ambitious engagement

Trainer : Tomohito Ozeki

Regular Jockey : Christophe Lemaire

The Japanese dream of winning the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. This year, they will be represented by the well-named Through Seven Seas. She will be partnered by French expat  Christophe Lemaire, who has enjoyed an exceptional ten years riding in Japan. Aged five, Through Seven Seas has progressed no-end in 2023. A Listed winner in January, she then went on to win a Gr3 handicap in March at Nakayama (ridden by Christophe Lemaire) before going on to record a career best by winning the Takarazuka Kinen (Group 1), despite enduring a terrible passage through the race. The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will be her first race abroad.

Through Seven Seas won’t be present at ParisLongchamp this weekend, but she is scheduled to leave Japan on September 15th.