Good to soft going anticipated for Arc weekend

Course officials are expecting good to soft ground for both days of this weekend’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting at ParisLongchamp.

Conditions were described as very soft when Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista claimed victory in Europe’s premier middle-distance contest 12 months ago, while the going was heavy when Torquator Tasso caused a huge upset for Germany in 2021.

Testing terrain also prevailed for the Arc triumphs of Sottsass in 2020 and Waldgeist in 2019, meaning this weekend’s ground is likely to be the quickest it has been for Arc day since Enable successfully defended her crown in 2018 – the first renewal staged following ParisLongchamp’s redevelopment.

Charles de Cordon, clerk of the course at ParisLongchamp, said: “We are preparing for a very big weekend for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. I would like to point out that the track is new, having not been used since July 14, because on the day of the Qatar Arc Trials the rail was at nine metres, so we now have eight metres of new ground for the weekend.

“Since the Arc trials we have aerated the track with a mechanical spiker, which means there is better water infiltration. We also did some mechanical seeding to densify the turf and the turf has been rolled in order to get a smooth track.

“This week it is mainly just maintaining the track. It was mowed on Monday, it will be mowed on Wednesday and for the last time on Friday so that the grass has a height of 10 centimetres.

“The track is in very good condition.”

The official going on Tuesday was described as soft – but with little or no rainfall forecast for the coming days and no plans to water in place, conditions are expected to dry out slightly between now and the start of racing on Saturday.

De Cordon added: “The weather forecast is for our nicest days today and tomorrow and then from Thursday onwards temperatures will drop again.

“It is drying, but it is drying very slowly because we have a very heavy dew in the morning and it evaporates very slowly.

“For the weekend we believe that the ground is going to be good to soft. I get a lot of questions about whether we are going to water the track and that is not the case – we are not watering the track for Saturday nor for Sunday.

“There is a 25 per cent chance that it might rain on Thursday and Friday, but it will be very little – somewhere between zero and two millimetres, which will not make any difference to the track.”

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