The Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe is a flat thoroughbred horse race of a mile and a half (12 furlongs or 2400 metres) racxed on turf for 3+ year-old Colts and Fillies held each year on the first Sunday in October at the Hippodrome de Longchamp in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris.
The Longchamp racecourse is right handed, in a large horse-shoe loop that rises gently initially before gradually descending down to the long right-hand bend, which leads to the 21/2 furlongs (500 metres) finishing straight. The race brings together the winners of the Derby races at Epsom, and in Ireland, Italy and Germany. In recent times, the winner of the race will often go to America in November to compete in the annual Breeders' Cup. Currently, the purse money totals €1,600,000.
The first ever race run at Longchamp was on Sunday, April 27, 1857 in front of a massive crowd. The Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugénie were present, having sailed down the Seine River on their private yacht to watch the third race. Until 1930, many Parisians came to the track down the river on steamboats and various other vessels, the trip taking around an hour to the Pont de Suresnes. The royal couple joined Prince Jerome Bonaparte and his son Prince Napoleon in the Royal Enclosure alongside the Prince of Nassau, Prince Murat and the Duke of Morny, an avid racegoer. Non-aristocratic members of the upper classes were not permitted into the Royal enclosure and had to be content with watching from their barouche carriages on the lawn.
Following World War II, on July 14, 1949, the Societe d'Encouragement with the Loterie Nationale published the conditions for a new Prix de l'Arc du Triomphe. A purse of 25 millions francs was set, making it once again the richest weight-for-age race in Europe. That inaugural race was won by "Coronation", a horse bred by the great French breeder Marcel Boussac.
Winners since 1920: