Arc de Triomphe 2021 Betting: Can Snowfall Bounce Back?
One of the world’s greatest horse races is celebrating its 100th birthday on October 2nd. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the crown jewel of French racing, and its 100th renewal is set to see a lot of pomp and ceremony, particularly as it was run ‘behind closed doors’ in 2020. As ever, the line-up will feature some of the best thoroughbreds on the planet. And, unfortunately, such is the quality on show that it’s often a tough race for bettors to predict.
To solve the puzzle, it’s usually best to look at the big results from the British and Irish summer racing season. Most notably, the results of the York Ebor Festival tend to give an indication of form ahead of the Arc. And, some of the big winners at York last month will be running at Longchamp next week.
Perhaps most interesting of all is Snowfall. The 3yo filly had a brilliant summer, winning the Epsom Oaks in June, the Irish Oaks in July, and the Yorkshire Oaks at the Ebor Festival in August. That treble was enough to see the Aidan O’Brien-trained horse pushed into the favorite spot at the top of the Arc betting markets.
Snowfall flopped in prep race
A prep race in France in mid-September – the Qatar Prix Vermeille – was supposed to cement that favorite status further. Snowfall went off at 1/5 (-500), but she was disappointing when finishing second behind Teona. On that evidence, bookmakers stretched Snowfall’s odds to 11/2 (sourced from MansionBet). Taranawa, Adayar and Hurricane Lane are now the market leaders.
Bettors are now faced with the conundrum. Was the limp runner in mid-September the real Snowfall? Or was that poor showing an anomaly? If the Snowfall who trounced rivals across the summer shows up at Longchamp, then trainer Aidan O’Brien might be celebrating a third Arc de Triomphe win. If not, then anyone who bought into that summer form and backed her in the ante-post markets will be left sorely disappointed.
The problem is that there isn’t much that can be gleaned from Snowfall’s performance in the Prix Vermeille. Her jockey, Frankie Dettori, seemed to have done everything right, pulling Snowfall into position for a clear run when two furlongs out. But, when asked for the kind of end-race acceleration demonstrated over the summer, Snowfall didn’t offer anything. That left backers scratching their heads: Where was the horse that had just won three Group 1 races by a combined distance of 29 lengths?
Dettori unhappy with pace of the race
Of course, this sort of thing happens all the time in horse racing. We have all seen brilliant horses suddenly lose their mojo without there being a clear indication of what’s wrong. Dettori, ever the perfectionist, did find something to critique in his own performance and the pace in the race. The Italian has shared duty on Snowfall with Ryan Moore this year, and the Prix Vermeille represented a first defeat in five.
There are plenty of other big names listed in the Arc betting, although the field will be whittled down as we get closer to the off. The well-liked Japanese runner Chrono Genesis (12/1) will take on plenty of money, and some might be attracted to Teona after that Prix Vermeille win. But Snowfall is the most intriguing. Those odds of 11/2 could look very big next Sunday, or they could look very short.