The €4 million Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) is the most prestigious race in Europe, featuring the best older horses going 2400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) around one turn of the "grande piste" turf course at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris. Prix Niel (G2) winner Behkabad was sent off as the 7-2 favorite in the field of 19 over 9-2 second choice Fame and Glory, winner of the Coronation Cup (G1) and Royal Whip Stakes (G2), and 11-2 third choice Planteur, second in the Prix Niel and the Grand Prix de Paris (G1). Heavy rains earlier in the week rendered the course very soft.
Planteur was quickest away and led briefly before settling behind 150-1 longest shot Pouvoir Absolu for the long backstretch run, with 40-1 Midas Touch, Fame and Glory and Behkabad stalking the pacesetters through an opening 7/8 in 1:30.20. Entering the stretch, Pouvoir Absolu tired badly and gave way, as Planteur and 20-1 Lope de Vega came through to challenge for the lead through 9 furlongs in 1:55.90. In the straight, 22-1 Nakayama Festa, mid-pack early, found room outside to get the lead at the 1/4 pole through 10 furlongs in 2:08.40. However, 6-1 Workforce, who also settled in mid-pack down the backstretch, came through between horses at the 3/16 pole to challenge Nakayama Festa for the final furlong. Workforce pulled ahead at the 1/8 pole and held off Nakayama Festa by a head, completing the trip in 2:35.30. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to 12-1 Sarafina third, while favorite Behkabad was fourth.