Not an English runner in sight. But try stopping 10,000 British racegoers from flooding into Paris this weekend to share in a bonanza of horseracing at the highest level. You won’t.
Even if Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will be run without a British-trained runner for the first time since 1963, the three-cornered clash between Montjeu, Sinndar and Samum will keep racing fans on the edge of their grandstand seats at Longchamp.
France’s Montjeu, brilliant winner of last year’s Arc, Ireland’s dual Derby hero Sinndar, and the German ace Samum are the stars in a cast which has the makings of an historic renewal.
With Sir Michael Stoute’s Petrushka, winner of the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks, taking advantage of the drier French conditions in the Prix de l’Opera, and his Karasta defending her unbeaten record in the Prix Marcel Bousaac, the Brits should have plenty to shout about.
There will be a strong contingent from Yorkshire rooting for Malton trainer Tim Easterby’s Pipalong, who tackles the speed merchants of Europe in the Prix de l’Abbaye.