Ian Ogg looks ahead to Sunday's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as he rounds up the key stats from the last 10 renewals.
While Rudyard Kipling wouldn't have had the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in mind when writing The Female Of The Species, the recurring line of 'For the female of the species is more deadly than the male' has proved most apt in recent renewals of the continental showpiece.
Five times in the last six years the boys have been sent packing with their tails between their legs as Treve (twice), Solemia, Danedream and Found have come out on top and Enable won't have to deal in witchcraft to add her name to the list.
Only Golden Horn was able to break that run in a year when Treve, who disappointed as the even-money favourite, and Found, sent off at 8/1, were the leading representatives for the fairer sex.
Found's victory was unusual in some respects as she had won only one of her seven seasonal races prior to winning the inaugural running at Chantilly, but she was a top-level winner over 12 furlongs who went into the race on the back of a fine second to Almanzor in the Irish Champion Stakes.
Enable ticks almost every box with the possible exception that nine of the last 10 winners had enjoyed the benefit of a prep run in September but given that she had a busy first half of the season and that the Yorkshire Oaks was run in the last week of August, that barely seems a point worth quibbling over.
The draw has always been a key factor at Longchamp and was expected to be an influence at Chantilly, but the first three home last year broke from 12, 11 and 16 - although it is worth noting that Highland Reel and Order Of St George both raced prominently.
The placed horses could potentially return for another crack but the stats are against them with the last two five-year-old winners being Marienbard in 2002 and Tony Bin in 1988; perhaps we are due another one!
Key statistics from the last 10 renewals of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
- Winners have been aged three (6) and four (4).
- Six winners have been drawn in single figures with five drawn between one and six.
- Six winners won their preceding start.
- Nine winners had their preceding start in September.
- Nine winners had won a Group One over 12 furlongs - Solemia was third in the Vermeille on her Group One debut.
- Four winners had run no more than five times during the current season.
- All the three year old winners had won a European Derby/Oaks.
- Six winners won at least 50% of their starts during the current season.
- Eight winners either raced in midfield or were held-up.