The 'greatest horse race in the world', worth a staggering £2,528,319 (yes, that's over £2.5 MILLION), to the winner, returns to a redeveloped Longchamp in the Bois de Boulogne after being held the last two years at beautiful Chantilly.
The question is: how to find the winner? If Inspector Maigret, the famous fictional Parisian detective, were on the case, puffing away merrily on his pipe, he'd be telling his assistants at police HQ that age, draw, and sex are key factors to consider.
20 of the last 28 winners of the big race have been three-year-olds, who receive weight for age allowances from four-year-old colts of 6lbs (or 10lbs if fillies). Six of the last seven winners have been fillies, and three-year-old fillies, who carry only 8st 9lbs in the race (as opposed to 9st 5lbs for four-year-old and older colts), have done really well in recent years, with three of the last seven winners- fitting that description. By contrast, just one horse older than four has won since 1988 and no four-year-old colt has won in the last decade.
So bearing in mind those key stats, which are the horses with the best credentials? Last year's impressive winner Enable is the red-hot favourite, and clearly has much in her favour. Horses can win this in successive years, as Treve (2013 and 2014,) has already proved this decade. Although Enable doesn't get a 10lbs age/sex allowance this time (she's now four), she still has a handy 3lbs allowance. Another point in her favour is that she has got the 'lucky' number 6 stall, but one stat she will have to overcome is that she's had only one run this season due to injury. No horse this century has won the Arc on only their second start of the campaign. Even so, she's the one they probably all have to beat. But if she doesn't make it, who can claim her crown?
FOOTBALL: THE TOP TWO MEET AT ANFIELD
It's the last round of Premiership fixtures this weekend before another international break, and the big clash is between the top two, Liverpool and Man City at Anfield on Sunday. After a 'perfect' start Jurgen Klopp's men have had a dodgy ten days, losing at home to Chelsea in the League Cup, and away to Napoli in the Champions League. But their recent record against City is excellent- with three wins against them last season, including two at home, and victory would put them back on top of the league.
If Man Utd lose at home to Newcastle, then manager Jose Mourinho could find his position untenable, but the good news for Utd fans is that their team is playing a side that look even more out of sorts than the Red Devils do, with no league wins yet this season. Here are my Premiership scoreline predictions:
BRIGHTON 2 WEST HAM 1
BURNLEY 1 HUDDERSFIELD 0
C.PALACE O WOLVES 1
FULHAM 2 ARSENAL 2
LEICESTER 2 EVERTON 1
MAN UTD 2 NEWCASTLE 0
SOUTHAMPTON 1 CHELSEA 2
TOTTENHAM 3 CARDIFF 0
WATFORD 3 BOURNEMOUTH 2
LIVERPOOL 2 MAN CITY 1
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