It is rare for a harness racing filly to win the Criterium des 3 Ans - there have only been five winners in the last 40 years, although it was won by the brilliant Vanika de Ruel last year and three of those winners have been in the past ten years.
But this A-generation is so dominated by fillies that there is the possibility that the first three home in Sunday's Criterium des 3 Ans could be one of the fillies who have dominated every one of this crop's "Classique" races.
In fact you have to look as far back as 1975 to find fillies finishing one-two-three in this race when Gamellia beat home Garinella and Girl Blanche.
But for the first time this year, all six group one races - the Criterium de Jeunes (Avila), Prix Albert Viel (Axelle Dark), Prix d'Etoile (Avila), and the monte races the Prix des Elites (Anastasia Fella), Prix d'Essai (Arca Des Jacquets) and the Saint-Leger des Trotteurs (Almira Marancourt) - have been won by a filly.
The seventh could very welll fall to either's Anastasia Fella, or 's brilliant duo Axelle Dark or Avilla who is trained by and who provided the first three home in both the Prix Reine Du Corta and Prix Annick Dreux, the two 3YO fillies races earlier in this Winter Series.
's Akim du Cap Vert and Vincent Collard's Africain have finished second and third respectively to Aladin d'Ecajeul (Prix Abel Bassigny) and Aldo Des Champs (Prix Jacques De Vauloge) in both 3YO male races of this Winter Series, which were run in quicker times than their female equivalents, suggesting that the colts might be catching up.
But so far no colt has managed to top this trio when it counted in the bike -'s Aldo Des Champs was second in the Prix Albert Viel, while Allaire 's two colts Atlas de Joudes was third in the Prix de l'Etoile and Artiste de Joudes managed a third in the Criterium des Jeunes although has done little since and will be at long odds.
Interestingly, three of Allaire's entrants are by, who is making his first start of the Winter Series the day prior in the Prix de Bourbonnais. The only other stallions with more than one entrant, is another whose first crop are 3YOs, Quaker Jet and .
As it stands the fillies have all the black type, withAvila having two group one wins to her credit, with victories in the Criterium des Jeunes and Prix de l'Etoile while her stablemate Axelle Dark won the Prix Albert Viel.
Anastasia Fella was second in the Prix de l'Etoile and won the Prix des Elites under saddle and has also seemingly gone up a gear since that win, having been unbeaten since and will be favourite for this race.
Axelle Dark and Avila will also be at single figure odds, while Akim de Cap Vert and Aldo de Champs will be the colts carrying most of the wagering money and the most likely to strike a blow for male pride.
CRITERIUM DES 3 ANS
08/12/13 FR Group 1 3YOs 2700m â‚¬240 000
1 Avenir de Blay (3c Hooper - Mirabelle de Blay Tony Le Beller Tony Le Beller
2 All Feeling (3c Otello Pierji - Quelle CerencaiseMickael Lemercier
3 Ausone du Kastel (3c- Lancee) Dr: Tr: Emmanuel Allard
4 Alberic (3c- Oublies Moi) Dr: David Thomain Tr:
5 Africain (3c Oardo - Kamine) Dr: Yann Gerard Tr: Vincent Collard
6 Alesia d'Atout (3f Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet) Dr:Tr: Dominique Mottier
7 Artiste de Joudes (3c- Memory de Joudes) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr:
8 Alizea du Kastel (3f Quaker Jet - Kalida Jet) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Tr: Emmanuel Allard
9 Aladin d'Ecajeul (3c Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr:Tr:
10 Aldo des Champs (3c- Noumea des Champs) Dr: Tr:
11 Atlas de Joudes (3c- Queschua Love) Dr: Tr:
12 Anastasia Fella (3f- Jeanne's Fella) Dr: Tr:
13 Akim du Cap Vert (3c- Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Tr:
14 Avila (3f- Encombevineuse) Dr: Tr:
15 Axelle Dark (3f- Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: