VINCENNES, France - A field of 18 trotters including 11 millionaire earners representing four nations are in Paris preparing for the Grand Prix d'Amerique which runs Sunday at Vincennes.
There has been much speculation after three B races had seen the R-generation reduced to also rans, but Roxane Griff's stunning win in the Prix de Cornulier, and Texas Charm's withdrawal has seen the odds shift back to the older brigade.
, who was an encouraging third last start in the Prix de Bourgogne certainly primed for the great race earlier this week at 's La FertÃ©-FrÃªnel training establishment.
He will probably start a very warm favourite to maintain the class of 2005's stranglehold on the race since 2011.
Classmate Roxane Griff was sensational in the Prix de Cornulier, and has finished second here before in 2012. She is great mare but history is against her. Only Bellino II in 1975 and 76 has ever done the double.
Of the young pretenders's Timoko is a champion on any other track, but he has failed too many times at the Temple of Trot to be liked in this.
The horse that really stands in this generation is great rival The Best Madrik, from the sprawling stable and breeding establishment of Jean-Etienne Dubois near Argentan.
Dubois said the Prix d'Amerique was a crazy race, but if his enigmatic star got the right run with some cover, he could finish in the money, and he certainly looked a million dollars earlier this week.
His brother Philippe Dubois won last year with, who carried great form into the race, and then carried off the prize. This year he has not been as impressive and would have to have improved seriously to pick up a second PDA.
There are however two serious contenders from the class of 2007 in Triode de Feliere and TIego d'Etang. This is a very good crop and one or both of these two could win this race some day, although it may not be Sunday.
And then there are the Quick horses, Up The and Save The.'s horses have broken records in big races this year. Save The Quick was disappointing under saddle, but Up The Quick is a genuine chance here.
And then there is the International contingent, headed by Swedish superstar Maharajah and Prix d'Belgique winner Yarrah Boko.
The star of the giant Swedish syndicate company Travkompianet has mixed massive fast finishing performances, with puzzling ordinary ones, especially when asked to do extra work parked out in staying races. Sit and sprinters don't win at Vincennes, certainly not in this of all races. Has he really got the stamina to beat the hill - hold off the challenges and kick on in the straight.
Yarrah Boko is a son of the mighty, so has the breeding to give this a nudge, and has some unfinished business in this after missing a start last year. You can't argue against his form in big races either. But can he beat the best of France, in this race us the big question.
And the Italians. Well the stats are great for Mack Grace Sm, 13 wins in a row this year, and 16 out of his last 18 and over 1.27 million euros bancked.
But the reality is he has never won further than 2100m, all his wins have been in Italy and the last time he came to Vincennes to try to make the Prix d'Amerique in the 2012over 2700m, he ran down the track. He also finished out of the money in his only other race on this track over the sprint 2100m
In contrast Nesta Effe can win overseas having done so impressively in Finland and Sweden this year, and Italy, but this is Vincennes and her best place on this track is fourth over 2100m.
There are mountains to climb, and these two are flat trackers. Fast flat trackers generally will not win here.
The rest will be at outside odds to write their place in history.
David Sanders for Harnesslink.com