If you are wondering why the fields in the V75 gold division are so poor at the moment, then a quick look at the Vincennes undercard is revealing.
If you've got the horsepower, why run around in Halmstad for 33,800 euros gold division money when you can race at Vincennes in the Prix de l'Ille, a sprint over 2100m against France's lesser lights for 105,000 euros.
France's big guns are preparing for the Prix'd'Amerique (1,000,000 euros), the Prix Cornullier (700,000 euros), and the swag of group ones like the Criterium des Jeunes (240,000 euros) and two races, worth 120,000 plus - the group two Prix du Calvados monte on the same day is worth 150,000 euros.
So a top horse like Frederik B Larsson's Caballion , a group two winner in Sweden, will make a beeline for Vincennes at this time of year, where he is joining the likes of Grand Pris de l'UET winner Kadett C.D,, Swedish Travderby winner Pato in the series Winter Series, and V75 gold division heavyweights Maxwell Mayday and Global Manhattan.
Swedish trainerhas V75 regular You Bet Hornline entered in the race, while many Scandinavian owners will transfer their horses to top French stables, so you see the likes of Beckman with and Denmark's Partout Simoni with .
Indeed, Beckman, a son of Swedish stallion, is the early second favourite after three good wins in a row at Vincennes including the Prix Constant Hervieu on Christmas Day.
Only problem is that the French lesser lights can be French champions on the rise. A quick look at the Prix d'lIlle illumini has a certain(last season's Prix d'Amerique winner) as a recent graduate - in a 2012 race in which US bound Swedish star Sebastian K ran eighth - with two other top Swedes Look MP second, and Oracle sixth.
Last season's winner was Triode de Felliere who has set this year's Winter Series alight with a win in the Prix de Bourbonnais and a gallant second in this week's Prix de Bourgogne.
Or they are the geldings that are not eligible for the big races, the likes of recently retired superstar Rapide Lebel, or's well performed French gelding Swedishman the winner of more than 500,000 euros, who is third favourite on the early markets.
The early favourite is from the T-generation, which is really coming to the fore in this Winter Series, Talicia Bella.
Jean-Paul Marmion's daughter of General du Pommeau has been gradually brought through the ranks, and has only made one group two appearance, in the Prix des Ducs de Normandie in May, in which two of the favourites for this year's Prix d'Amerique, Texas Charm andwent one-two.
She beat Caballion into second place in the Prix du Languedoc at Vincennes in mid November, and has had a second and a win since.
PRIX DE LILLE Vincennes 2014-01-05 Group III 2100m â‚¬ 105 000
1 Swedishman (8g Gogo - Volgana) Dr:Tr:
2 Talicia Bella (7m General du Pommeau - Illicia Bella) Dr: Anthony Barrier Tr: Jean Paul Marmion
3 Caballion (8h Kesaco Phedo - Lady Brick) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Fredrik B Larsson
4 Roc de Montfort (9h- Kerla de Montfort) Dr: David Thomain Tr:
5 Recit Jeloca (9g- Flora Castelets) Dr: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir
6 You Bet Hornline (8h- Evergreen Ri) Dr: Tr:
7 Sancho du Glay (8h- Madame Benoit) Dr: Tr:
8 Sogo (8g Baccarat du Pont - Govive) Dr: Loic Guinoiseau Tr:
9 Partout Simoni (7h- Axie Fair) Dr: Tr:
10 Trinite des Vals (7m Carpe Diem - Lueur Gede) Dr: Bernard Piton Tr: Yves Jean Le Bezvoet
11 Unabella Perrine (6m- Minnie Perrine) Dr: Tr: Jean Francois Mary
12 Quel Chef (10g Chef du Chatelet - Herveyer) Dr: Fabien Michel Andrieu Tr: Fabien Michel Andrieu
13 Sage de Gueriniere (8g- Haldane) Dr: Tr:
14 Un Amour d'Haufor (6h- Glamour d'Haufor Christian Bigeon Christian Bigeon
15 Beckman (7g- Nins Palema
16 Querios du Mirel (10g Kitcho d'Ecajeul - Ina de Mirel Michel Bizoux Anders Lindqvist
by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com