The rising stars of monte line up for the Prix Leon Tacquet, a Group two under sprint for five-year-olds over 2175m at Vincennes.
Seven of this field met in the Prix Emile Riotteau a fortnight ago where-trained Vision Intense was sent out on odds on favourite.
But the Ecurie Victoria Dreams star had one of her off nights and galloped, something which has become more frequent of late, which must be of concern to her connections.
There is no doubt that if the supremely talented daughter ofstays trotting, she will be a prominent player in this, there have been few times that this generation has been able to withstand her brilliant finishes.
Monte, the more difficult of the two trotting disciplines, is always more fraught for handicappers, and this mare notches those anxieties up a notch with her propensity for mistakes, but the early market shows no such uncertainty - less than even money on offer.
Joel Hallais' Valse Castelets could be a favourite in her own right. She began her career in the bike with moderate success but blossomed when switched to the saddle in last year's winter meeting at Vincennes, winning in her first three attempts.
This propelledthe daughter of Memphis du Rib into Group company, where she ran a third in the Prix de Pardieu first time of asking. Group success was not long in coming in the Prix Louis Le Bourg in April, and she went on to have a breakout year in 2013 with three more Group two successes including the Prix Olry-Roederer, a UET Masters Series race in November and of course last start in the Prix Emile Riotteau.
These two dominate the early market, although French handicappers are warming to a horse we have followed in these articles on Harnesslink, the talented but flawed stallion Vaillant Cash.
His improvement continued in the Prix Emile Riotteau, where he was given rein by his Camille Levesque, who has been the architect of his redemption from rogue to respected monte prospect.
The former prestigious Prix Emmanuel Margouty winner and Saint-Leger des Trotteurs runner-up led the field for much of the journey, and in a gait which did not fall foul of the eagle eyed adjudicators, to finish fourth.
This was his second decent check in two starts and a timely boost for his owner-breeder David Genot who mixes the son of dual Prix d'Amerique championracing with stud duties at Haras du Mont Goubert.
The second and third placegetters in the Prix Emile Riotteau, Vic du Boisnant and Vicomte Boufarcaux are also in the field, but they were at massive odds in the previous race and handicappers have stayed clear of the pair in the early markets.
Fifth-placed Valdice de Mars, a winner of the group two monte Prix Ceneri Forcinal, was the fourth favourite in early markets with Yohan Legbourgeois on board, while Pascal Barthelemy's Volcano Vici is a talented horse with genuine claims.
PRIX LEON TACQUET Vincennes
04/01/14 FR Group II monte 2175m 5YOs â‚¬ 120 000
1 Victoire Smiling (5m Memphis du Rib - Kediva) Rd: Damien Bonne Tr: Damien Bonne
2 Viva Jenilou (5m Phlegyas - Louve Jenilou) Rd:Tr:
3 Vicomte Boufarcaux (5h Oh James - Olympe du Boufard) Rd: Jonathan Carre Tr: Michael Jean Ruault
4 Vaillant Cash (5h- Kara du Redon) Rd: Camille Levesque Tr: Yoann Letellier
5 Vic du Boisnant (5h Gazouillis - Ode du Boisnant) Rd: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Bruno Bourgoin
6 Volcano Vici (5h Gazouillis - Oaxaca Vici) Rd: Anne Barthelemy Tr: Pascal Barthelemy
7 Vestphalie du Mont (5m- Ostia du Mont) Rd: Antoine Wiels Tr: Franck Delanoe
8 Valdice de Mars (5m Lynx de Bellouet - Tiphanie) Rd: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Loic Groussard
9 Valse Castelets (5m Memphis du Rib - Elide) Rd: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais
10 Vision Intense (5m- Intense Action) Rd: Nathalie Henry Tr:
by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com