The road to the first Criterium for the 3YO A-generation runs through a pair of 120,000 euro group two races both over 2175m at Vincennes, Saturday.
For the females of the 2010 crop the Prix Roquepine is the latest test of their credentials for the upcoming group one, while for the colts, the Prix Paul Viel is the next step to the first classique, the Criterium des Jeunes.
is due to retire in a fortnight's time, but it looks like his impact is going to be felt for some time yet with the two dominant colts so far being his sons Brillantissime and Bird Parker who head this field.
The pair provided the quinella in both group twos that have been decided for the A crop thus far, the Prix Emmanual Margouty as 2YOs at the end of December, and then the first of the new season, the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
But the despairing thought for other French stallion owners must be that these two might not even be the bestcolt of this crop, following unbeaten Bouclier D'Or's commanding win in the 3YO race on Sunday's Prix d'Amerique card.
All three colts are trained by's owner Phillipe Allaire who is dominating the early age-group races with his great horse's progeny for the second season in a row.
The main challengers will be's Bolide de Gueron, a son of , who has trailed them home in third and fourth place respectively in those early group races, Bruno Bourgoin's Brutus de Bailly (Niky ) in the hands of and Frederic Prat's Black d'Avril (Oceano Nox).
's Prix Une de Mai winner Billie de Montfort heads a field of 12 in the Prix Roquepine and will be at a short price to continue her winning ways after suffering her first defeat at the hands of Be My Girl in the Prix Gelinotte three weeks ago.
She will not have to face's daughter of , who she beat in the Prix Une de Mai and her main rival will be 's unbeaten filly Balzane de Bootz a daughter of unheralded stallion Nem, who steps up to group company for the first time after three wins, two at Vincennes.
However this is a big step up and she will have to lower her record nearly three seconds if she is to beat daughter of.
's filly Bliss Nevele, Biguglia ( ), Barbalala (Qwerty) and Bassana de Marlau ( ) are others who look capable of featuring in this.
PRIX PAUL VIEL Vincennes 2014-02-01 Group II 3YOC â‚¬ 120 000 2175m
1 Bioness (3c- Quiradelle d'Hilly) Dr: Patrick Chevrier
2 Bolchoi du Boulay (3c Olitro - Mona Lisa Jet ) Dr: Laurent Claude Abrivard Tr: Laurent Claude Abrivard
3 Bocage d'Ortige (3c Mirage du Goutier - Providence Dortige) Dr:Tr:
4 Brutus de Bailly (3c Niky - Ninon de Bailly) Dr:Tr: Bruno Bourgoin
5 Bixente (3c Quaker Jet - Ketty Mesloise) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois
6 Black d'Avril (3c Oceano Nox - Olivia d'Avril) Dr:Tr: Frederic Prat
7 Best of Sly (3c- Quinella Aimef) Dr: Pierre Yves Verva Tr:
8 Bird Parker (3c- Belisha) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr:
9 Bolide de Gueron (3c- Olivia) Dr: Tr:
10 Brillantissime (3c- Ivre de Victoire) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr:
PRIX ROQUEPINE Vincennes 2014-02-01 Group II 3YOF â‚¬ 120 000 2175m
1 Baraka Vici (3f- Irlande du Nord) Dr: Frederic Prat Tr: Frederic Prat
2 Bliss Nevele (3f- Quick Nevele) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr:
3 Bambina Magic (3f Nuage de Lait - Rive Magic) Dr:Tr: Dominique Lemetayer
4 Brise de l'Alba (3f Quido du Goutier - Cely de la Meritee) Dr: William Bigeon Tr: William Bigeon
5 Belline d'Urzy (3f Otello Pierji - Querida d'Urzy) Dr: Christophe Hamel Tr: Christophe Hamel
6 Balzane de Bootz (3f Nem - Queza de Bootz) Dr:Tr:
7 Barbalala (3f Qwerty - Pardinia) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois
8 Balade de Blary (3f Qualmio de Vandel - Garine d'Occagnes) Dr:Tr:
9 Bardane du Houlbet (3f Jet Fortuna - Hague du Houlbet) Dr: Romain Christian Larue Tr: Romain Christian Larue
10 Bassana de Marlau (3f- Jessie de Vonnas) Dr: Tr: Patrick Chevrier
11 Biguglia (3f- La Faisanderie) Dr: Tr: Frederic Prat
12 Billie de Montfort (3f- Quismy de Montfort) Dr: Tr:
by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com