I survived yesterday, just about, dear reader, but no thanks to Ghanaati, who cost me a chunk. Rather, I fluked parity with a dual forecast involving the back to his best Pipedreamer and Gris de Gris in the Prix Dollar.
Enough of yesterday - what about today? In my view, it looks like a fine day for the raiding party, starting with the Prix de l'Abbaye.
12.45 - Prix de l'Abbaye
The local Paris Turf newspaper here trumpets the headline, "Le sport favori des anglais" (The favourite sport of the English), and it's not hard to see why.
In today's line up there are sixteen runners, only one of which represents the home team. Unlike Marchant d'Or last season, Stern Opinion has a limited chance, and - despite the presence of other foreign raiders, from Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic - I'm confident Britain will prevail here.
But which horse will do the honours? The usual battle-hardened squad line up, headed by the fragile but rapid mare, Fleeting Spirit. She's only been out of the frame twice in twelve starts, one of which was in this race last year and - for my money - she does tend to find one too good at the very top level.
Against her comes the tough as teak venerable veteran, Borderlescott, and he's my idea of the winner. A remarkable old stick, he'd be coming here looking for a four-timer were it not for being totally drawn out of it at Goodwood. That he finished fourth was a tremendous performance and, with a reasonable berth today, I reckon he'll blast past his younger antagonists.
For an each way selection, there are worse picks than Monsieur Chevalier. As a 2yo, he's getting a stone and more from this lot, and his running style - stalking off the pace, picking up late - will be well suited to this breakneck encounter. Whether he's quite mature / good enough to prevail against these wily old speedsters is another question but, if he is, you'll have a helluva run for your money when he tries to go from last to first!
1.20 - Prix Marcel Boussac
A nigh on impossible 2yo race for fillies. This will be a very small stakes play for me. Kilo Alpha has plenty of supporters and Mme. Criquet Head-Maarek has few peers when it comes to winning this race. Godolphin's Wedding March also has a fine chance based on the eye-catching nature of her debut win and the guaranteed improvement M. Fabre will exact.
But I'm going to take a bit of a punt with the Italian filly, Joanna, who has achieved more and will likely improve less than most of these. She won a Group 3 in a pretty fast time last time out, and - as a speculative wager in a wide open contest - she might just prevail at a decent price.
1.55 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere
I've been a huge fan of Dick Turpin all season, and he got me out of an almighty hole when winning at Goodwood back in July. The standard of opposition here is stiffer, as you'd expect for a Group 1 contest, but the nature of his four victories (by an aggregate of 15 1/2 lengths) suggest there is more to come.
Again, plenty of unexposed 'could be anything' types - notable Lope de Vega, but I expect Dick Turpin to 'stand and deliver'... (groan)
2.30 Prix de l'Opera
Ah, it's going to be a strange anachronistic episode here, when Midday wins at 2.30. She's the apple of 'Sir' Henry's eye, and she's been performing with credit all season, most notably when just touched off in the Oaks and then when prevailing in the Nassau Stakes last time out. A mile and a quarter might just be her ideal distance, the ground won't trouble her, and she looks primed for a valiant attempt to bring home the jambon cru.
Looking to spoil the fairy story are many mares of merit, including Alpine Rose, Crystal Capella and Chinese White, all of whom boast multiple winning form this season.
Of these, Chinese White may not run, and Crystal Capella's beating of Dar Re Mi looks the best piece of form outside of Midday's Nassau Stakes victory.
Ryan Moore will give the Capella every chance, but it's Tom Queally that I'm cheering, and perhaps another emotional moment in the winners' circle with that man, 'Sir' Henry.
3.15 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
I've previewed this race elsewhere - and you can look at that preview here...
In summary, it'll probably be Sea The Stars (and let's hope it is!). My each way shout is Cavalryman, and I'm against Fame and Glory.
4.45 Prix du Cadran
An excellent race, and very much the changing of the guard, I suspect. Yeats is having his last race before retirement and he'll be a hugely popular winner. But he's retiring for a reason, and I expect that his aching bones will give best this afternoon to some whipper-snapper in the line up.
Indeed, I've been burnt too many times by Kasbah Bliss to back that eminently capable monkey, so he's off the list too. The third favourite, Incanto Dream, has a lot to find on the book, and - in a race of this class - will struggle I feel.
Which brings me to the aforementioned talented upstart. I suspect that Askar Tau could well be the next perennial Cup horse, and his last two runs (and wins) in Group 2 affairs have put him right for a tilt at the big guns.
This is one of the best staying races for many a long year, with real strength in depth, and there are still two or three more with very credible winning chances, in particular Pointilliste and Alandi.
It's certainly not a race to punt too heavily in (unless you know something I don't!), but it should be a cracking battle down the Longchamp straight, and a perfectly fitting finale to an excellent two days of sport.
Let's hope STS proves himself the best horse of a generation, possibly ever (did I really just write that?!) with a scintillating triumph in the 'Triomphe.
Bonne chance tout le monde!