Paris is generally not a cheap city. But the wine is.
And so it seems are past performances. I picked up a copy of the special Arc edition of Paris Turf for 2 Euros (around $2.75). That won't get me anything more than the pocket program at Belmont. But for those of us used to the expansive, detailed, and, some might say, overly wonkish past performances that we're used to in the US, the ones in Paris Turf might not seem worth much more than that.
This constitutes two past performance "lines" for Silver Pond, one of the entrants in the Arc....and the Arc pp's are actually expanded ones compared to the ones for the other races.
All you get is the conditions of the race, the complete order of finish, margins, final time, and an expanded comment. In French, so I don't really understand a word. But I'm having a ball trying to figure it out. Par example, here's the comment for the last effort by So You Think.
Apres avoir suivi en deuxieme position, a pris l'avantage a quarte cnets metres du poteau, puis a repousse l'attaque de Snow Fairy dans la phase finale pour s'imposer surement.Well, I've seen this race (posted in the last post), so that helps, but I can get the idea for many of these.
And this all raises the question that I've raised many times on this blog - how much information does one really need to, if not be successful (because how many people truly are), at least to pick some live horses and have fun? They don't seem to care much here about workouts, internal fractions, or Aidan O'Brien's record with horses coming off 31-60 day layoffs stretching out to a mile and a quarter on odd-numbered Saturdays. In fact, I feel like I might have an advantage on Sunday being that I don't really now that much other than the basic facts and figures presented here, and even what I'll get in the English-language and more familiar format that I'll pick up in the Racing Post at the track.
The handicappers in Paris Turf really like Reliable Man in the Arc; the second consensus choice behind Sarafine. He's a Alain de Royer Dupre-trained three-year old who will be making just his 6th start. He's won four of those, including the French Derby, as well as the Prix Neil, run last month over this course at this distance, in which he avenged his only defeat, at the hands of Meandre, who finished second. Reliable Man is a three-year old of Dalakhani, out of a Sadlers Wells mare.
On the other hand, they don't seem to care at all for So You Think. Out of the ten Paris Turf handicappers, only two even picked him to be in the money. I dunno, maybe it's a provincial thing. I hope the betting goes that way, because he seems to be the in-form class of this race to me. Yes, he did draw post 14, and his only race beyond 2000 meters (approx 1 1/4 miles) was a third place finish in the Melbourne Cup. But that race is nearly two miles, and he doesn't have to run that far here. True, he ain't got much on the catalog page as they say, and his dam, by Tights (Nijinsky), only won up to 2000 meters. But his dosage index is infinitesimal at 0.57, and his sire High Chapparel won the Epson and Irish Derbies as well as the BC Turf, all at a mile and a half. And he's trained by Aiden O'Brien. So if he's as ignored by the betting public as he is in the Paris Turf, I'd think he's worth a play for sure.