IT has been a chastening season for French trainers. A day before they were unable to muster a first-four finisher in their holy grail, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, they suffered the ignominy of a whitewash from cross-Channel challengers in Saturday’s five big races at ParisLongchamp.

Just to rub their noses in it, British yards also supplied the runner-up in three of those five events, including both Group 1s. By Saturday evening, 25 Group 1 races had been staged in France in 2021 and on only eight occasions had the Marseillaise been played at the victory ceremony.