The weather is miserable and the ground is riding like a bog, but the racing is fantastic on Arc day and Tony Calvin - fresh from a 16/117.0 winner on Saturday - has three tips for you to consider...
"I think a good gallop in deep ground could really play to his strengths over this trip – and he did win a Group 2 over 1m6f here last July – and he simply has far stronger claims than his dismissive odds would suggest."
The last, and indeed only, 7yo to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was a certain Motrico, who was actually following up his win in the race two years earlier after a failed stint at stud in between - no, I had never heard of him either - in 1932 and I genuinely believe Way To Paris has a far better chance of ending 88 years of hurt for the old brigade in Paris on Sunday than his odds suggest.
I have put up Stradivarius and Sottsass ante-post in recent Betfair columns (and I also personally chucked a speculative few quid on Persian King at 33/1), and they are obviously far more likely winners, but Way To Paris is undeniably improving with age and he remains an attractive punt at 37/138.0 or bigger.
And also look to back him at 4/15.0 or bigger in the four-places market on Sunday when the main liquidity arrives.
Now, stop laughing at the back please and listen up.
Paris can show them the way with age no barrier
I say he remains a bet because I fully acknowledge his price has come down considerably since I was backing him as high as 179/1180.0 on Sunday, and he is now around a quarter of that price, so his reduction in odds is not simply down to Love coming out of the race.
It is to do with the fact that he was far too readily dismissed in the market earlier in the week.
The idea that a 7yo may still be progressing may also raise a chuckle with many - though Stradivarius clearly is at six, too, and Foret hope Save Voyage is thriving at seven - but the facts bear out the assessment.
This grey was running in the Prix du Cadran over 2m4f at this meeting last year but connections have abandoned that flirtation with staying races, and they have been rewarded with a stellar series of runs in Group 1 company this season over shorter trips.
He is no stranger to this race, having been beaten under 6 lengths by Enable in this race in 2018 when a 150/1 poke, and he comes here in much better form. He is not definitely a no-hoper after his best campaign to date, in which he has shown far more speed, and a higher level of form than previously.
He ran Shaman close in what was termed very soft ground over 1m2f here in May, and then he went on to win a Group 2 over 1m4f at Deauville, when beating the 118-rated Group 1 winner French King by 4 ½ lengths.
That was a seriously impressive performance, and he then went on to run Sottsass to a head in the Ganay over an extended 1m2f at Chantilly (with the 115-rated Shaman 3 lengths away in third) before breaking his Group 1 duck with a snug win in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in late June.
That must have confirmed to connections that they had a serious Arc contender on their hands because we didn't see the old boy again until he reappeared in the Prix Foy last month, a race in which he finished fifth of six to Anthony Van Dyck and Stradivarius.
On the face of it, underwhelming in terms of Arc-winning potential.
But he was beaten only 3 ½ lengths there and it was a slowly-run farce of a race on far quicker ground than the official good - he has always raced on good or slower ground in the past - so I was very encouraged by it.
I think a good gallop in deep ground could really play to his strengths over this trip - and he did win a Group 2 over 1m6f here last July - and he simply has far stronger claims than his dismissive odds would suggest.
And connections would not have been arguing with a draw in six for him. Trap six was incidentally the stall that 33/1 winner Solemia came out of when chinning Orfevre in heavy ground in 2012, so lightning striking twice for an outsider would be very acceptable.
On a more serious note, the layers could be making a big mistake in labelling him as exposed purely because of his age, so take advantage of the 40/1+, and have the four places as a safety net.
Of course, Enable is rightly the short-priced favourite - for all her form this season doesn't have a convincing look to it, at all - as she bids to atone for last year's defeat and win her third Arc, but I am in no rush to back any horse at 6/4 in what could be barely raceable conditions if they get any more rain (the Saturday and Sunday forecast doesn't look too bad now).
The ground officially turned heavy at Longchamp on Saturday morning after another 32mm in the previous 24 hours, so we really are talking pretty filthy here.
The one good thing about it being heavy at Longchamp, with zero chance of it drying out, is at least there are no guessing games with the ground, however much it could lead to some unpredictable results.
Thunder could be a thing of Beauty in the Boussac
Nando Parrado and St Mark's Basilica dominate the betting for the Jean-Luc Lagardere at 13:15 and that looks fair enough judged on their placed efforts in Group 1 company.
But it looked like Mickael Barzalona got caught napping a touch when second on Sealiway over course and distance last time, and this soft ground winner could prove troublesome to the form pair.
But no bet there, and I thought it would be the same in a tough-looking, 14-runner Boussac at 13:50.
The market was never going to miss the form claims of Pretty Gorgeous and Fev Rover - even if the former is drawn 14 of 14 - but the one to consider at a bigger price is Thunder Beauty, and that is not borne merely out of familiarity.
I had a rare 2yo bet, and tip, on Thunder Beauty at a big price in the Moyglare last time and I thought she did very well to finish fifth to Shale and Pretty Gorgeous there, considering she was held up from a wide draw, and was still bang last 2f out.
She made her effort on the outside too, so I think she did very well to get within 3 ½ lengths of the winner - I thought it was an uninspired ride from Colin Keane, in truth - and I am happy to put her up at a double-figure price here with Billy Lee, who rode her to success on her debut, back on board.
The ground is an obvious unknown (though she won on yielding on debut and her dam is from a German family, which often means they like it deep) and her draw in nine could have been better, but I was surprised she is available at 10/1, four places, with the Betfair Sportsbook, so I will take my chances each way to small stakes.
However, I will sit out the Prix de l'Opera at 15:50.
If she was mine, I would have supplemented Tarnawa for the Arc after her incredibly impressive Vermeille dismissal of Raabihah, so I have to like her here, but then again she has been drawn 14 of 14 and she is up against some serious rivals in Alpine Star, Fancy Blue and Tawkeel to name but three.
This race arguably has more depth than the Arc, and Alpine Star would be my idea of the right favourite and the one to beat.
But you can make a case for a few at bigger prices, too. I am filing this under "too hard" and moving swiftly on to the Abbaye at 16:25.
Archer's could hit the bullseye in Abbaye
Archer's Dream was one of three horses I backed in the Haydock Sprint Cup last time and I don't think she ran a bad race at odds of 50/1 there, despite the fact she finished 10th of 13 and was beaten 8 ½ lengths.
She was drawn on the wrong side of track in stall two - the first five home were housed in 11-9-6-10-12 - and she ended up furthest towards the unfavoured far rail, so I reckon she is better than she showed there.
She has got much luckier with the draw in stall one here, and this confirmed mudlark could well spring a shock here if building on her previous defeat of Snazzy Jazzy in a good time over 6f at Haydock, the form of which has worked out well enough.
She will need to be at her sharpest back to 5f here, and clearly needs to improve to win this, but she travels noticeably well when on song, and she could be up to this Group 1 challenge.
She has shortened up a bit in the last 24 hours, but she remains a bet at 18/1 each-way with the Betfair Sportsbook.
Lope Y Fernandez was one of my other bets in that Haydock sprint and he ran a very tame race, but it transpired that he didn't have an ideal build-up to the race, so he is surely better than that.
He could easily gain his Group 1 success here in the Foret at 16:55 as his earlier efforts behind Pinatubo and Space Blues convince me he is winner waiting to happen.
But he meets some very good and solid horses here - the front three in the market are all solid enough, and Tropbeau is overpriced at 16/1, too - he is unproven on any ground this deep, and him being drawn of 11 is far from ideal.
I was still tempted at around 10/1 on the exchange, but I decided to sit tight and have a little sulk-up if he does win without my cash.
Sometimes it is good to feel sorry for yourself.
Thunder Beauty at 10/1 each-way, four places, in 13:50 at Longchamp
Way To Paris at 37/138.0 or bigger in 15:05 at Longchamp, and 4/15.0 or bigger in four-places market
Archer's Dream at at 18/1 each-way with the Betfair Sportsbook.
ALREADY ADVISED ANTE-POST
Sottsass at 22/123.0 in Arc
Stradivarius at 11/112.0 in Arc