Maybe may be the favourite for the 1,000 Guineas this year at 5/4, but the strong record of French-trained runners in recent years means that he faces a stern challenge from Mashoora.
Six horses trained in France have tackled the first of the two Classics for fillies in the past decade and only two have finished out of the frame.
Two have also secured victory in this time, with Natagora taking victory in 2008 and then Special Duty was awarded the race in 2010 after Jacqueline Quest was relegated to second spot after a steward’s enquiry.
The only big flop from the French brigade came 12 months ago when Moonlight Cloud was sent off favourite, but a combination of a rise in trip and a first try on fast ground may have contributed to her only finishing seventh.
Mashoora is 6/1 in the 1,000 Guineas odds and heads to Newmarket having enjoyed a similar preparation to Moonlight Cloud, most notably in that her final warm-up contest resulted in a victory in the Prix Imprudence at Maisons-laffitte.
Like Moonlight Cloud, Mashoora landed the spoils in the Group Three contest in comfortable fashion without truly being extended, while unlike last year’s French contender, she has previously run over 1m.
It is a slight worry that she lost by a neck in this race when she was collared in the closing 50 yards, but this was at the end of last season and Mashoora should have strengthened up over the winter.
Meanwhile, Christophe Soumillon takes the ride and although he has never ridden a 1,000 Guineas winner, he has plenty of big-race experience, most notably through twice triumphing in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Maybe is a worthy favourite though, remaining unbeaten through her first five starts, a sequence which concluded with a success in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.