Look back over the last decade and well-fancied French runners in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on British Champions Day had a tendency to come up short.
Tamayuz was sent off at 9/4 for Freddy Head in 2008 but was only fourth to Raven’s Pass, Makfi was the 1/1 favourite when beaten into fifth by Poet’s Voice in 2010 and Maxios disappointed in eighth behind Olympic Glory in 2013.
However, the recent record of the leading French challengers has been much more encouraging.
Charm Spirit upset Night Of Thunder to land the spoils two years ago and then another Head entrant in Solow did the honours for favourite backers last season.
Assessing the likely French contingent for the QEII in 2016 has suddenly become easier with the knowledge that Vadamos is highly likely to take up an engagement in Australia instead.
Vadamos won the Group 1 Prix Du Moulin at Longchamp on his latest start, having previously finished second behind ante-post QEII favourite Ribchester in the Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August.
This suggests that if the French QEII hat-trick is to be completed, the most likely winner will be Zelzal.
The three-year-old, out of Sea The Stars, has already flopped twice at the top level this season, finishing well down the field in the French 2,000 Guineas behind The Gurkha in May and then when third in the aforementioned Prix Du Moulin last time.
Yet in between he was mightily impressive when landing the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat when barely asked for an effort by regular jockey Gregory Benoist. The same Chantilly contest was won by Charm Spirit en route to his Ascot victory.
Zelzal is currently 10/1 to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and he certainly possesses the turn of foot to pose a big threat if not given too much to do by a typical ride of restraint.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.