France Galop has confirmed this week that the open stretch will be in use at ParisLongchamp this Sunday for both the French 2000 Guineas and 1000 Guineas.
Introduced in 2018 in order to remove the significant draw bias on the mile course, the open stretch is in effect a similar cutaway seen at courses like Kempton Park in the UK and Dundalk in Ireland.
With 450 metres remaining, it is possible therefore for horses trapped in midfield or in rear, on the rail, to travel through the race and the false home straight, before delivering a challenge.
The Guineas were moved to Deauville last year due to Covid-19 last year, but prior to that, the open stretch has had a minor influence on both Guineas at ParisLongchamp. Persian King would appear to be the only real beneficiary, but even then, you would have fancied him to get out of a nightmare scenario given the level of form he showed in that race and afterwards.
French 2000 Guineas
2018: Winner Olemdo delivered a late challenge round the outside, but without the open stretch, Dice Roll would probably not have placed third. He would have found it tough to go round US Navy Flag.
2019: The open stretch is no good if you do not have push button acceleration in a Group One. Persian King made full use to get around Duke Of Hazzard. He then had the class and stamina to see off Shaman and San Donato.
— Equidia (@equidia) May 12, 2019
French 1000 Guineas
2018: No impact. Teppal travelled best and had a clear run. Wind Chimes was unlucky in third, but had to come wide, having been drawn 13 of 14.
2019: Little impact. The field came off the rail and finished down the middle. Commes may have been helped, to get third, with eventual 5th Matematica stopping in front of her.