One of the more curious long-term trends in Arc history will once again be challenged in a fortnight's time when Study Of Man attempts to become the first horse to win the race on his first start at a mile and a half since Saumarez in 1990.
Owners the Niarchos family and trainer Pascal Bary passed up the opportunity to test the Deep Impact colt over the trip in last Sunday's Prix Niel, preferring a crack at the more prestigious Irish Champion Stakes over a mile and a quarter 24 hours earlier.
While Study Of Man was unable to go with Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior at Leopardstown, beaten six lengths in fifth, both Bary and Stephane Pasquier have been happy with how the colt has progressed since his trip to Ireland.
"Pascal says the horse is in good form," said Alan Cooper, racing manager to the owners. "The race did him good and the horse is back to the top form he showed before the Jockey Club.
"Stephane has said for a very long time that Study Of Man would enjoy a mile and a half, so he’s going have his chance, all being well, in the Arc. Pascal, Stephane and everybody will have to be happy with him but so far things are on the right track."
Study Of Man is widely available at 25-1 for the Arc after suffering two defeats since his Classic success at Chantilly in June. Golden Horn and Found are recent examples of Arc winners to have had their previous start at Leopardstown.
Bary added: "The horse is in very good form and it will be interesting to run him over 2,400 metres [a mile and a half] so, if he remains in good shape and everyone is in agreement, he will run in the Arc. I think the extra distance might put him under a little less pressure."
Francis Graffard has yet to finalise his plans for Longchamp's big weekend, but at this stage Bateel looks his most likely runner in the Arc, while Homerique is more likely to contest the Prix de l'Opera.
"Things didn't go right for Homerique in the Moulin and I'm preparing her for the Prix de l'Opera," said Graffard.
"Bateel is very well after coming back from Deauville with a poor blood picture. The Prix Jean Romanet is a race to put a line through but she's in really good form now and if the going becomes soft we'll take our chance in the Arc."