Brilliant Treve tees up historic third Arc bid

Brilliant Treve tees up historic third Arc bid

Friday, September 18, 2015

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PARIS, France (AFP) - Treve moved a massive step closer to a historic third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe triumph when annihilating top-class opposition in her warm-up at Longchamp on Sunday.

France's equine superstar waltzed away with the Group One Prix Vermeille to prove she is very much the horse to beat again in the Arc, back at Longchamp in three weeks time.

The Criquette Head-Maarek-trained mare won the Vermeille en route to her first Arc success in 2013, but finished unplaced in last year's race only to bounce back in style in the Arc.

This year she has looked as good, if not better, with Sunday's third win of the year, arguably one of the most impressive of her entire career.

Partnered by big race rider Thierry Jarnet, she toyed with her seven rivals, cruising to the front in the straight before slipping into top gear in a display that will have her Arc challengers losing sleep between now and October 4.

She eventually won by four-and-a-half lengths; it could have been double that distance if former multiple French champion Jarnet had so wished.

"I don't know what to say," Head-Maarek told The Racing Post.

"She's a fantastic mare, she loves Longchamp and I've always said she is so much better going right-handed.

"It is three weeks to the Arc and obviously she is in very good form, but we have seen a very good colt here already today (in New Bay) and also in England as well. The Arc will be a different matter and it's not won yet."

Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "It's amazing the way she looks, and how much bigger she is this year.

"Then she puts in a special performance like that, when she was absolutely cantering over them. It's unbelievable the way she travels."

Among the also-rans was Arabian Queen, who had claimed the scalp of none other than John Gosden's Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn on her last run at York in August.

But David Elsworth's filly was unable to put up much resistance on Sunday, suggesting Treve should have the measure of Golden Horn, who booked his trip to Paris next month for Europe's premier all-aged showpiece with victory in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Among those bystanders impressed with Treve were a bevy of British bookmakers, with one firm cutting her odds to 5-4 on from 7-4 while others are now offering her at even money to become the first horse in history to win three Arcs.

Head-Maarek alluded to the success earlier on the Longchamp card of New Bay, Ande Fabre's French Derby winner who caught the eye when landing his trial, the Prix Niel on his first attempt at the Arc's mile-and-a-half trip.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "It could not have worked out better if we'd planned it ourselves. He settled well and has had a very good trial for the Arc."

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