French racehorse Treve (pictured) proved she was queen of Longchamp at the weekend (Sunday 5 October) — taking the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for the second year running.
Treve became the first dual winner of the world’s richest turf race since Alleged in 1977/78. The win also escalated her to Europe’s highest-earning female, having now won £5,391,948.
Credit was given to her trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, who was one of the few that hadn’t written the four-year-old off after disappointing performances this summer.
The filly finished third at Royal Ascot and fourth in the Prix Vermeille last month. After Ascot it was found she had problems with a hoof, but following veterinary treatment Criquette insisted on having a second shot at the Arc. Treve rewarded her trainer’s faith, as well as her supporters, winning at 11-1.
“The only thing I can say is that it is the best race I’ve ever won — when you have to prepare a horse with problems and you win,” she said.
Last year Treve stormed to victory in the Arc, winning by five lengths. This year she won by two lengths ahead of Flintshire and Oaks winner Taghrooda — trained by John Gosden, who was sent off favourite.
“She’s some horse,” jockey Paul Hanagan remarked of Treve after the race.
Another British raider, the Roger Varian-trained St Leger winner Kingston Hill, finished fourth.
In the build up to the race jockey Frankie Dettori was controversially replaced by French rider Thierry Jarnet, who won in 2013 aboard the filly.
Frankie, as owner Sheikh Joaan’s retained rider, was due to partner Treve in 2013 but was on the sidelines with a broken ankle. And a year later Criquette was insistent Thierry took the ride.
“It was very important for me to have Thierry on board,” said Criquette. “I know him, he knows the filly, he knows her turn of foot, he knows what gaps she will go through.”
It was a fourth win in the race for the 47-year-old Frenchman — he also won in 1992 with Subotica and in 1994 with Carnegie.
“The fact that she had all those niggling problems meant it was a different kind of performance and the fact is the Vermeille facilitated the run. Obviously I feel a huge part of history — so few horses have won the Arc twice,” he said.
Treve was retired after the race, and looks set to head to owner Sheikh Joaan al Thani’s stud. Early indications suggest she will go to Galileo.
For full report, pictures and comment from H&H columnist Ralph Beckett don’t miss Thursday’s issue of H&H (9 October).