By Simon Jackson.
Treve bounced back to her best to secure back to back victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp today and was retired immediately after the race.
The success was the Criquette Head-Maarek trained filly’s first since winning the Arc last year and signified a remarkable return to form having been beaten in all of her three previous starts this season.
The successive Arc wins under jockey Thierry Jarnet were the first back to back victories recorded in the Gallic showpiece since Alleged completed the feat in 1977-78 – and justified Head-Maarek’s belief in Treve’s ability.
“With all the problems that we had some said that she shouldn’t run. I heard so many things and today she proved that she is back to her best,” the trainer said after the victory over Flintshire and third-placed Taghrooda.
“Last year I felt that she was going to win, this year I was bringing a horse that was not 100 per cent.
“But when I saw her as she entered the false straight I thought that she was going to win. She was travelling so easily. We had a fantastic race. We were along the rail and we didn’t lose a metre of ground and she has such a fantastic turn of foot and that is what she did again.
“For me she is a very special horse.”
Harry Herbert, advisor to owner Sheikh Joaan’s Al Shaqab racing operation, praised the trainer’s handling of the winner, while confirming that Treve would now be retired.
“Treve’s work earlier this week gave Criquette confidence that she might just do this, but to do it how she’s done it against a top-class field, to spreadeagle them two years running – it’s absolutely phenomenal.
“It’s one of the great training performances. We all know it’s not easy to bring a filly back in her four-year-old year and to have the knocks along the way, there’s been issues along the way.
“She’ll be retired now, for sure. She has nothing more to prove.
“She’s proved to a few doubters that she is back and as brilliant as ever.
“I think now it’s off to the Sheikh’s stud farm in Normandy and deciding who will be the lucky husband, or husband number one!
“To be involved with something like this is fantastic, especially as she has come back from adversity.
“I don’t think we can quite believe what we have just seen.”