HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser with HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris yesterday. HH Sheikh Hamad and HH Sheikha Moza attended the closing events of the 93rd edition of Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Weekend.
By Chris Hoover/Paris
HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani-owned Treve bounced back to be her brilliant best to retain the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe title at the Longchamp racecourse in Paris yesterday.
Sporting the colours of Al Shaqab Racing, the champion filly also erased the 36-year old record of Alleged which had won Europe’s premier event in 1977/78.
The Criquette Head-Maarek-trained Treve was a stunning winner of world’s best middle-distance contest 12 months ago but had endured a largely forgettable campaign this year prior to her return to Paris.
Treve had been beaten on all three occasions this season and was a length and a half behind Baltic Baroness in the Arc Trial race - Qatar Prix Vermeille last time out and there were doubts about her fitness for this mega event.
Treve dispelled all those doubts with an amazing performance that left her 19 rivals stranded in the final furlong. With Thierry Jarnet in the saddle once again, Treve looked much more like her old self, travelling powerfully into the straight along the rails.
The field were spread right across the track but once Jarnet alerted the filly as the gap came Treve showed her stunning acceleration to seal a fantastic victory.
Andre Fabre’s Flintshire was the best of the rest in second, ahead of Oaks and King George heroine Taghrooda and St Leger winner Kingston Hill.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal. To do it twice in the same fashion is absolutely fantastic. She is great filly who will be retired to stud,” Al Shaqab Racing Consultant Harry Herbert told Gulf Times.
“I am very happy for HE Sheikh Joaan who deserves this victory. He has come in a big way and this results is the rightful award for him,” Herbert said.
“And for Qatar, she carries the flag of a nation with her. It was a remarkable performance, a brilliant ride and we don’t see horses like this very often. She has nothing more to prove. Treve proved to a few doubters that she is back and as brilliant as ever.
“I think now it’s off to the Sheikh Joaan’s stud farm in Normandy. 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.”
Trainer Criquette Head-Maarek was ecstatic after the victory of Treve.
He said: “When I saw her going into the false straight, I said ‘we’re going to win’. She’s was going so easily. We had a fantastic race. We were along the rail and everything was open in front of her. She’s got that fantastic turn of foot and that’s what she’s shown again.
“When you bring your horse to the racecourse it’s because you think you’re going to win, but with all the problems that we’ve had, everyone was saying she shouldn’t run, she should go to stud, she’s cooked. But today she proved she’s come back to her best.
“For me, she’s a very special horse and Sheikh Joaan was so nice with me because he could have lost faith. After the Vermeille I told him, ‘please don’t rule her out’. She proved her mettle on the world’s biggest stage. She is a dream for a trainer.”
French jockey Thierry Jarnet celebrating after winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe horse race at the Longchamp racetrack in Paris. The horse he rode, Treve, owned by HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, came home ahead of Flintshire while English filly Taghrooda was third.
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