Treve back on the Arc trail with smooth success


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The Independent Online

The dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve showed all her ability remains intact with a smooth win on her seasonal reappearance on Friday. 

Criquette Head-Maarek’s five-year-old displayed her trademark acceleration under Thierry Jarnet when asked to dispose of her rivals in the Prix Corrida, scoring by four lengths from the Prix de l’Opera winner We Are.

Although this was Treve’s first start outside Group One company for nearly two years, the manner of her victory was in stark contrast to her tribulations last season, when a worsening series of performances was dispelled only when she returned to her imperious best on Arc day.

Treve was then briefly retired before an almost immediate rethink by her owner, Sheikh Joaan, with the aim of winning an unprecedented third Arc.

Head-Maarek was more than satisfied with this first step towards Longchamp on the first Sunday in October, saying: “I am delighted. I have to be, she’s done everything I thought she would, and she will improve a lot from the run because she spent three months on the farm during the winter and hadn’t run since last October.

“Thierry said she was very relaxed throughout the race and I could tell from the look on his face when he came back in that he is as thrilled as I am,” the trainer added, confirming the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on 28 June would be next.

For the second consecutive Saturday sprinters at Haydock dominate the domestic action, with Henry Candy’s Limato due to defend his unbeaten record in the Group Two Sandy Lane Stakes.

“He’s very relaxed this year,” Candy said. “I worked him a couple of times last week in behind the lead horse and he needed shaking up to get there and then he goes and does it OK.”

But softening ground, which has led to the defection of Godolphin’s Pretend from Haydock’s Listed sprint, would hinder Limato and give Mattmu, a head second in the Duke Of York Stakes against his elders, a big chance of reversing last autumn’s Redcar form with the favourite.