Criquette Head-Maarek confirms Arc winner Treve will defend her crown
A trip to Hong Kong later this year is still under consideration, although far from certain
Sheikh Joaan Al Thani (left) owner of Treve and trainer Criquette Head-Maarek (right) after winning the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Criquette Head-Maarek has confirmed her incredible Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve will stay in training as a four-year-old to defend her Longchamp crown.
Hugely impressive in the Prix de Diane and the Prix Vermeille, the Motivator filly completed the Group One hat-trick with a truly stunning display against the colts in Europe’s premier middle-distance prize.
A trip to Hong Kong later this year is still under consideration, although far from certain, and Head-Maarek is already dreaming of back-to-back Arc victories in 12 months’ time.
“I am with her in the paddock now and she looks beautiful. She ate up everything last night and hasn’t lost any weight. She is just an amazing filly,” said the trainer.
“She won the race very easily. They pushed her to the outside but when she came there in the false straight, I knew she was going to win.
“I know Thierry Jarnet’s riding very well, I could see he had a lot of horse underneath him and when he let her go, they were never going to catch her.
“It’s her turn of foot that is so unbelievable. When you look at the times, she ran the last 400 metres faster than the winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye and the Foret, which is incredible after a long-distance race like the Arc.
“She will stay in training next season and I don’t think we will run her again this year.
“If she does have one more run, it will be in Hong Kong as the Breeders’ Cup is too close and the ground in Japan is always very hard.
“Sheikh Joaan (Al Thani, owner) bought her to win the Arc and she did it and now we have to try to win it again next year.
Treve is the latest in a long line of top-class horses trained by Head-Maarek, who was already the only woman to have trained the winner of the Arc thanks to another filly, Three Troikas, back in 1979.
The Chantilly handler is not keen on comparing horses from different eras, but admits Treve has to be ranked high in the list of thoroughbreds to pass through her hands.
“It is hard to compare as it is a different year, but she has to be one of the best fillies I have trained,” said Head-Maarek.
War Command heads a total of eight Aidan O’Brien possibles left in this weekend’s Darley Dewhurst Stakes at the confirmation stage.
Beaten just once in four starts, the son of War Front was a runaway winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and returned to winning ways in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh having been third in the Phoenix Stakes.
Like War Command, unbeaten stablemate Great White Eagle also holds an entry in the Vision.ae Middle Park Stakes on the same Newmarket card.
Other O’Brien possibles include Craftsman, Friendship, Giovanni Boldini, Michaelmas, Oklahoma City and Wilshire Boulevard.