More than six months since her stunning victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), brilliant filly Treve
is set to make her highly anticipated 2014 debut April 27 in the Prix Ganay (Fr-I) at Longchamp.
Seven other horses are entered for the 2,100-meter (about 1 5/16-mile) test, including formidable French runner Cirrus des Aigles
, winner of the 2012 edition of the race and most recently second to Gentildonna
in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) March 29 at Meydan.
Trained by Criquette Head-Maarek, Treve is unbeaten in five career starts for Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al-Thani's Al Shaqab Racing. She will try to retain that perfect record after capping her 3-year-old season thrashing males in the Arc in a dazzling display of superiority.
Treve ran most of Arc on the outside and seemed hardly in contention halfway through while stuck 14th in the 17-horse field. She made her move with about 2 1/2 furlongs to go, taking the lead and powering past pacesetter Joshua Tree
and the others five lengths clear of Japanese star Orfevre
in a breathtaking victory.
"I've spoken to Criquette this week and she's really happy with her," Harry Herbert, Sheikh Joaan's racing adviser, told At The Races. "She did a serious piece of work with (jockey) Frankie (Dettori) a couple of weeks ago. She seems much more relaxed now and Frankie's very excited. Cirrus des Aigles is a tough old horse, so it won't be easy, but the vibes about Treve are good and she's in really good form."
Treve's stablemate Belle de Crecy
, runner-up in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes (Eng-I) Oct. 19 at Ascot, also is entered.
Cirrus des Aigles, an 8-year-old gelding, bids for a 15th stakes win for trainer Corine Barande-Barbe, who was undaunted at the prospect of taking on last year's European Horse of the Year.
"It's a big challenge, but Treve is running for the first time this year, and anyway, Cirrus has run against Goldikova
, and Farhh
and he's still here," she told At The Races
Joshua Tree, three-time winner of the Pattison Canadian International (Can-I), is in search of his first victory in three starts since capturing the 2013 edition of the Woodbine fixture Oct. 27 for trainer Ed Dunlop. In his most recent outing, the 7-year-old son of Montjeu was a well-beaten 11th in the 3,200-meter (about two-mile) Dubai Gold Cup (UAE-II) March 29 at Meydan.
Rounding out the field, the Niarchos family's Smoking Sun defeated Prix Ganay entrants Norse King, Triple Threat, and Baltic Baroness in the Prix d'Harcourt (Fr-II) April 6 at Longchamp.