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, Sarafina, Frankel, 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.