The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris is the richest horse in Europe and the 2015 renewal at the weekend was eagerly anticipated with French trained mare Treve attempting to become the first ever triple winner of the prestigious race. Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn and Prix du Jockey Club victor New Bay were among other challengers in the 1 mile 4 furlong contest but the prevailing drying conditions were not considered ideal for Treve as she hoped to create racing history.
Treve had won the 2014 Arc by a comfortable two length margin from Flintshire and claimed victory in the Prix Vermeille three weeks previously when producing a devastating burst of acceleration in good to soft conditions to suggest that she would be difficult to beat in a race lacking a strong Japanese challenge for the first time in several years.
English trainer John Gosden was hopeful that Golden Horn had returned to his best form after a below par performance in the York International Stakes when beaten by Arabian Queen and only just succeeding in returning to winning ways by claiming victory in Irish Champion Stakes. Free Eagle had been considered an unlucky loser in that race after being hampered by the Derby winner.
Yet Golden Horn had not raced over the ‘Arc’ Distance since winning the English Derby and there were signs that the colt was more content racing at the front of proceedings rather than being held for a late challenge. The drying ground was also considered a bonus as the horses prepared for the race at Longchamp racecourse.
Jockey Frankie Dettori decided on a bold approach to the race as the horses left the starting stalls with Golden Horn occupying second position during the early stages with Treve much further back among the chasers. As the contestants rounded the final turn, there had been little change in the order of the horses, but Dettori then decided to make his move for the finishing line.
With Golden Horn displaying a mix of speed and stamina, no other horses were able offer a meaningful challenge as the colt displayed his superiority over the distance. Flintshire once again finished second with New Bay occupying third position but with suggestions that his best form may be reserved for the 1m 2f distance. Treve could only finish fourth and may have used too much speed around the final turn while it appeared that a lack of stamina may have accounted for Free Eagle’s fifth position when appearing set to mount a serious challenge near to the finish.
It may not have been the outcome so desired by many of the racegoers in attendance but Treve was still applauded as she returned to be unsaddled in what appears to be her last race, but nobody should deny Golden Horn his moment of glory as he silenced several doubters with a commanding display on Sunday.