In front of an international crowd gathered at Longchamp racecourse in Paris, French trained Treve was a comfortable winner of Sunday’s Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, the richest horse race in Europe. The three year old filly stretched clear of the Japanese colt Orfevre who was runner-up for the second successive season with another French horse Intello claiming third prize.
For Criquette Head-Maarek, the winning trainer, it was another triumph in the race after her victory with Three Troikas 34 years previously, and she declared afterwards that Treve horse was perhaps the best ever of all her horses. This was a very strong ‘Arc’ field and she dismissed her rivals with ease at the finish. The filly remains unbeaten and will be racing next season in an attempt to claim an ‘Arc’ double and nobody who witnessed her impressive victory would deny that she will be the horse to beat given an injury free campaign.
The day will also be remembered for a demonstration of pure class and speed by Moonlight Cloud in the Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs. After being restrained at the back of the field for most of the race, ‘Arc’ winning jockey Thierry Jarnet conjured a burst of acceleration from the mare which ended the race as a contest within a matter of strides. Those spectators still remaining on the course registered their approval with a warm ovation as she passed the stands in her victory canter.
Among the spectators thronging the racecourse during the day was a large contingent of both British and Japanese racegoers. The Japanese in particular were very evident in both their visual and vocal support for their two horses involved in the ‘Arc’, a race they have yet to win despite many admirable attempts. They have now been second in three successive seasons and their warm appreciation of both their home bred thoroughbreds and of their rival horses warrants a deserved victory in this race in the near future.
‘Arc’ day on the first Sunday in October is now becoming a true family occasion with an international audience prevalent in a relaxed atmosphere. For just a 10 euro entry fee for most customers, facilities are very impressive and the vast British crowd is catered for by frequent translations in the commentary and bilingual staff are available at the bars, restaurants and betting kiosks.
There is also a full day’s programme of high quality racing on the Saturday with admission prices lower than for Sunday and the racecourse officials are rewarded with another sizeable attendance.