Prix de l'Arc hopes for 'on form' Treve start to rise
Connections of Treve were pleased to see some rain fall in Paris yesterday ahead of her bid to retain her Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe crown at Longchamp on Sunday.
The Criquette Head-Maarek-trained filly was an impressive winner of Europe's premier middle-distance prize last October, but has had her fair share of problems since then and has yet to hit the heights in any of her three starts this year.
However, she is reported to have done everything right since her latest run in the Prix Vermeille, when she was fourth to Baltic Baroness.
"Treve is in good form. They had rain in Paris today, so the more of that the better as far as making it good or on the easier side of good, which would suit her best," said Harry Herbert, manager to owners Al Shaqab Racing.
"They have had a little bit of rain and it all helps, but Criquette reports her to be very well and fingers crossed we're nearly there. There's no way I've lost faith in her."
Coolmore are considering supplementing their €6m filly Chicquita for the Longchamp feature which would mean a two-pronged assault on the race as Aidan O'Brien already has Ruler Of The World in the line-up.
Following the near-misses of Orfevre last year and in 2012, the Japan invasion looks even stronger this time with three horses from the 'land of the rising sun' entered: Just A Way, Harp Star and Gold Ship.
Harp Star, the filly among this year's trio, is not an Oaks winner but she won the Japanese Guineas and was beaten a neck in their Oaks. Like Epsom Oaks winner Taghrooda, she gets the weight allowances for a three-year-old of her sex. Fast ground would suit her ideally.
Dubai Duty Free winner Just A Way comes into the race as the top-rated horse (130) in the world but the five-year-old may be suspect over a mile and a half. He has never won over the trip, indeed he finished fifth of 11 and 11th of 18 on his only two starts over further than a mile and a quarter.
Gold Ship is something of a mixed bag. Stamina is not a problem and he is probably the least ground-dependent of the three, but just as he can run a brilliant race, he can equally run a stinker - as he did in last year's Japan Cup.
On the evidence of his prep race in Japan, when he was three parts of a length second to Harp Star, there is not much between them and William Hill had all three trading at 9/1 yesterday. Up to 5,000 Japanese race fans are expected. (© Daily Telegraph, London)