/ Racing

Treve makes seasonal return in Prix Ganay at Longchamp

Updated: Saturday, 26 Apr 2014 15:45 | Comments

Frankie Dettori missed the the ride on Treve in the Arc with a broken ankle
Frankie Dettori missed the the ride on Treve in the Arc with a broken ankle

Treve makes her first appearance of the year amid huge anticipation in Sunday's Prix Ganay at Longchamp.

It was last October, at the same course, that the unbeaten filly truly came of age with a staggering victory in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and she shared the top world ranking in 2013 with Black Caviar.

Trainer Criquette Head-Maarek has entered Treve for the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, but first Frankie Dettori's mount must get past the considerable obstacle of Cirrus Des Aigles.

"It's a big day," said Harry Herbert, advisor to owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani's Al Shaqab Racing.

"I've spoken to Criquette this week and she's really happy with her. She did a serious piece of work with Frankie 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."

Trainer Corine Barande-Barbe has never been afraid of running Cirrus Des Aigles against champions.

Now eight, the popular gelding already has the 2012 Ganay on his impressive record along with the Champion Stakes, Sheema Classic and a vast array of other Group races.

The veteran was most recently a fine second to Gentildonna back in the Sheema Classic.

"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," said Barbe.

"After Sunday, we'll see where we go. He might go for the Coronation Cup on 7 June, but there are other races like the Prix d'Ispahan, the Prince Of Wales's Stakes - although Treve might go there - and the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud."

Another of France's top female trainers, Myriam Bollack-Badel, is also represented.

Her Norse King had a small problem after pulling off a shoe prior to the Prix d'Harcourt, where he stayed on to finish a length and a half behind the reopposing Smoking Sun.

He had warmed up with an impressive win in the first European Group race of the season, the Prix Exbury.

David Bowe, racing manager for owner Jeff Smith, said: "He wasn't 100% at the time, so under the circumstances were delighted with the run. If that hadn't been the case, we might have been able to push on a little earlier.

"We're going to take our chance. It's the acid test for him, a proper test for him, and we'll know where we are after this."

Ed Dunlop sends Joshua Tree to France as the seven-year-old tries to make amends for a disappointing run in Dubai last month, although the trainer admits he is likely to be playing for minor honours.

"I believe it's been raining a lot at Longchamp, which won't do him any harm," he said.

"It's Cirrus Des Aigles versus Treve and the rest of us are in there to see what we can do.

"There aren't a lot of opportunities for our horse with his Group One penalty. It's not easy to find him a slot.

"The two-mile race in Dubai (Dubai Gold Cup) was a bit of a farce, but he's been fine since and we'll see how he goes this weekend.

"If we can pick up some place money we'll be delighted and anything after that would be a nice surprise."

Treve's stablemate Belle De Crecy and the Andre Fabre-trained pair of Triple Threat and Baltic Baroness complete the eight-strong field.

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