Arc heroine Treve suffers first defeat

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Arc de Triomphe champion Treve suffered the first defeat of her career on Sunday as she could only finish second to the remarkable Cirrus des Aigles in the Group One Prix Ganay at Longchamp racecourse.

Treve looked to be heading for her sixth win in six starts under Frankie Dettori — who missed the ride in the Arc last October because he broke his ankle days before the race — until Christophe Soumillon brought Cirrus des Aigles with a late burst on the rails.

The winner — trained by Corinne Barbe — was recording his 19th win in his 56th start and took his prizemoney earnings to just under 6.5million euros.

Treve’s trainer Criquette Head-Maarek was not too downcast by the defeat.

“Maybe there was too much rain, it was sticky out there and we had too much ground to make up,” said the 65-year-old.

“It was a very good run but the only thing I will say is that my pacemaker (Belle De Crecy) went too fast.

“The winner had had two races already and the fitness was there.

“If she comes out of it well, in principle we will be going to Royal Ascot. We might have lost a battle, but we haven’t lost a war.”

“In the rematch, I’m sure we can get it back. Horses are not unbeatable, that is for certain.”

Both Cirrus des Aigles and Treve are slated to meet next in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June although Barbe suggested her stable star could well reappear before that in the Coronation Cup at Epsom on June 7.

“I’m very proud of what he did today – he never was better,” said Barbe.

“I thought the strong pace helped us and it was obviously one of his finest moments.”