No horse has ever won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2.55pm) more than twice in the race’s 95-year history, but wonder-mare TREVE looks impossible to oppose in her hat-trick bid on Sunday.
The daughter of Motivator became the first since Tantieme (1951) to land back-to-back runnings 12 months ago and can be backed at 11/10 with Betway to rewrite the record books.
She has been at her brilliant best so far this campaign, barely breaking into a sweat in all three starts to date.
Undoubtedly, her most taking performance was when demolishing her rivals by six lengths in the Prix Vermeille on very soft ground last month.
The way she travelled and quickened demonstrated that the five-year-old may now be in the form of her life.
If there was one slight concern, it would be the drying ground at Longchamp, as her worst performance came at Ascot on fast ground 16 months ago.
However, she wasn’t right that day and it was good ground when she recorded a facile victory here last year.
Those looking to oppose her will be putting their faith in the quality of this year’s three-year-old crop, headed by Golden Horn and New Bay.
The former has only tasted defeat once in his six-race career, that includes a win in the Investec Derby and two others at Group One level.
That reverse came on an unsuitably soft surface and, with Paris bathed in glorious sunshine all week, connections have been persuaded to take up the challenge.
As for New Bay, his only defeat came in the French 2000 Guineas over an inadequate mile and he has been impressive since being stepped up to 10 furlongs plus.
Like Treve, however, he is another who wouldn’t want the ground to ride any quicker than good.
New Bay is trained by Andre Fabre and he also saddles last season’s runner-up FLINTSHIRE who looks the value alternative to the favourite.
The son of Dansili put in the most impressive performance of his life in Saratoga’s G1 Sword Dancer last time, where he quickened away for a comfortable victory.
He looks worth supporting each-way at around 12/1 in the market without Treve.
Elsewhere on Longchamp’s glittering Sunday card, the ground may be drying out too fast for Nunthorpe hero Mecca’s Angel in the Prix de l’Abbaye (3.40pm).
She still heads the betting at around 3/1, but there may be better value in siding with
GOLDREAM and TAKE COVER, both at 16/1.
Their aggressive trailblazing tactics are perfect for Longchamp and they will take some catching.
Aidan O’Brien won last year’s Marcel Boussac (1.00pm) with Found and he can land this year’s renewal with
BALLYDOYLE who will relish the drying ground.
Finally, don’t miss out on BATHYRON at 7/1 in the Prix du Cadran (5.20pm) over the marathon two and a half mile trip. He was second 12 months ago and looks poised to go one better this time.