Ace Criquette comes down for Waldgeist
CRIQUETTE HeadMaarek is better placed than most to pass judgement on this year’s Arc at Longchamp.
Her father, Alec, won the great race four times, as did brother Freddy in the saddle. She herself managed three victories – once with Three Troikas in 1979 and then back-toback with the magnificent Treve in 2013 and 2014.
Many of the family’s successes came with fillies, and with Enable and Sea Of Class dominating the betting, the odds suggest the female division will hold sway once more this weekend.
Head-Maarek says: “It looks a fascinating clash between the fillies, but I would never discount Monsieur (Andre) Fabre.
“The fillies, especially the three-year-olds, are at an advantage because of the weight they receive, but they are also maturing by this stage of the season.
“It has not been easy for Enable this year with her injury, just like it wasn’t for us with Treve when she won it the second time.
“Even though the threeyear-olds get the weight, the extra experience the four-year-olds have counts for a lot.
“Treve was just an incredible racehorse. I’ve been lucky to have trained some top-class fillies in all my years, but nothing like her – she had that turn of foot, over any distance.
“The Arc is always a dif- ficult race to win, even when people say it doesn’t look strong.”
Head-Maarek raises a concern about Enable having had only the one run this season, and that came on the all-weather at Kempton – although she did dispose of a topclass rival in Crystal Ocean with ease.
“Enable was impressive when she won the other day, it’s unusual to see an Arc horse win her prep race on Polytrack, but there is a question mark, her second race after a long time off, you just don’t know.
“Fabre’s horse who won the Prix Foy, Waldgeist – he is a big danger, he’s a very nice horse. He’s the one, I think.
“It’s a very open race, I’m not sure there should be an even-money favourite. Sea Of Class has been impressive, but I’m not sure who she’s beaten.”