Ace Cri­quette comes down for Waldgeist

The Racing Paper - - News -

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.”

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