09/30/2015 1:31PM

Treve aims for unprecedented third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe win


No horse has won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three times, and in fact, no horse even has tried – not until Sunday, when Treve can etch even more deeply her place in racing history if she wins her third Arc.

Treve was among 17 horses left in the Arc field after the latest round of declarations Wednesday for Sunday’s historic 1 1/2-mile fixture at Longchamp. Further declarations come Thursday, when supplemental entries also are taken, and with the going at Longchamp trending from soft toward good, English Derby winner Golden Horn will be supplemented. Final declarations are Friday, when post positions are drawn for Sunday’s card, which includes five Group 1 races supporting the main event.

And the main event should be epic. As a budding 3-year-old filly getting an 11-pound weight break from older males in the race – like runner-up Orfevre – Treve won her first Arc two years ago by a startling five lengths. Struggling through foot and back problems in 2014, she lost her first three starts before stepping forward with a second Arc win, this time scoring by two lengths over Flintshire.

But everything has gone right for Treve in 2015; she’s won all three of her starts, and her preparatory Arc run in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille yielded a six-length, geared-down victory that left most who saw it wondering how anyone could possibly deny Treve a third Arc.

Golden Horn’s owner, Anthony Oppenheimer, is one of the few skeptics, saying this week that he believes Golden Horn would defeat Treve on firm ground. The turf at Longchamp was called “good-to-soft” midweek, but with mainly sunny weather and a steady breeze forecast, the Arc card seems likely to be contested over good going.

The John Gosden-trained Golden Horn lost his unbeaten record when Arabian Queen shockingly defeated him in the Juddmonte International, but he bounced back to win the Irish Champion last out, though only after ducking away from a grandstand shadow in deep stretch and impeding the rallying Free Eagle, also a likely Arc starter.

Gosden also trains Jack Hobbs, who remained among the Wednesday declarations, but Gosden has said all along that Jack Hobbs only runs if the ground is too soft for Golden Horn.

New Bay, trained by seven-time Arc winner Andre Fabre, is considered a serious threat to Treve. His campaign has been geared around Sunday’s start since he won the May 31 French Derby

Found, who finished second in the Irish Champion, also merits consideration as a talented 3-year-old filly who carries only 120 pounds. Older males tote 131 pounds, older females like Treve carry 128, and 3-year-old colts, 123. Treve would become only the second 5-year-old since 1998 to triumph in the Arc, though few horses of her talent have been kept in training so late in their careers.