Treve primed for Ascot test
Frankie Dettori believes Treve is worthy favourite as she prepares to make her British debut in Wednesday's Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Injury saw Dettori miss the ride on the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained filly when she won last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, but he was back aboard for the four-year-old's seasonal bow at Longchamp in April.
While Treve had to settle for second behind Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay that day, Dettori felt the filly had valid excuses for her eclipse.
He said: "She won the Prix de Diane on firm ground (last year) and beat the track record by two seconds - the ground is not an issue. Group Ones are never easy to win, but she's a good horse and I can't wait to ride her.
"The ground was very heavy in the Ganay, it swung it his (Cirrus Des Aigles') way unfortunately. It was her first race of the season, he'd had a race and perhaps he was more fit than me.
"Criquette is very pleased with her and she's had a lot of time to recover.
"She hasn't been away from home, so that's another question, but she's the one to beat."
Head-Maarek feels her filly is versatile regarding the trip, which is two furlongs shorter than the Arc.
"It is difficult to say if this mile and a quarter is her best trip as she has showed a tremendous turn of speed over a mile and a half, won over a mile and broke the track record in last year's Prix de Diane (over an extended mile and a quarter)," she said.
"If she is relaxed and there is another horse to carry her for a long way in the race, I hope that she can then use her turn of foot.
"When she ran in the Arc there were a lot of people, so I don't think the atmosphere will bother her.
"I would love to have another Royal Ascot winner (Gold Splash in the 1993 Coronation Stakes was her only previous triumph there) especially with Treve because her sire, Motivator, stands at our family farm (Haras du Quesnay in Normandy).
"It is always a fantastic day whenever you win a race at Ascot."
Harry Herbert is racing manager for Treve's owner, Al Shaqab Racing, and is expecting Dettori to produce the filly late on the scene to use her devastating turn of foot.
"She's an amazing filly. I spoke to Criquette yesterday and she said Treve has been in wonderful form. She travelled yesterday and arrived this morning," said Herbert.
"She'll probably stretch her legs tomorrow morning and we're really looking forward to it.
"Frankie was very disappointed when she was beaten in the Ganay, but he's been looking forward to this hugely ever since - this has been the plan for a long time.
"I imagine he'll be patient on her and I expect to see her arrive late on the scene to use her exceptional turn of foot. She's been working extremely well."
Another top-class mare in the race is John Gosden's The Fugue, who finished third in the race last year on her seasonal reappearance.
This will also be her starting point in Europe this year, although she did have a disappointing run in Dubai back in March.
"We've started her off here. We were going to go to Ireland (for the Pretty Polly in 11 days) but that would have involved a lot of travelling, she'd have gone by ferry and once we'd got there it may have rained and then we'd have had to pull her out so it would have been a wasted journey," said Gosden.
"She's better off starting in this, and she'll get her ground.
"She didn't enjoy winter training ahead of Dubai and the race didn't work out, she was struck into and it was a bit of a mess."
Aidan O'Br ien is represented by Breeders' Cup winner Magician, who showed his versatility as three-year-old by winning the Irish Guineas and then excelling over an extra half a mile in America.
Magician was beaten by Noble Mission in the Tattersalls Gold Cup but Joseph O'Brien believes the soft ground was all against him that day.
"I know he won his maiden on bad ground, but he's a horse we always felt wanted fast ground. His two best runs, the Irish Guineas and at the Breeders' Cup, have been on nearly firm ground so hopefully getting him back on quick ground will help," he said.
"A mile and a quarter should suit him well. You'd like to think you can put a line through his last run in that ground, I didn't kill him and he didn't have too hard a race.
"He seems to have come out of it well and hopefully he can run a big race. Treve was beaten first time and had quite a hard race, but she looks an unbelievable filly, one of the best horses in the world, so she has to be taken very seriously."
Mukhadram was caught close home by Al Kazeem 12 months ago but this year he will be adopting different tactics as Elkaayed, also owned by Sheikh Hamdan, is running as his pacemaker.
William Haggas' stable star was last seen finishing second to African Story in the Dubai World Cup.
"He's in really good shape," said Haggas.
"He worked at Newmarket recently and went really well and I hope he runs a good race.
"I think he's in better shape now than he was last year. One thing he will do his give his all, he tries all day.
"He has a pacemaker this year which will help. He's running at Paul's (Hanagan) request which is good. I'm really looking forward to it."