Sunday is Arc trial’s day at Longchamp and the Andre Fabre-trained French Derby winner New Bay lost no time in laying down his claims for Europe’s richest race on the first Sunday in October with an impressive victory in the Qatar Prix Niel over the Arc trip, a victory which resulted in the son of Dubawi being quoted as low as 7-2 with Betvictor to give his handler an amazing eighth success in the great race.
As jockey Vincent Cheminaud guided the colt home to record a comfortable two and a half length victory over Silverwave and Migwar connections could have been forgiven for thinking that in New Bay they had a tremendous chance of following up the win of Rail Link in 2006 but that confidence would have lasted little more than half an hour before dual Arc winner Treve posted possibly the most impressive Arc trial Longchamp is ever likely to witness.
Sent off a warm 2-5 favourite the daughter of Motivator was settled in mid-division early on but after taking a fierce hold pulled herself into contention entering the false straight, although any fears that the mare may have done too much as she continued to run away with Thierry Jarnet were soon dispelled as the five-year-old showed a blistering turn of foot to storm clear of her rivals without being asked a serious question.
A visibly stunned Criquette Head-Maarek was momentarily lost for words after the stunning performance, but quickly regained her composure to say: “ I really don’t know what to say, but I would like to thank my team, who have done such an amazing job with her. “ Equally impressed was Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, who said: ” It’s amazing the way she looks, and how much bigger she is this year. Then she puts in a special performance like that, when she was absolutely cantering over them. It’s unbelievable the way she travels.”
Not surprisingly bookmakers were running for cover following the supermare’s four and a half length demolition job in the Group 1 contest, with the even money on offer with Betfair Sportsbook for the horse to claim a record third Arc, the best available. Chief market rival New Bay is a top price 6-1 with Boylesports, a point less than the 7-1 generally on offer about the John Gosden-trained pair of Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs.