Twelve months ago in this race, Criquette Head-Maarek’s filly looked unbeatable when winning for the only time in her career under Frankie Dettori, who was injured for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and allowed Jarnet to return to the plate and guide her to that memorable success.
Dettori is the retained rider for Al Shaqab Racing, and the pair were narrowly beaten by Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay before her third-placed finish in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Excuses emerged, but at the start of this week it was announced that Head-Maarek had asked for Jarnet (pictured) to have the ride, as he does much of the work on her at home.
Harry Herbert, the owners’ racing advisor, said: “I’m a huge Treve fan. You only have to look at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes when she was running on three legs. That is not an excuse, she was very wrong.
“She was very sore in her back and did not run her race. That is how brilliant she is, she was only beaten a couple of lengths that day.
“But she looks amazing now. She is physically blossoming and, like a lot of fillies, this is the time of year when they start to blossom and she is coming to the fore.
“Criquette has warned everyone that the Vermeille is not the Arc, so she may be slightly short of fitness on Sunday. Whatever she does, she will come on for that run.
“She’s in very good shape. She is a very brilliant filly. I have no doubt she has trained on and can be a serious contender in the Arc.”
The key three-year-old Arc trial, the Prix Niel, sees Andre Fabre’s surprise Grand Prix de Paris winner Gallante up against recent Al Shaqab purchase Ectot and Aidan O’Brien’s Adelaide
And in the Prix Foy, for older horses, Fabre’s Flintshire is joined by O’Brien and Al Shaqab’s 2013 Derby winner Ruler Of The World (Dettori) plus Pascal Bary’s Spiritjim, who was disqualified after being first past the post in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud due to a positive drugs test.