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Diverse opinions expressed as Arc approaches

02/10/2015

With so much at stake it is no surprise that Sunday's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2400m) is encouraging diverse and sometimes controversial opinions from those close to the main players in what looks like an epic version of Europe's most valuable horserace.

Anthony Oppenheimer, breeder and owner of Golden Horn, has announced in the past few days that if the ground is fast his champion three-year-old colt would 'easily' beat Treve, the hot favourite and brilliant five-year-old mare who attempts to become the first ever horse to win this ultimate European championship event for a third time.

aris Oppenheimer's opinion will be tested to the full on Sunday, but needless to say not everyone shares the same view, including 48-year-old four-times French champion jockey Thierry Jarnet, who has ridden Treve to her two previous Arc victories. In fact he questions Golden Horn's own credentials.

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observes: "I wouldn't be sure about that opinion and watching his last race - the G1 Irish Champion Stakes (2000m) - I wasn't convinced by him. Golden Horn has run a lot this year and we will have to see if the Arc is one race too many."

="font-family:'�s�ө���','serif'"> is of course referring to that fact that whilst Treve has raced just three times in 2015,  Golden Horn has competed six times and usually in hard fought top class contests including at Leopardstown last month.

','serif'"> the mare's trainer Criquette Head-Maarek unsurprisingly throws her weight behind the pro-Treve camp: "I feel Treve is better than ever this year. Her acceleration is yet again unbelievable and when she is behind a horse and you pull her out she just wants to goes past. That is her way and I believe she has a wonderful winning chance on Sunday."

wners have shelved out a massive 120,000 euros for Shahah to join the field as a pacemaker to help ensure a regular pace so that in Head-Maarek's words "whatever happens there won't be an excuse."

Horn's trainer John Gosden is enjoying an unbelievably good year in Britain and whilst he massively respects Treve he sounds almost as fearful of New Bay, trained by seven-times Arc winning trainer Andre Fabre.

does not seem to be jesting when he describes Fabre as "the best trainer in the world,"  and whilst the quietly-spoken Frenchman has none of the eloquence of Gosden, his few words must be listened to when he insists that French Derby winner New Bay has progressed 'significantly' for his prep performance, easily winning the G2 Prix Niel (2400m) last month.

nd although he also fields the very accomplished five-year-old and G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) winner Flintshire, along with smart four-year-old Manatee, it is with three-year-olds that France's greatest-ever trainer has excelled. That is another reason why New Bay and jockey Vincent Cheminaud will, despite Treve's presence, be much respected in Paris on Sunday.

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