PARIS (AP) Golden Horn pulled away down the stretch to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday as Treve was denied a historic treble at Europe’s richest turf race.
Jockey Frankie Dettori overcame an outside draw to post his fourth victory at Longchamp as Golden Horn finished ahead of Flintshire, who was runner-up for the second straight year. New Bay finished third.
Pre-race favorite Treve, who last year became the first horse since Alleged in 1977-78 to earn back-to-back wins in the Prix de l’Arc, came fourth.
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”There is no disgrace in being beaten by Golden Horn. He was the Derby winner and there are no excuses,” said Treve trainer Criquette Head-Maarek.
Golden Horn, the Epsom Derby winner trained by John Gosden, stayed wide early in the race then tracked the pacemaking Shahah as he put himself in ideal position heading into the final stretch. Golden Horn then resisted Treve’s trademark acceleration.
”I felt fantastic, it’s possibly the best horse I’ve ridden,” said Dettori, who had been set to ride Treve last year but was replaced late by Thierry Jarnet at the request of Head-Maarek.
Dettori was also expected to ride Treve in the 2013 Prix de l’Arc but a broken ankle ruled him out that year.
Despite Treve being the overwhelming favorite, Dettori said he never doubted his chances on the 2,400-meter Longchamp racecourse.
"I’ve been scratching my head all week. Everyone was determined to make me sit behind and I said `Why? We’ve got the best horse. Let me get him up there and show the world how good he is,” Dettori said.
Golden Horn will be retired next season but there is a chance he might race again this year.
”The owner is quite keen on the Breeders’ Cup. It gives us one day short of a month, he’s got a great constitution and he travels well,” Gosden said after claiming his first victory at 5-million euro ($6.3 million) race.
The race was the last in Longchamp before a two-year refurbishment of the racecourse gets underway, with next year’s Grand Prix de l’Arc being held in Chantilly.