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French star Treve will jump from barrier eight for her pursuit of an historic third victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

The Criquette Head-Maarek-trained five-year-old came from 15 to win in 2013 and from three to defend her crown 12 months ago.

With a retirement decision reversed, she has enjoyed the perfect season so far, winning each of her three starts to ensure she will be a warm favourite to become the first ever three-time Arc winner on Sunday.

Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, believes the fact she is drawn near the middle of the 18-horse field can only be a good thing.

“It looks pretty much spot-on. If you asked Criquette, I know she would say she wouldn’t mind where she was drawn, but I think you’d prefer down the middle, so eight looks pretty good,” Herbert said.

“The pacemaker (Shahah, stall two) is not there to go a crazy pace – she’s there to ensure a good, even pace.

“There’s a phenomenal build-up to the Arc and the promotion of the race in Paris is huge.

“It is seriously exciting and the nerves are holding up at the moment.”

Widely regarded as Treve’s biggest threat from her own country is the Andre Fabre-trained French Derby winner New Bay.

Also impressive in his Arc trial in the Prix Niel, the three-year-old appears similarly well positioned in stall five.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah is under no illusions about the task facing New Bay but is relishing the prospect rather than fearing it.

“I think we go there with excitement,” he said.

“A lot of people expect Treve to win and why wouldn’t they? Her CV is pretty unimpeachable, and her trainer’s for that matter, in this race.

“We’ve got more to prove than Treve has, no question about that, but the way we’ve come into the race we’re very pleased with everything.”

 
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