He may have been put in his place by Golden Horn at Epsom, but Jack Hobbs made right those wrongs in decisive fashion by slamming his Irish Derby foes and staking his claims for the Arc in October.
John Gosden’s horse was sent off the 10/11 favourite at the Curragh on Saturday evening, and won as he should have done at that price.
Storm the Stars, who had chased him home in the Derby three weeks ago was again the best of the rest, this time trailing in 5l back.
A trip to Paris for a shot at the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe now looks the plan for the Godolphin-owned colt, with Ladbrokes installing him as a 10/1 shot.
With the last five UK and Irish trained three-year-old winners of the Longchamp contest having previously won a Derby of some sort, he looks in good place to step it up in France.
However that statement also boasts true for his Downs conqueror and stable-mate Golden Horn.
A 4/1 shot for the October 4 race, the Eclipse looks on the cards next, though a rematch to confirm the earlier placings could well be on the cards.
While two British-trained horses staked their claims for a new winner of the race, an old hand at cracking the Arc nut was out to prove her worth again at Saint Cloud.
Treve, a stupendous back-to-back winner of one of the biggest races in Europe, continued her 2015 preparations in fine style on Sunday.
Taking on two of her rivals from last year, and likely opponents once again in Flintshire and Dolniya, Criquette Head’s mare showed her sparkle was still there, and then some.
As the pacemakers in the Grand Prix De Saint Cloud faded away, having ably performed their duties it was down to the aforementioned Flintshire to lead them up the home straight.
But as he came under pressure, Treve and Thierry Jarnet were making stealthy headway.
A couple of slaps and the five-year-old displayed her thunderous turn-of-foot to land the spoils by 1½l.
Khalid Abdullah’s colt may have got closer than the 2l he trailed in the Arc eight months ago, but something suggests Treve had a fair bit more to give.
With another win under her belt, her odds were cut from 5/2 to 2/1 to land a historic third-straight Arc.
Flintshire was added to the market as a 20/1 shot, but despite having everything in his favour last weekend, it is hard to see him reversing that placings in three and a half months time.
The biggest disappointment was Dolniya. Although the filly plugged on for third, her run was a little flat and failed to build on the defeat at Epsom in the Coronation Cup.
A shift of 20/1 from 12/1 in the betting says it all, and last year’s fifth needs to resume her progression and fast to stake her claims.
So as the excitement hots up, it is the defending champion and mare of a lifetime, Treve, that still sets the Arc standard.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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