Sep 27th, 2015, 08:40 PM

Trêve Attempts Horse Racing History

By Ryan Blum
Trêve takes the Arc in 2014. Image Credit: Meteorshoweryn
Fatuous fashion meets showy Sheiks as some of Paris' gilded elite head to the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

One of the most anticipated horse races in modern French history, the 94th Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, will drag in more than 60,000 spectators to the fabled Hippodrome de Longchamp on October 3rd and 4th. Expect to see French movie stars, Arabian princes, and Japanese CEOs standing in the crowds, adding to the supercharged atmosphere. This year, all eyes will be on Trêve, the French mare who made history by winning the Arc for a second consecutive year in 2014. She will attempt the unprecedented feat of winning the Arc for a third time, and odds are good that history will be made.

Trêve's veteran Jockey, Thierry Jarnet, has competed professionally for the past 30 years, winning the coveted Cravache d’Or four times. Trêve's trainer, Christiane “Criquette” Head, is considered to be the leading female racehorse trainer in the world. Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar, the owner of this steed, spares no expense on Trêve, hoping to make her one of the greatest racing horses in history. The winner will walk away with a prize of five million euros.

Despite the lofty sum at stake, you can still gain admission for around €10 at the gate and take part in a betting frenzy for as little as €2 a wager. This being the Qatar prix and not the local greyhound track, the event calls for an air of respectability and glamour, so visitors should dress accordingly. Ladies, make sure to wear your derby best—where better to sport a big-brimmed hat than at a horse track, anyway? Gents, unless you’re paying €300-700 for the VIP Package, you can get away with business casual. If not, the flashier the better.

As the red carpet gets rolled out, the Qatar Prix lies in stark contrast to the depressing day-to-day realities of the sport. During the rest of the year, the average patron is more likely to be an ageing pensioner or intoxicated gambling addict rather than an Arabian prince.  But for two days only, the world will be watching as a French mare attempts to make history.

Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 2015

Races start at 14h30/14h00 Saturday and Sunday respectively, with the actual Qatar Prix starting at 15h55 Sunday.

Take the Metro line 10 to Porte d’Auteuil (sortie Hippodrome) and look for the free shuttle bus to Longchamps.