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Jarnet lands French Oaks on Treve
06:11 AEST Mon Jun 17 2013

Veteran French jockey Thierry Jarnet won his first French Oaks in style on Sunday easing to victory on the unbeaten Treve at Chantilly racecourse.

The 46-year-old - who had won two Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes but never managed to win the fillies classic - conjured up a great burst of speed midway down the finishing straight to come home four lengths clear and give trainer Criquette Head-Maarek her third win in the race but first since 2000 with Egyptband.

However, this was especially personal for her as they were the same all red silks - those of her father Alec - carried to victory by her first Oaks winner Harbour way back in 1982.

Both Head-Maarek and Jarnet were in tears after Treve crossed the line.

Head-Maarek, whose family is steeped in French racing history with her brother Freddie having been a top jockey (he rode Harbour to victory in 1982) and now an equally successful trainer while Alec was a champion trainer, said that the people's warm reaction had provoked the outpouring of emotion.

"Well I think it is because of my experience and my advancing age that they came up to congratulate me," said the 64-year-old, who was tasting her first Group One success in almost three years since landing The Prix Moulin in September 2010.

"Also to win this race in the colours that I won my first in and with the family link it is all a bit much.

"However, Treve I always regarded as my best horse, even last year at two, and she confirmed that impression to me when we started this season.

"She has extraordinary acceleration and she displayed that to great effect today. This is a wonderful win for the whole team."

Jarnet, who has had over 18,000 rides since he started riding competitively with his first winner coming in 1985, said that horses like Treve were the reason for him continuing in the sport.

"I had never won this before, I was edged out by a nose on Baya in 1993 so I knew the pain of what it was like to just miss out," he said.

"It is great now to be able to jot this one off my must do list, although, I have to say it was starting to become a case of now or never as I am getting rather old!

"However, a horse like Treve renews one's enthusiasm for the sport because horses of her quality are the reason why we exist and survive in the sport."

Outsider Chicquita finished strongly to take second under last year's French Derby winning rider Anthony Hamelin while Olivier Peslier, like Jarnet without a win in the race prior to Sunday, had to make do with third on Silasol in what was his 19th attempt.

Favourite Flotilla had every chance entering the final two furlongs but her hopes of adding the Oaks to her impressive win in the shorter 1000 Guineas were soon dashed as she faded quickly to finish well down the 11 runner field.

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