Criquette Head-Maarek is one of the most respected trainers in Europe who has fought back from two serious health scares and the loss in 2006 of her biggest owners – the Wertheimer brothers – to train dual Arc heroine Treve.
After being educated for three years in England and then spending a prolonged period in Spain, in 1978 she became the fourth generation of her family to train.
Over 35 years on, her brother, Freddy, and son-in-law, Carlos Laffon-Parias, currently also both have stables on the same road as her in Chantilly.
In just her second season she became the first female handler to win France’s biggest race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, with the family–owned and –bred Three Troikas.
She has been French champion trainer once, in 1986, and is currently President of the French Trainers Association and Chairman of the European Trainers Federation.
She has a particularly good record training fillies – she has won the French 1,000 Guineas on no less than eight occasions and its English equivalent on four.
Before the emergence of Treve, she endured a near three-year Group 1 drought. Her previous world class horse was Special Duty, winner of three top level contests in 2009-10.
She has good reason to treasure every moment of Treve’s career as she has been reminded of her own mortality on two occasions.
In 1990 she had a major operation to remove a tumour from her brain and 15 years later she was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, she made a full recovery each time.
Treve was a breathtaking winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2013 and 2014. She was favourite to gain a historic third win in the race in 2015, but had to settle for fourth in her final race.
BCS Career statistics
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