Sports

The Fugue wins, favourite Treve finishes third

TREVE lost her aura of invincibility at Royal Ascot when she could finish only third behind The Fugue in the Prince Of Wales' Stakes on Wednesday, second day of the five-day Royal Ascot carnival.

Last season's queen of the racetrack was expected to regale the attending British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, with a virtuoso display. But she looked a pale shadow of the filly which carried all before her last year.

This was Treve's second defeat in as many starts this season. She failed to overhaul Cirrus Des Aigles at Longchamp last month. Before that, she had won all five of her career starts.

Trained at Chantilly, France, by Criquette Head-Maarek for Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani, Treve now has a mountain to climb if she is to regain the lustre she showed in winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October.

LABOURED


She never looked likely to win, having been restrained towards the rear by frankie dettori through the early stages.

The odds-on favourite made some headway as the field, led by Mukhadram, turned for home in the 2,00m feature, but her progress thereafter was laboured.

The Fugue, by contrast, travelled with greater zest under William Buick, as she loomed up to Magician in the home straight.

She picked off the leader before accelerating away to win by one and three-quarter lengths, with Treve a further length behind in third place.

Said Dettori: " Maybe it was the (fast) ground, maybe she tweaked something. I tried to follow The Fugue all the way but I could never keep up with her. She will have to be checked over because she didn't feel great."

REWARD

Victory was overdue reward for The Fugue, who is trained for music composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber by John Gosden in Newmarket, England.

Her career has been blighted by a series of near-misses.

"We have been through a lot together over the years," Buick said.

"So to win here is very special. She was always travelling well for me."

Lloyd-Webber's wife, Madeleine, was overcome by The Fugue's triumph.

"It is just so satisfying," she said.

"She has been so unlucky in so many races around the world. Something always seems to go wrong, but everything went right today. To beat the best horse in Europe, especially at Royal Ascot, is a wonderful feeling." - AFP.