| Prix Vanteaux (1979)|
Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (1979)
Prix Saint-Alary (1979)
Prix Vermeille (1979)
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (1979)
Prix d'Harcourt (1980)
|Top-rated European three-year-old (1979)|
Timeform Top-rated three-year-old filly (1979)
Top-rated Older mare in France (1980)
Timeform rating 133
|Three Troikas Stakes at Turffontein Racecourse|
|Last updated on December 1, 2006|
Three Troikas (foaled 1976) was a French Thoroughbred champion racehorse who was owned, trained, and raced by three members of the famous Head family. The highlight of her career came in an impressive victory in the 1979 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe where she defeated Troy among others. She would be crowned Champion 3yo of Europe in the same year.
Three Troikas' sire, Lyphard had been a very talented miler for Alec Head winning the Prix de la Forêt and Prix Jacques Le Marois but he had not handled the unique course or the trip when attempting The Derby at Epsom in 1972.
Her dam was the Irish mare, Three Roses which was foaled in County Limerick and trained on The Curragh by Mick Connolly. She was by the unfashionable sire Dual, who stood for 48 guineas and whose chief attraction lay in him being out of a half sister to Meld. Despite being a big filly, Three Roses had a very busy juvenile career in Ireland, winning two races including the Park Stakes at the Phoenix Park and placing seven times including running second in the Patriotic Nursery at Baldoyle.
The mating which resulted in Three Troikas was planned based on the physical compatibility of sire and dam with the diminutive Lyphard mated to the big, well-made Three Roses.The progeny was a bay filly which was purchased as a yearling by Alec Head's Haras du Quesnay at Tattersalls, Newmarket for 41,000gns from her breeder, the South African construction magnate Artur Pfaff.
The filly would be named Three Troikas, and would go on to race in the colours of Head's wife Ghislaine. She would be trained by their daughter Criquette at Chantilly, and would be ridden by their son Freddy.
Three Troikas won her only start at two in November 1978 at Longchamp under Head.
Racing as a three-year-old, Three Troikas began the season with an impressive three-length win over Dunette in the Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp on April 16. A fortnight later she defeated Nonoalco when landing the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp. In the Prix Saint-Alary, again at Longchamp, she set a new course record which had been held by Solitude since 1961when defeating Pitasia with the free-running Dunette only fifth.
Three Troikas was next saddled for the Prix de Diane at Chantilly. It poured rain throughout the day and the filly did not appear to move easily on the going.Having seen off Nonoalco and Producer at the 200 metre mark she was caught on the line by the late challenge of Dunette, going down by a nose. Criquette believed the defeat may have been caused by a bruised foot. Rested until the Prix Vermeille on September 16, Three Troikas was opposed by Epsom Oaks winner Scintillate. Intent on not giving her a hard race before the Arc, Head did not push the filly out close home and she had only a short head to spare over Pitasia, when she could certainly have won by much more. Scintillate finished a disappointing ninth.
Having already had a fine season, Three Troikas was among the fancies for the 1979 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The outstanding British colt Troy, who had won the Derby in such impressive fashion was destined however to go off a hot favourite at odds of 8/10 on the Pari-Mutuel, coupled with his pacemakers Player and Rivadon. Three Troikas went off 88/10 fourth choice coupled with the Head-owned Fabulous Dancer. A crowd of 34,182,swelled by a great number of English visitors, flocked to see the end-of-season finale.
Troy looked superb in the paddock,as did Three Troikas and Le Marmot. Major Dick Hern said before the race that Troy was as well as he had been for the Derby. Criqette Head reported that Three Troikas had been particularly impressive in a piece of work with Gay Mecene (second to Troy in the King George) and Fabulous Dancer.
Troy's pacemaker Rivadon set the early pace while Three Troikas tacked across to the inside rail from a high draw. Crimson Beau then surprisingly went into a long lead ahead of Troy's pacemakers. Top Ville began to struggle as they entered the straight while Three Troikas loomed on the outside going very easily. The crack French filly went on to win going away by three lengths from Le Marmot and a staying on Troy. The victory was an outstanding triumph for the Head family and made Criquette Head the first, and still only, woman in history to train an Arc winner. Three Troikas' 1979 performance made her the highest-rated three-year-old in Europe in the International Classification.
At age four, during an injury-interrupted campaign Three Troikas enjoyed some success, winning the Prix d'Harcourt at Longchamp in April. She was then beaten by Le Marmot in the Ganay before injuring a metacarpal bone in her off-fore foot when running third behind Northern Baby and Strong Gale in the Prix Dollarand running a creditable fourth behind Detroit in the Arc. Taken to Aqueduct for the Turf Classic, Three Troikas could not handle the exceptionally heavy going and finished last. This injury-blighted campaign was nonetheless enough for her to be crowned Champion Older Mare in Europe in 1980.
Madame Alec Head sold the mare privately to an American syndicate in 1981 which involved Overbrook Stud. She was covered the same year by Exclusive Native. She threw a chestnut filly to this mating before suffered three covering seasons without offspring. In 1991 however, she foaled a brown filly by Halo, named Three Angels that showed a semblance of her dam's own brilliance, winning the Gr. 3 Prix Des Reservoirs at Longchamp and running-up in the Gr.1 Prix Saint-Alary. In a generally disappointing stud career, her best progeny were thrown to the Hail To Reason stallion, Halo, from which she threw three winners and two stakes performers.
Dahlia was an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She won major races in France, England, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. She was the first Thoroughbred mare to earn more than $1 million and was one of the pioneers of inter-continental racing.
Lyphard was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and an important sire.
Troy was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from 1978 to 1979, he ran eleven times and won eight races. He is most notable for his form in the summer of 1979, when he won the 200th running of the Derby and subsequently added victories in the Irish Derby, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup. He was retired to stud at the end of the season. His career as a stallion lasted only four years before he died in 1983.
Northern Trick was an American-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a racing career which lasted from April to October 1984 she won four of her six races. She established herself as the best three-year-old filly in Europe by winning the Prix de Diane and the Prix Vermeille before finishing second in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. She was then retired to stud and had some success as a broodmare.
Interpidity was a British-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from April 1993 to November 1994 the filly ran twelve times and won four races. Unraced as a two-year-old, Intrepidity proved to be the outstanding three-year-old filly in Europe in 1993, winning the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix Vermeille in France and The Oaks in England. She also finished fourth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, beaten one and a half lengths. At the end of the year she was voted European Champion Three-year-old Filly at the Cartier Racing Awards. Intrepidity was kept in training as a four-year-old, but failed to win, although she finished second in the Prix Ganay and the Prix Foy. She was then retired to stud where her record as a broodmare was disappointing.
Akiyda was a British-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for winning France's mot prestigious race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1982. After winning her only race as a two-year-old she was campaigned in the highest class in the following year, finishing second in both the Prix de Diane and the Prix Vermeille before beating a strong international field in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Akiyda never ran after her win in the Arc: she was retired to stud where she had limited impact as a broodmare.
Harbour (1979–1985) was a French Thoroughbred racehorse. In the early part of 1982 she appeared to establish herself as the best of an exceptionally strong group of French three-year-old fillies by winning the Prix Vanteaux, Prix Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane and decisively defeating rivals including All Along and Akiyda. Her form was less impressive in the autumn and was retired after a disappointing run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Detroit was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare who won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1980. Unraced as a two-year-old, Detroit won her first four races in 1980 including the Prix Fille de l'Air, Prix Chloé and Prix de la Nonette. She was beaten when favourite for the Prix Vermeille before winning the Arc in record time. She remained in training as a four-year-old and won three more races including the Prix Foy. She was retired to stud where she produced the Arc de Triomphe winner Carnegie.
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The 1979 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was a horse race held at Longchamp on Sunday 7 October 1979. It was the 58th running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Le Marmot was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He won two of his three race as a two-year-old in 1978 including the Prix La Rochette before emerging as a top-class performer in the following year when he won the Prix Greffulhe, Prix Hocquart and Prix Niel as well as finishing second in the Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and third in the Washington, D.C. International. As a four-year-old he defeated the Arc de Triomphe winner Three Troikas in the Prix Ganay and also won the Prix Niel. Le Marmot was rated one of the ten best racehorses in Europe in both 1979 and 1980. He had little opportunity to prove himself as a sire of winners, dying in 1981 at the age of five.
Northern Baby was a Canadian-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from October 1978 until September 1980 he won five of his seventeen races. After showing promising form as a two-year-old he emerged as a top-class middle-distance performer in 1979, winning the Prix de la Côte Normande in France but showing his best form in England, where he finished third in both The Derby and the Eclipse Stakes before recording his most important victory in the Champion Stakes. He remained in training as a four-year-old with mixed success, running several moderate races but defeating the outstanding filly Three Troikas in the Prix Dollar. He was retired to stud and became a very successful sire of steeplechasers. He died in 2007 at the advanced age of thirty-one.
Sigy was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She was best known for her exploits as a two-year-old in 1978, when she won her last three races culminating with a win over colts and older horses in the Prix de l'Abbaye. At the end of the season she was rated the best racehorse of her age and sex in Europe. Her three-year-old career was disappointing, although she did win the Prix du Gros Chêne. She later had some success as a broodmare.
The 1976 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was a horse race held at Longchamp on Sunday 3 October 1976. It was the 55th running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Dancing Maid was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. After winning one of her two races as a two-year-old she emerged as one of the best fillies in Europe in 1978, winning the Prix Vanteaux, Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Prix Chloé and Prix Vermeille. She also finished a close second in the classic Epsom Oaks and third in Europe's most prestigious all-aged race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. She was retired from racing after one unsuccessful start as a four-year-old. She was not a success as a broodmare.
Riverqueen was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. After winning her only race as a two-year-old she emerged as one of the best fillies in Europe in the spring and summer of 1976, winning the Prix de la Grotte, Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and Prix Saint-Alary. After her winning run was brought to an end by Pawneese in the Prix de Diane she rebounded to become the first three-year-old filly to win the weight-for-age Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. After running poorly in her last two races she was retired from racing and had some success as a broodmare. Her last recorded foal was born in 1989.
Nobiliary was an American-bred, French-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She recorded her biggest win in the Washington, D.C.International in 1975, a year in which she became the only filly since 1916 to finish placed in the Derby Stakes. As a two-year-old she won one minor race but showed promised when finishing sixth in the Grand Critérium and third in the Prix des Réservoirs. In the following year she won the Group Three Prix de la Grotte and was thereafter campaigned exclusively in Group One/ Grade I company. She won the Prix Saint-Alary and was placed in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Epsom Derby, Irish Oaks and Prix Vermeille before ending her career with a win in the Washington, D.C.International. She had no success as a broodmare, producing only two foals.
Comtesse de Loir was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In her three-year racing career, she won only one important race, the Prix Saint-Alary in 1974. but was placed in numerous major events including the Critérium des Pouliches, Prix de Diane, Prix Vermeille, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (twice), Prix Ganay, Canadian International Stakes and Washington, D.C. International. Her performance in the 1973 Arc, when she was beaten a head by Allez France, saw her rated the best three-year-old of either sex to race in Europe that year.
Reine de Saba was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. Bred and owned by Jacques Wertheimer and trained by Alec Head she raced for three seasons and won five of her twelve races. After showing promise as a juvenile, she emerged as one of the leading three-year-old fillies in Europe in the spring and early summer of 1978, winning all three of her races including the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix de Diane. Her season was ended by injury in June and when she returned as a four-year-old she was less effective, winning only one of her six races. As a broodmare she produced two foals that raced and were both good winners.
Dunette was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In three seasons of racing she won five of her thirteen races and twice defeated the outstanding racemare Three Troikas. As a two-year-old she showed considerable promise by winning two of her three races including the Prix d'Aumale. In the following year she was beaten by Three Troikas in her first two races before springing a 50/1 upset over her great rival in the Prix de Diane. As a four-year-old she dead-heated for first place in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and successfully conceded weight to Three Troikas in the Prix du Prince d'Orange. She was rated the second-best filly of her generation in Europe in both 1979 and 1980. After her retirement from racing she had some success as a broodmare, producing the Canadian International Stakes winner French Glory.