Criquette Head-Maarek: trained Treve for Al Shaqab RacingPICTURE: Getty Images
Harry Herbert rubbishes
gender claims over split
CLAIMS by Criquette Head-Maarek that Al Shaqab Racing removed a handful of horses from her yard because she is a woman were described as "utterly ridiculous" by the organisation's Harry Herbert on Sunday.
The relationship, which enjoyed consecutive victories in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2013 and 2014 with Treve, seems all but over after the Chantilly trainer suggested her gender was a factor in losing Al Shaqab's patronage.
She said: "I didn't have many of theirs, two two-year-olds and a three-year-old. I can't tell you anything except that they called and said the horses were leaving, goodbye.
"I think it's because I'm a woman that they didn't feel comfortable, that is all I can think. I just gather that is what it could be. I haven't spoken with the sheikh. I hope I will be able to see him if he comes over.
"I asked Harry if he knew why and he said he didn't and that he was surprised. I have never experienced it before."
Herbert was unable to offer an explanation why the horses had been transferred, but stressed Head-Maarek's speculation was wide of the mark.
"That's absolute nonsense - complete rubbish," he said. "Criquette trained Treve beautifully and the relationship between Criquette and the sheikh and the team throughout that process was faultless.
"As far as I'm concerned that's utterly ridiculous and untrue so I'd put a line through that. Moving the horses is a private matter between Al Shaqab, Sheikh Joaan, and Criquette."
Read more on the split in Monday's Racing Post - or download the iPad edition from 8pm on Sunday