Criquette Head-Maarek celebrates her third victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Longchamp Racecourse

Criquette Head-Maarek is expecting an emotional afternoon at Chantilly on Thursday when she sends out her final runners before retirement.

The popular trainer announced last week that she is calling time on a highly successful career that has lasted over 40 years.

Her achievements include winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three times, twice with the mighty Treve in 2013-14.

Seven victories in the French 1000 Guineas, four wins in the English equivalent and three triumphs in the French Oaks also feature prominently on a glittering CV.

Head-Maarek saddles two horses on her final day before relinquishing her licence and admits it would be a fairytale if she can go out with a winner.

“It will be a special day,” she told Press Association Sport.

“I have two runners, Damanda’s Dream and Monsieur Enzo. They are running for their owners and I would not say they are certainties. Hopefully they have a chance.

“Damanda’s Dream has come from Germany and she has to take on horses who have already won. If it was a maiden, it would be better for her.

“Monsieur Enzo is probably my best chance as he runs in a handicap.

“If neither win, my last winner was a horse called Reve a few weeks ago (January 6). He is owned by my mother, which is nice.”

Officials at France Galop confirmed that Head-Maarek will receive a commemorative trophy from the French racing authority’s president Edouard de Rothschild at Chantilly.

A video will also be shown of “friends and fellow trainers” remembering the 69-year-old’s stellar career, while there will also be a retirement tribute book on the course for racegoers and well-wishers to sign.

France Galop said on Twitter that it is encouraging racing fans to post social media tributes with the accompanying hashtag, #MerciCriquette.