Chantilly – Enable saved the best for last as she capped a memorable season with a scintillating display in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly on Sunday.
John Gosden’s brilliant filly lined up as the hot favourite for Europe’s premier middle-distance contest after four consecutive victories at the top-level in the Epsom Oaks, the Irish Oaks, the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.
The three-year-old made a fast start from stall No 2 and Frankie Dettori always had her well positioned in behind Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Idaho and Order Of St George.
The popular Italian gave Enable her head racing inside the final 400m and she quickly stamped her class, quickening clear in stunning fashion to seal a dominant success.
Dettori, winning the Arc for an unprecedented fifth time, said: “I was very confident all week … she is a tremendous filly.
“I said to John last week she is the best she has ever been. To keep this filly at 100% all year is fantastic.
“I had position ‘A’, I knew I had no weight and she stays, so I kicked and she gave me four lengths and the race was over.
“She’s amazing and is an absolute freak. I love her. John is a genius.”
What made the performance all the more staggering was how keen Enable was for much of the 2400m journey. Dettori had his mount in the perfect place throughout, but she refused to settle.
However, the daughter of Nathaniel still had more than enough in the tank to leave her toiling rivals trailing in her wake in the straight.
It was a second Arc success for Gosden following the victory of Golden Horn two years ago.
The Clarehaven handler ruled out another run this year in the Breeders’ Cup – but does have high hopes Enable will stay in training as a four-year-old.
He said: “She’s very special and she was well positioned by Frankie in order to show her sheer class and brilliance. It’s all about the filly and the owner-breeder Prince Khalid (Abdullah). He bred the mother and for his farm to produce something like this is exciting for us all.
“I think it would be wrong to run her again this year. I think to go to the Breeders’ Cup would be wrong, too hard on the filly. If she’s in great form we should consider next year. She has only raced for 10 months of her life.
“She had one little run last November, but really she’s only had one season of racing. There would be every reason to keep her in training next year as a four-year-old, particularly with the new Longchamp opening.
“That would be exciting – to try to win the Arc on two different tracks.”
Reflecting on the performance, he added: “She showed an impressive turn of foot and acceleration to kill the field. She has amazing ability.
“Frankie got her in a great position. He’s pretty good for an old jock!
“She’s shown us at home that she’s right in the zone. She’s eating well and looking well and still has her summer coat.
“She enjoys her work. We don’t ask her anything at home, we just let her enjoy herself, but she gave us every sign she was ready to run a race like that again.”
Cloth Of Stars filled the runner-up spot, 2.50 lengths away, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International hero Ulysses another 1.25 lengths back in third.
Ulysses finished fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf and Stoute confirmed he is likely to return to America following his valiant effort in defeat.
He said: “He’s run his race and there are no excuses regarding the ground as it rode well.
“I don’t think he’s had too hard a race and, if that’s the case, we will take him to the Breeders’ Cup Turf again.”
Ulysses was ridden by British champion jockey Jim Crowley, who said: “I had a lovely position throughout, tracking Enable. “He picked up well for me when I asked him in the straight, but the winner must be an exceptional filly.”
Order Of St George, third behind stablemate Found 12 months ago, fared best of the Ballydoyle camp this time around in fourth.
Aidan O’Brien also saddled Idaho (eighth), Winter (ninth), Seventh Heaven (14th) and Capri (17th).
He said: “That was probably far enough for Winter and we might go back to a mile and a quarter (2000m) for the race at Ascot (Qipco Champion Stakes).
“Seventh Heaven is getting better and Idaho was probably lit up a bit.
“Order Of St George ran very well and we might look at the two-mile race (3200m) (Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup) at Ascot.” – sportinglife.com