Traveling with her customary verve at every stage, 4-5 favorite Enable crowned her glittering campaign with a dominant display in Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1).
The Juddmonte homebred scored a victory for the ages, not just by extending her winning sequence to six, but by lifting jockey Frankie Dettori to a record-breaking fifth Arc win. Dettori had previously won aboard Lammtarra (1995), Sakhee (2001), Marienbard (2002), and Golden Horn (2015), the latter likewise trained by John Gosden. Enable has also earned accolades as the first British-trained filly to capture Europe’s fall championship.
Although Dettori had the horsepower at his disposal, the master reinsman did his part with an early maneuver to get Enable in the right spot. Her tactical speed figured to mitigate potential traffic woes from post 2 in an 18-horse field, and Dettori deftly guided her into an outside stalking spot. From that point forward, Enable touted herself as the winner. Even her taking a strong hold from Dettori, which might have been construed as a negative for most, just telegraphed that the typically enthusiastic traveler was very much on her game.
Enable allowed two of Aidan O’Brien’s quintet, Idaho and Order of St George, to go forward, but it was only on sufferance. Straightening for home, Dettori’s arms must have felt the relief of letting go, and Enable ambled forward. The daughter of the Galileo stallion Nathaniel swamped the Ballydoyle leaders and opened up on the field, leaving her foes to sort out the placings while she took flight to the wire.
Godolphin’s Cloth of Stars closed for the silver medal, outperforming his 20-1 odds for Arc maestro Andre Fabre. The 12-1 Ulysses was an uncharacteristically one-paced third, perhaps the combination of soft ground over the about 1 1/2-mile trip blunting his kick. Beaten almost as far by Enable here as in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth (G1) in similar conditions at Ascot, Ulysses turned in an excellent prep for his next scheduled engagement in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
Order of St George, third in O’Brien’s Arc trifecta last year, kept on for another respectable effort in fourth. The world-class stayer is expected to stretch out again to two miles for the British Champions Long Distance Cup on Champions Day, October 21.
Top French three-year-old colt Brametot was fifth, followed by the German pair of Dschingis Secret and Iquitos; Idaho; O’Brien’s best-fancied Winter, the mount of Ryan Moore, who never got involved in her first attempt at the distance; the Alain de Royer-Dupre stablemates Zarak and One Foot in Heaven; Fabre’s remaining duo of Doha Dream and Plumatic; O’Brien’s Seventh Heaven, still well below her best after an injury; Japan’s hopeful Satono Diamond and his pacemaker, Satono Noblesse, who never made the lead; O’Brien’s Capri, continuing the difficulty of St Leger (G1) winners wheeling back in the Arc; and the tailed-off Silverwave, who was just purchased by Martin Schwartz for €500,000 at Saturday evening’s Arqana Arc Sale and due to join Chad Brown.
Enable, who posted a final time of 2:28.69, advanced her record to seven-for-eight. Her lone loss came in her seasonal reappearance to stablemate Shutter Speed at Newbury back in April. Since then, she has swept through four Oaks – the Cheshire and the Group 1 trio of the Epsom, Irish, and Yorkshire – in addition to the King George, an unprecedented trophy case.
The Breeders’ Cup is not on the itinerary for Enable, with Gosden citing the long campaign his stable star has endured.
“It would be wrong to run her again this year,” Gosden said. “She’s been running for 10 months and it would be too hard on the filly to go to the Breeder’s Cup.”
The good news is that the Juddmonte brain trust might decide to bring her back for a title defense in 2018, when the Arc returns to its redeveloped home track, Longchamp.
“If she’s really in good form, we will still consider running her next year,” her trainer offered, “and maybe come back to the new ParisLongchamp.”
See the review of the rest of the Arc Day action here.