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Enable aiming for Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe this weekend




The time for talking is almost up. Come 3.05pm on Sunday afternoon the eyes of the racing world will be fixated on events in Paris.

Can Enable, on what is likely to be her final racecourse appearance, summon the combination of guts and ability to rewrite the record books once again?

No horse has ever won the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on three occasions, not even Longchamp legends and two-time winners like Treve and Alleged.

Enable wins the King George for Frankie Dettori. Picture: Bill Selwyn
Enable wins the King George for Frankie Dettori. Picture: Bill Selwyn

Yet, victory for John Gosden’s superstar this weekend will wrap up the historic hat-trick, 12 months after she came up just short.

Regardless of the result, the Khalid Abdullah-owned mare will remain in racing folklore forever and a day. Still, with retirement beckoning, it would feel somewhat fitting were she able to bow out with her loyal companion Frankie Dettori able to produce one of those trademark flying dismounts one last time.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to the owner, said: “To say she’s overachieved is a gross understatement.

Frankie Dettori, celebrates after winning The King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes on Enable. Picture: Bill Selwyn
Frankie Dettori, celebrates after winning The King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes on Enable. Picture: Bill Selwyn

“She’s already won three King Georges, which in itself is pretty staggering. That’s not to mention the two Arcs, the Eclipse and all of those Oaks wins.

“It really is an extraordinary CV and whatever she does on Sunday, she has been truly fantastic.

“The Arc is always a huge race for owners, jockeys, trainers and all concerned, but I suppose there is a little bit extra on this one because she’s on the brink of history.

“There are no gimmies – it’s always tough. Let’s hope for a bit of a luck and that she comes back having enjoyed herself.”

Enable's trainer John Gosden. Picture: David Davies
Enable's trainer John Gosden. Picture: David Davies

Last month’s seven-length win in the Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton – coupled with her subsequent work – has also left connections in positive mood.

Grimthorpe added: “She is in great form and has done everything asked of her at home.

“She has never been a huge worker, but the work she has done has been strong.

“Her wellbeing has always decided which preparations we take rather than the other way around.

“It is all about what suits her and what pleases her. She’s retained that enthusiasm for racing and it must be said the team at Clarehaven have done a fantastic job.”

Gosden, meanwhile, echoed those sentiments when he told Paddy Power’s podcast From The Horse’s Mouth: “She’s happy and well in herself.

“Frankie breezed her on the round gallop on the Limekilns on Saturday and he was very pleased with her so look, we’re here and hope we’ll get there on the day.

“It’s still a few days to go and she’s ready to put in a big, bold effort. We’re perfectly aware how tough the race is and we’re perfectly aware how tough the opposition is.”

The anticipated soft ground has moved Enable to the front of the betting market, replacing 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks champion Love.