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Enable thwarted in an attempt to win record third Arc

6 Oct 2019

Outstanding mare has two entries on QIPCO British Champions Day and John Gosden says decision on whether she runs again is likely to be taken in a weeks time.

Waldgeist and Pierre-Charles Boudot catch Enable in the Qatar Prix D’Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp. Pic Steve Davies/

So close, yet so far. Champions Series star Enable had a record third Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe snatched away from her in the closing stages by Waldgeist at Longchamp on Sunday.

When Enable and Frankie Dettori hit the front two out it looked like history was on the cards but the combination could not fend off the strong finish of the Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist, ridden with brilliance by Pierre Charles-Boudot.

John Gosden, trainer of Enable, said: “I’m sorry we couldn’t quite pull it off, but when I walked the track with Frankie and the stick was going in that far (around a foot) I thought, ‘Houston, we have got a problem here’.

“I deal with it as she is fine after the race and looks great down there. The winning horse I have a lot of respect for and the owner-breeder and to Andre (Fabre). We were beaten by a better horse on the day in the conditions and it didn’t come as a surprise to me.”

For a fleeting moment down the home straight it looked as though Enable would do it, as she swiftly put daylight between herself and the field when hitting the front – but for Gosden he was always concerned the ground may have the impact it ultimately did.

He said: “If the ground had been like last year, good to soft, I would have been very disappointed to finish second, but I could see this sucker punch coming and I take nothing away from the winner who is an absolutely brilliant horse.

“I did make the point before the race she has this great turn of foot from the 400 (metre marker) to the finish line and that is going to be blunted in the ground, which it was. Just stamina gave out with her over that trip in the intensity and pace of the race. I think it is as simple as that.”

The Newmarket handler was not the only one pointing to the ground as the main reason behind Enable’s defeat.

Dettori said: “The first bit of the race I let her find her feet and she came good to me in the false straight. I waited until the 300 and I didn’t find as much as I thought I had left and I just folded a bit and the winner was just too good for me today.

“My filly was really tired, to be honest with you. Passing the 200 I was a spent force then. I think the ground has got a lot to do with it.”

It remains to be seen whether Enable is given another outing or if time is called on her glittering career. That is a decision that Gosden made clear will be left until another day.

He said: “I made that clear, that we will leave it a few days to see if Prince Khalid would like to run her again or retire her. It’s his decision.

“He always likes to know how they come out of the race, physically and mentally. We will make a decision from there and I shouldn’t think that will come for a week.”

Enable has won six races that fall under the Champions Series umbrella and she has two entries on QIPCO British Champions Day on October 19, including the QIPCO Champion Stakes over a mile and a quarter.