The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr1) run at ParisLongchamp on Sunday provides an opportunity for the British mare Enable (Nathaniel) to enter the history books. As victory for the Prince Khalid Abdullah representative would ‘enable’ her to become the first horse to win the world’s greatest horse race three times. It was something that the great Trêve (Motivator) victorious in 2013 and 2014, failed to achieve after her fourth to Golden Horn (Cape Cross) in 2015. Incidentally, the latter was trained by John Gosden and ridden by Lanfranco Dettori: the very same team which has driven the success of Enable. Dettori will celebrate his 49th birthday at the end of the year and Sunday marks his 31st ride in the Arc de Triomphe: a race he has won six times. And what of the pressure? He can hack it and said: “If I can’t handle the pressure at my age – then something is wrong. You would have to ask Enable whether she feels the pressure [of the big occasion]. After all, it’s the mare who puts in the effort and she has given all the right signs”.
After an interrupted season in 2018, Enable went into the big ParisLongchamp on the back of just one previous run, and in the few days preceding the race her preparation was again held up as she was running a temperature. However, going into this year’s race, Enable has never been better as denoted by three Group 1 successes. The latest of these was recorded in The Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York (GB). On that occasion, she accounted for one of the two Arc representatives of the Coolmore racing superpower: Magical (Galileo). Japan (Galileo), the other, looms as the biggest threat to the mare on Sunday. The latter is a three-year-old colt – a trait which he shares in common with Sottsass (Siyouni), who is the top French contender, having annexed the QIPCO Prix du Jockey-Club in the spring,
Furthermore, Enable, will have to overcome a wide draw in nine. Her victory would be all the sweeter for this!
The bookies’ odds
- Enable: from 4/6 to 7/10
- Japan: from 5-1 to 6-1
- Sottsass: from 11-2 to 7/1
- Magical: from 9-1 to 12-1
- Ghaiyyath: from 9/1 to 12/1