English champion 3-year-old filly Enable continues her dominance in Europe’s Premier race

Going in to Sunday’s race there were records ready to be broken for both horse and jockey and both answered the critics in stunning fashion. Enable stamped herself as the best of her generation and one of the all-time greats. Dettori became the first jockey to win Europe’s premier race; the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe for a record fifth time. This article will look over the race and the career of Enable who in the space of ten months has gone from a maiden winner at Newcastle’s All-weather track to the best in Europe.

In her now eight race career, Enable has only been beaten on one occasion and that was from her stable mate in Shutter Speed. Early on in the season the signs and noise coming from the stable were that Shutter Speed was the number one 3 year old in the yard. However, following Enable’s comfortable victory over Obrien’s Alluringly at Chester the filly moved up to be the second favourite for the Epsom Oaks. Also in the process stamping her authority in the pecking order in the yard. Rhododendron was sent off the odds on favourite for the Oaks but was firmly put in her place as Enable began to show her brilliance by pulling clear effortlessly down the straight.

Following the English Oaks dominance she travelled over to Ireland to repeat the feat in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh. Going off as the 2/5 favourite she again destroyed the field by over 5 lengths. Following these emphatic wins there was still questions to answer as she had been only competing against her own sex and age group. This was to change as she was supplemented for the King George at Ascot and was set to tackle the colts and older generation for the first time.

A deluge of rain meant a change in the ground conditions and several question marks for many of the field but it didn’t matter to enable as she was backed in to be the 5/4 favourite. The opponents didn’t matter as her trade mark turn of foot again materialised as she destroyed them by four and a half lengths and stamped herself as the best filly around.

The Darley Yorkshire Oaks was next on the agenda in August. Having continued to improve and dominate she went into the race as the 1/4 favourite. A no nonsense ride from Dettori from the front and she again destroyed the field to win by 5 lengths from stablemate Coronet as records had been broken.

Looking at champions of the past who continue to prove their brilliance in top group 1 races is hard to find but Enable has joined that bracket. Winning the Investec Oaks, Darley Irish Oaks, King George and Darley Yorkshire Oaks in such dominating fashion is unheard off. You can bet on horse racing with paddy power ahead of Champions day later this month.

The 1st October and the Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly was to be the next stop for the champion. With the change of venue for the race while Longchamp has its renovation had led to many critics playing down her chances due to the track; more than likely not playing to her strengths. Her long stride would become less potent round the sharp bends at Chantilly and the rain softened ground would dent that devastating turn of foot.

None of these mattered come race day as record breaking Dettori sat just behind the leaders on the 4/5 favourite throughout the race. Pulling for her head for much of the race she would have to be as good as many believed. Turning into the straight Dettori angled her out and instantly took several lengths from the rest of the field as she was pushed out to win comfortably from the French trained Cloth of Stars. Connections took home a first prize of £2,441,880.34 as Enable stamped her authority as the best in Europe.

This was another memorable win for the owner in Prince Khalid Abdullah as the same colours were carried to victory in this race back in 1986 by champion Dancing Brave. This meant record breaker Dettori was the most successful jockey in the race with five wins from 29 attempts.

The big question for many racing fans is if they will keep her in training for a four year old campaign and a shot at defending her title in the Arc back at the newly renovated Longchamp next year. With the large amount she will now be worth in the breeding ranks there is a chance they may not risk her. However having only raced for ten months over her lifetime we can be hopeful we will get to see her brilliance on a race track again.

(Enable passing the winning post under Dettori in the Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe)