Gosden rules out York for Enable as focus turns to Arc swansong
John Gosden put winning an unprecedented third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Enable ahead of all else yesterday as the world’s best racehorse was ruled out of a muchanticipated visit to York next week to wait instead for a race on Kempton’s all-weather track on Sept 5.
By spurning her 2017 and 2019 route to the Arc, via the Group One Yorkshire Oaks, where Enable faced an anticipated clash with Love, Aidan O’Brien’s 1,000 Guineas and Oaks winner, connections have chosen the 2018 blueprint.
That year, Enable won the Arc after contesting the Group Three September Stakes on Kempton’s Polytrack surface.
Enable’s quest for a third Arc last year narrowly failed when she was caught 50 yards from the line by Waldgeist. This year, the six-yearold has finished second in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes and then clinched a record-breaking third triumph in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Gosden wants to follow a similar template to get the mare to Longchamp
on Oct 4 in the best possible shape, for what will probably be the final start of her career.
“The Eclipse, three weeks before the King George, was perfect timing as a prep race,” Gosden said. “The Yorkshire Oaks at over six weeks before the Arc does not suit nearly so well as the September Stakes.
“We have successfully used this before as a prep race in 2018. We did not wish to travel to Longchamp three weeks before the Arc for the traditional French trials. We only wished to run her once before the Arc and the attempt to win a third Arc is the only reason she stayed in training this year. Hence this plan.”
Enable has won 14 of her 17 starts and her prize-money haul of £10.7 million is a record for a filly or mare in Europe. She had been 6-4 with William Hill for the Yorkshire Oaks, with her younger rival Love a 4-5 chance.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “This is about timing and trying to do absolutely the right thing to get her to the Arc in as good a condition as we can. Three or four weeks is a good preparation time.”
Grimthorpe said Franconia, a dual Listed winner nowhere near in the same league as Enable, could stand in for her stablemate in the Yorkshire Oaks if connections resist the option of the Group Three Prix Minerve at Deauville on Sunday.
Familiar route: Enable wins the September Stakes in 2018 before her second Arc triumph