Dettori Has History in His Grasp

Victory for Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) in Sunday’s G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly would have an extra dimension for Frankie Dettori as the Italian chases a record fifth renewal. As if the pressure of riding one of the best fillies of recent times is enough to bear, the 46-year-old could surpass the tallies of Jacques Doyasbere, Freddy Head, Yves Saint-Martin, Pat Eddery, Olivier Peslier and Thierry Jarnet if he converts what many see as the proverbial penalty kick. Khalid Abdullah’s triple Oaks winner who also readily defeated the older horses and colts in Ascot’s G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. has been charmed with stall two and her rider has refused to make any secret of his stern belief in her ability to cap a tremendous run in the showpiece of the autumn.

“She’s been a model of consistency and her homework has been its usual golden stuff, plus she has the weight-for-age so I’m relaxed now and really looking forward to it,” he said. “You’ve got to be on your wits and Chantilly can be tricky at times, plus the weather might make things more complicated. Everyone wants a good position and it’s not straightforward, but a decent pace should make things better for everyone. Obviously I am nervous going into the race, but I am also excited. The filly is well, but there are 18 runners in the race, anything can happen so you need a lot of luck. She has been very consistent all season. You have just got to keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best. I would rather be an odds-on shot than 20-1 going into the race.”

As the fall-out from Thursday’s draw continued, connections of ‘TDN Rising Star’ Zarak (Fr) (Dubawi {Ire}) were left to ponder tactics from the widest stall in 18. His Highness The Aga Khan’s son of the great Zarkava (Ire) (Zamindar) has been meticulously prepared by Alain de Royer-Dupre after his career-best success in the July 2 G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, having failed to shine on his last three visits to this track. His best performance here came when second to Almanzor (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club last June and it may be that the testing ground prevalent on that occasion helped him to deal with the undulations better. Only third as the even-money favourite for the G2 Prix Dollar at this meeting 12 months ago and last of five in the May 28 G1 Prix d’Ispahan when the surface was on the quick side, the homebred has enjoyed a spin here in recent days to help his acclimatisation.

“He is a horse who has lots of energy, just like his dam, and so it is important to get the dosage of the workload absolutely spot-on,” de Royer-Dupre told Attheraces. “When he is too fresh, it becomes complicated and when you work them too much, they can’t take it. While he is in great form, there are some very good horses running in the race and I just hope it doesn’t rain too much. Not that he can’t handle it, but good ground would be perfect.”

Another high-profile contender who has fared badly with the draw is Satono Diamond (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), whose chances appear to be dwindling by the minute due to the soft ground and post position of 13. Hajime Satomi’s 4-year-old has major improvement to find on his warm-up fourth behind Dschingis Secret (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}) and Cloth of Stars (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) in the course-and-distance G2 Prix Foy three weeks ago and it is hard to see how that will come now that conditions are so unfavourable.

“He’s in much better shape than when I rode him on his comeback in the Prix Foy,” jockey Christophe Lemaire told the Racing Post after his gallop on Wednesday morning. “He’s a horse I know very well and I have ridden him a lot in races and in the mornings. When he accelerates as he really can he gives me a feeling different to the one this morning.”

Cloth of Stars represents the seven-time winning record holder Andre Fabre and on his defeat of Zarak in the 10-furlong G1 Prix Ganay at Saint-Cloud May 1 has claims, especially from stall three. By the 2009 Arc hero, the bay is drawn two out from his relative Ulysses (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and his trainer is convinced he will put up a bold show.

“I couldn’t be happier with Cloth of Stars’s condition coming into the race,” he said. “His preparation has been ideal and he has come on as expected from his run in the Foy.”

Fabre also saddles Al Shaqab Racing’s Aug. 27 G2 Grand Prix de Deauville runner-up Doha Dream (Fr) (Shamardal) and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Plumatic (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}). The presence of the latter is a leap of faith from France’s most wily handler, as he has significant progression to find on his latest second to Recoletos (Fr) (Whipper) in the G3 Prix du Prince d’Orange over 10 furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte Sept. 16.

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