Nathaniel’s Enable Routs Arc Rivals

By Tom Frary

Becoming the first English-trained 3-year-old filly in history to win the G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Khalid Abdullah’s Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) treated Sunday’s renewal at Chantilly with as much disdain as she had her four previous group 1 contests to lift Frankie Dettori to a record fifth success in European racing’s crown jewel. Tanking along behind Idaho (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Order of St George (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) throughout, the 4-5 favourite took over with a quarter mile to race and opened up in her now-familiar dramatic fashion. At the line, she had secured her greatest win by 2 1/2 lengths from Godolphin’s Cloth of Stars (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}), who rushed past his relative Ulysses (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) late and put 1 1/4 lengths between them. “She is very special,” Dettori said after seizing the outright record on his 29th ride in the Arc. “She’s a superstar–an absolute freak and she won like I expected. She is uncomplicated with a big heart and I said last week to John Gosden that she was the best she had ever been. I had position A in the race and knew she had no weight, so I kicked and took four lengths and the race was over. C’est magnifique.”

Sunday, Chantilly, France
QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE-G1, €5,000,000, CHY, 10-1, 3yo/up, c/f, 12fT, 2:28.69, sf.
1–ENABLE (GB), 121, f, 3, by Nathaniel (Ire)
1st Dam: Concentric (GB) (SW GSP-Fr, $117,776), by Sadler’s Wells
2nd Dam: Apogee (GB), by Shirley Heights (GB)
3rd Dam: Bourbon Girl, by Ile de Bourbon
O-Khalid Abdullah; B-Juddmonte Farms Ltd (GB); T-John Gosden; J-Lanfranco Dettori. €2,857,000. Lifetime Record: MG1SW-Eng G1SW-Ire, 8-7-0-1, €4,455,137. *1/2 to Contribution (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}), MGSP-Fr. Werk Nick Rating: D. Click for the eNicks report 5-cross pedigree.
2–Cloth of Stars (Ire), 131, c, 4, Sea the Stars (Ire)–Strawberry Fledge, by Kingmambo. (400,000gns Ylg ’14 TATOCT). O-Godolphin SNC; B-Peter Anastasiou (IRE); T-Andre Fabre. €1,143,000.
3–Ulysses (Ire), 131, c, 4, Galileo (Ire)–Light Shift, by Kingmambo. O/B-Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd (IRE); T-Sir Michael Stoute. €571,500.
Margins: 2HF, 1 1/4, 1HF. Odds: 0.80, 20.90, 12.10.
Also Ran: Order of St George (Ire), Brametot (Ire), Dschingis Secret (Ger), Iquitos (Ger), Idaho (Ire), Winter (Ire), Zarak (Fr), One Foot In Heaven (Ire), Doha Dream (Fr), Plumatic (GB), Seventh Heaven (Ire), Satono Diamond (Jpn), Satono Noblesse (Jpn), Capri (Ire), Silverwave (Fr). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Using her defeat of Alluringly (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) in the May 10 Listed Cheshire Oaks as a springboard to immortality, Enable seemed to grow an extra metre in terms of ability during the rest of that month and destroyed Rhododendron (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})–who won Sunday’s G1 Prix de l’Opera Longines later on the card–in the June 2 G1 Epsom Oaks against the fitting backdrop of an electric storm. Her scintillating follow-up in the Irish equivalent at a sun-baked Curragh July 15 was a notable achievement in its own right, but also served to put her spot-on for the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. which was staged in vastly contrasting conditions a fortnight later. Her 4 1/2-length dismissal of Ulysses in that rain-blighted Ascot feature marked her as one of the greats of her sex in modern times with remarkable versatility another trademark to add to her already impressive range of attributes. Allowed to domineer the Aug. 24 G1 Yorkshire Oaks from the front, the homebred sauntered into the Arc unperturbed by the sequence of tests she had had to endure since her seasonal bow when disguising herself as workmanlike in third behind stablemate Shutter Speed (GB) (Dansili {GB}) in a Newbury conditions event Apr. 21.

Breaking alertly in customary style, she was just behind Idaho with Ulysses and Order of St George close up going to the first turn before Dettori took a slight pull to allow the latter past just under a minute into the race. Once Donnacha O’Brien was slotted into second behind Seamie Heffernan, the Ballydoyle machine was in motion once again but there was always a feeling that the talented duo in front were merely acting as pacemakers for the Juddmonte wunderkind. Such was her enthusiasm passing the famous chateau, the result already seemed set there as she bowled along in the slipstream of Idaho and Order of St George with the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains and G1 Prix du Jockey Club hero Brametot (Ire) (Rajsaman {Fr}) for company. Two out, the first three home were in line with Enable tracked by Ulysses and Cloth of Stars’s jockey Mickael Barzalona following the Niarchos homebred closely. No sooner had Enable been given the green light by Dettori, she was gone beyond recall and it was the Godolphin-Fabre representative who gave the most meaningful chase to deny the winner her usual wide-margin success.

Her trainer was hailing the jockey afterwards. “She has amazing ability and it was a very clever ride from Frankie,” Gosden said. “He went forward and then when he saw the horse [Order of St George] on his outside he managed to manoeuvre around and that was exceptionally important as it meant he had a clear run. That one manoeuvre offered her every opportunity to win the race. She had shown us she was in the zone and she still had her summer coat. We don’t ask anything of her at home and she enjoys her work.” Of the tantalising possibility of Enable staying in training as a 4-year-old, he added, “She has only really had one season of racing and so there is every reason to keep her in training, particularly with Longchamp re-opening and that would be great to win this on two different tracks.”

Juddmonte’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said, “She’s a champion filly and this is such a great result for the Juddmonte team. She is the fourth generation bred by Prince Khalid from one of his first horses bred and it is a tribute to him. We are all very proud of what she has achieved and it is a fifth Arc winner for Prince Khalid, which speaks volumes. With Frankie becoming the all-time leading jockey, it is fantastic. All conditions were favourable and she showed her class to the world. Her future has yet to be discussed and it will be decided in time whether she stays in training.”

Cloth of Stars was putting in a career-best, but had entered the race with confidence behind him from the incomparable Andre Fabre. Godolphin’s Lisa-Jane Graffard commented, “Cloth of Stars has run an incredible race and we are very proud of him. He really finished well and has shown himself to be a world-class horse, beaten by a proud champion. The Arc has been his objective for a long time and he was ready to run the race of his life. We have not talked about any further plans yet, but will do so when we see how he comes out of this race.”

Sir Michael Stoute confirmed that the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf is still on for Ulysses. “He’s run his race and there are no excuses regarding the ground as it rode well,” he said. “I don’t think he’s had too hard a race and, if that’s the case, we will take him to the Breeders’ Cup Turf again.” His jockey Jim Crowley added, “I had a lovely position throughout, tracking Enable. He picked up well for me when I asked him in the straight, but the winner must be an exceptional filly.”

Aidan O’Brien said of his fourth Order of St George, eighth Idaho and ninth Winter (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), “That was probably far enough for Winter and we might go back to a mile and a quarter for the race at Ascot [the Oct. 21 G1 Qipco Champion S.]. Seventh Heaven [in 14th] is getting better and Idaho was probably lit up a bit. Order of St George ran very well and we might look at the two-mile race [the G2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup] at Ascot.”

Enable has placed her sire where he could never be on the track, marginally ahead of Frankel (GB) in terms of producing an outstanding performer from his first crop. She is one of two black-type performers alongside the G2 Prix de Pomone and G3 Prix Allez France-placed Contribution for Concentric, who was herself the winner of the Listed Prix Charles Laffitte and runner-up in the G3 Prix de Flore. Her dam is the G3 Prix de Royaumont winner Apogee, who is also the dam of Concentric’s G2 Prix de Royallieu-winning full-sister Dance Routine (GB). She in turn produced the multiple top-level scorer and champion grass horse in the US Flintshire (GB) (Dansili {GB}), who was runner-up twice in this race and so Enable was settling a family score. Apogee also produced the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon and G3 Prix de Chemin de Fer du Nord-winning sire Apsis (GB), while the third dam Bourbon Girl was runner-up in both the G1 English and Irish Oaks which Enable had earlier put right. Her best runner was the G2 Grand Prix de Chantilly winner and G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud runner-up Daring Miss (GB) (Sadler’s Wells). This success came hot on the heels of another family victory of lesser stature, but nonetheless significant in its own right as the Chad Brown-trained Projected (GB) (Showcasing {GB}), a son of Flintshire’s half-sister Deliberate (GB) (King’s Best), won Saturday’s GII Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup S. at Laurel Park. Concentric also has an as-yet unraced 2-year-old colt by Dansili (GB) named Centroid (GB), a yearling filly by the same sire and a 2017 filly by Frankel.

 

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