If Enable manages to repeat last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe win at ParisLongchamp on Sunday, she will be responsible for securing a number of records.
Firstly, she will become the first horse trained in Britain to win two Arc de Triomphes. She will also secure a record-equalling sixth ‘Arc’ for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.
She would also become just the third filly or mare to become a dual winner of the prestigious 12-furlong contest, the others being Corrida (1936 & 1937) and Treve (2013 & 2104).
Prince Khalid’s previous winners in the race are Rainbow Quest (1985), Dancing Brave (1986), Rail Link (2006), Workforce (2010) and, last year, Enable.
Legendary owner/breeder Marcel Boussac, who has a race on Arc day named after him, won the race six times between 1936 and 1949.
Enable’s jockey, Frankie Dettori, already holds the record for a jockey, having won it five times – Lammtarra (1995), Sakhee (2001), Marienbard (20002), Golden Horn (2005) and Enable.
Golden Horn is the only non-filly or mare to have won the race in the last seven years.
Eighteen of the last 25 winners have been aged three, six of them have been aged four and one was five (Marienbard).
It has been a game of patience and a race against time to get Enable ready to run at ParisLongchamp.
Following an injury sustained in the spring, she only returned to action at Kempton on September 8th. She looked fresh and well and comfortably dealt with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes runner-up, Poet’s Word, admittedly on favourable terms.
She has pleased her trainer John Gosden since then and he is very hopeful that she will arrive in France in very good form.
His main concern seems to lie with the turf at ParisLongchamp.
After two years when the Arc was run at Chantilly, Longchamp – or ParisLongchamp as it has been rebranded – reopened earlier this year and almost immediately received criticisms regarding the condition of its racing surface. This has, it is believed, been addressed.
We must assume that this is the case. As such, Enable holds an outstanding chance on Sunday in a race that lacks strength in depth.
Her main opponents would appear to be the Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks winner Sea Of Class, whose sire Sea The Stars won the race in 2009, the English St Leger winner Kew Gardens, who we know will arrive in France in good heart and will get the stamina test that will suit, and Andre Fabre’s Waldgeist.
Fabre has won the Arc on no less than seven occasions, most recently with Rail Link in 2006. His main hope on Sunday would appear to be Waldgeist.
A son of champion sire Galileo, Waldgeist has won his last four races and will go into Sunday’s race with an increasingly-likeable profile. He’s maturing and improving with age. He represents the each-way value (13/2).
All eyes, though, will be on the potential history maker, Enable, who gives the prestigious race a headline act worthy of star billing.