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where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2019-10-01 08:28:44  
History beckons: why Enable's bid for a third Arc is simply unmissable

By 3.10pm on Sunday afternoon at a famous racecourse in Paris, Enable might have completed an equally famous hat-trick in Europe's richest horserace, the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Her bid for a third triumph and remarkable place in the history of horseracing will dominate the headlines all week, and rightly so.

There are so many reasons to care. The history, the Arc itself, the perfect partnership of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, the fine supporting cast, and finally Enable, the superstar mare and overwhelming favourite.

It would be an extraordinary achievement if Enable could win at Longchamp again. Here are the many reasons why the Arc is the must-not-miss race of the year.


Searching for a spot in history

Enable - on a date with destiny - will attempt to win a third Arc, a feat that has yet to be achieved and would set her apart from the equine greats.

The strapping mare became the eighth horse to win two Arcs when holding off the late challenge of Sea Of Class at Longchamp last year, adding to her more convincing success at the race's temporary home of Chantilly two years ago.

However, none of the previous seven managed to complete the hat-trick, with Treve the only horse to have attempted the treble in the prestigious race's existence. She finished fourth, with Gosden and Dettori playing the role of party poopers in 2015 when winning with Golden Horn.


Enable's ace team will be hoping no-one adopts that role this weekend.

A fabulous race even without Enable

The Arc is Europe's richest horserace and even without Enable's involvement it would still be a focal point of any season.

The 1m4f event is worth €5,000,000 with €2,857,000 going to the winner. It typically brings together the cream of the Classic generation and the best of the older brigade to create memorable clashes.

Taking Enable out of contention would still leave a thrilling contest between Juddmonte International winner Japan, Irish Champion Stakes victor Magical, wide-margin Grosser Preis von Baden scorer Ghaiyyath and Sottsass, impressive in the Prix du Jockey Club, with the likes of Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck and last year's Arc fourth Waldgeist further down the supporting cast.

Enable will rightfully dominate the week-long build-up and the forensic-like aftermath, but the Arc is not solely about one superstar. It rarely is.

Enable's rise to superstar status

Racing tends to latch on quickly to a superstar in Juddmonte's famous pink, green and white silks, but Enable was something of a slow-burner who has blossomed into a marvellous mare and secured a special place in many racing lives and memories.

A low-key winner on the all-weather at two, Enable suffered the only blemish on her otherwise faultless CV when beaten on her return at Newbury at three.

Her subsequent streak of 12 wins has showcased her stamina, speed, guts, brilliance and versatility, featuring dominant Classic victories at Epsom and the Curragh and the magnificence of her first Arc win.

She recovered from a lengthy layoff last year to bravely hold off Sea Of Class for her second Arc, and overcame a difficult passage at the Breeders' Cup less than a month later.

And then there was her titanic tussle in the King George, where lesser horses would have cried enough in a pulsating battle against the superb Crystal Ocean, a fight she emerged from unscathed, endearing herself further to her legion of fans.

The Gosden and Dettori factor

Gosden and Dettori have had quite the summer. Their partnership has been prolific in the big races this season, as evidenced again on Saturday when Lord North cruised to victory in the Cambridgeshire.

She recovered from a lengthy layoff last year to bravely hold off Sea Of Class for her second Arc, and overcame a difficult passage at the Breeders' Cup less than a month later.

And then there was her titanic tussle in the King George, where lesser horses would have cried enough in a pulsating battle against the superb Crystal Ocean, a fight she emerged from unscathed, endearing herself further to her legion of fans.

The Gosden and Dettori factor

Gosden and Dettori have had quite the summer. Their partnership has been prolific in the big races this season, as evidenced again on Saturday when Lord North cruised to victory in the Cambridgeshire.

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