ENABLE repelled the late charge of Sea Of Class to defend her crown in an exciting edition of the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp.
John Gosden’s Enable was a brilliant winner of Europe’s premier middle-distance contest last season and, although she missed much of the current campaign through injury, an impressive comeback at Kempton ensured she was a red-hot favourite to become the eighth dual winner of the Arc.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Enable was always travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders and the packed grandstands roared as she hit the front.
In contrast, having been drawn out wide, the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Class was dropped out last by James Doyle and was still a long way off the pace rounding the home turn.
She rattled home once in the clear to set up an epic finish, but Enable had just enough in the tank to claim a popular victory. Cloth Of Stars was third.
SIXTH ARC FOR DETTORI
Frankie Dettori admitted he was “more nervous than ever” before steering Enable to her second victory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The popular Italian claimed the prestigious contest for a record fifth time when winning aboard Enable at Chantilly last season, adding to his previous triumphs aboard Lammtarra (1995), Sakhee (2001), Marienbard (2002) and Golden Horn (2015).
He said: “It was my 30th Arc and I was more nervous than ever, not to mention excited, but in the race I found myself in a fantastic spot.
“In the false straight the leaders came back and I knew then we were in business. I waited as long as I could and at the 300 (metre pole) she showed her trademark turn of foot.
“It was almighty pressure on all of us – everybody wanted her to win and I had to get it right. It would be very naive to say that I wasn’t nervous.
“What a genius John Gosden is, to win an Arc with that interrupted preparation.
“In the last 50 yards we were on our hands and knees, I was trying to squeeze everything we could out of her and we got there.”
Paying tribute to his jockey, Gosden said: “He gets himself up for these occasions and rides to a level that is way beyond what most people can ride to. He rode a gorgeous race, but he thought in the last 100 metres ‘I’m in trouble’.”