Urban Sea in overdrive as Enable claims her second Arc victory
Legendary broodmare is ancestress of the first eight home at Longchamp
They really will have to consider renaming the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe the Prix Urban Sea or, more realistically, erect a statue in the great mare's honour in the Longchamp winner's enclosure.
On the 25th anniversary of Urban Sea winning the race, the late daughter of Miswaki featured as granddam or great-granddam of all of the first eight home in Europe's premier all-aged middle-distance race on Sunday.
Urban Sea produced nine black type performers from nine runners in her paddocks career, headed by Derby hero and perennial champion sire Galileo and fellow Derby winner and Classic progenitor Sea The Stars. Her distaff line continues to flourish too, so she consequently features in the pedigrees of stakes winners week in, week out.
In the Arc it was Enable, from the first crop of Galileo's son Nathaniel, who made it back-to-back victories in the contest, with Sea Of Class – by Sea The Stars – flying from the clouds to finish a short-neck second.
Third home was Cloth Of Stars, also by Sea The Stars, and he was followed by Waldgeist (Galileo), Capri (Galileo), Salouen (by Canford Cliffs out of a Galileo mare), Kew Gardens (Galileo) and Nelson (by Galileo's dual world champion son Frankel).
Ninth-placed Study Of Man, by Deep Impact out of a Storm Cat mare, fared best of this year's Arc runners not descended from Urban Sea.
It is not just on Sunday that Urban Sea has dominated the Arc, either.
Enable led home Cloth Of Stars last year, with Galileo's son Ulysses in third; Found was at the head of a one-two-three for Galileo in 2016; and Sea The Stars himself took the race in 2009.
Furthermore, Urban Sea's maternal grandson Masterstroke was third to Solemia in 2012, and the mare's half-brother King's Best supplied the 2010 victor Workforce.
The big races in Europe this season have revolved around Urban Sea.
Not only have there been copious winners for her stallion descendants led by Galileo and Sea The Stars, and Galileo's sons Frankel, Nathaniel, New Approach and Teofilo, but her maternal descendants include Derby hero Masar – by New Approach, and inbred 3x4 to Urban Sea – as well as Belmont Oaks winner Athena and Rockfel Stakes scorer Just Wonderful.
Needless to say, Urban Sea, who passed away in 2009, must rank as one of the most important mares in the history of the thoroughbred.
Enable – an eighth dual winner of the Arc, and the first trained in Britain to do the double – is the fifth foal out of the Listed-winning Sadler's Wells mare Concentric, making her a half-sister to Prix de Pomone third Contribution.
Concentric is a sister to Prix de Royallieu winner and Prix de Diane runner-up Dance Routine, the dam of multiple top-flight winner and dual Arc runner-up Flintshire.
The sisters are out of Prix de Royaumont winner Apogee, a daughter of Shirley Heights and Epsom and Curragh Oaks second Bourbon Girl and thus a half-sister to Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud runner-up Daring Miss and to the dam of Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Spanish Moon.
Concentric has a two-year-old filly by Dansili called Entitle – she was a quiet sixth on her sole start in June – as well as a Frankel yearling filly and a Sea The Stars colt foal.
She returned to Enable's sire Nathaniel this year, a mating that produces 3x2 inbreeding to Sadler's Wells – a fact that will have to be closely considered when it eventually comes to mating the now six-time Group 1 heroine.
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