Dettori delight as Chantilly heroine Enable stays in training at four
Brilliant filly Enable will stay in training next season with a tilt at winning a second Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at the heart of a campaign which could also feature a mouthwatering clash of the hemispheres with Australian megastar Winx.
In another example of Khalid Abdullah's commitment to seeing his best horses perform on the racecourse the Saudi owner, who kept Frankel in training at four, will hand John Gosden and Frankie Dettori the chance to build on 2017's haul of five Group 1 victories.
Emulating Treve, who won back-to-back Arcs in 2013 and 2014, when the race returns to Longchamp next year will be a primary goal, but a meeting with Winx, whose programme could bring her to Europe in 2018, is arguably the bigger dream for racing fans over the winter.
The Australian champion breezed to her 21st win in a row in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington last Saturday as she builds towards an attempt at winning a third Cox Plate, after which attention could turn to an international campaign, starting at Royal Ascot in either the Queen Anne or Prince of Wales's Stakes.
Dettori said: "Meeting Winx would be mouthwatering. John, Prince Khalid and Teddy [Grimthorpe] will discuss a plan after the new year. As they've said, the long-term target is to try to defend her crown in the Arc at Longchamp."
Referring to a potential clash with Winx, the owner's racing manager Grimthorpe said: "Why would you write it off? It would be something everyone would want to see, but it's a long time to Royal Ascot and we wouldn't go to the Queen Anne."
Betway make Winx favourite in a match bet with Enable over a mile in 2018, but make the Arc heroine 5-6 to prevail over the Prince of Wales's trip of a mile and a quarter, with Winx evens.
Enable became the first British-trained filly or mare to land the Arc when she carried Dettori to a record-breaking fifth success, adding to a tally that also included the Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks.
Having dismissed a top-class field at Chantilly to win by two and a half lengths, Dettori was thrilled by Monday's announcement that she is to stay in training.
"I'm delighted with the news and very grateful to Prince Khalid," he said. "I went to see her this morning, gave her a few Polos and she said hello back.
"She's a filly of a lifetime so I'm absolutely made up that she stays in training. What she achieved this year is nothing short of sensational and I look forward to riding her again next year.
"I'd be very happy if she's still the same next year. I'm excited but I suppose I won't ride her until the spring so that's the only sad news. She's done a job this year and it's roll on next year."
Gosden said: "It's good news for racing and good news that a quality racemare like her will be around next year.
"It's been the policy of Juddmonte in the past to keep their top fillies in training at four, such as Midday a few years ago. Enable is currently having a nice break and there's no rush to decide on future targets."
Juddmonte's statement said "the defence of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will be high in consideration", but mentioned no other targets.
Grimthorpe said: "It was a straightforward decision. We wanted to give her time to settle down and get over the Arc. The prince gets input from everybody. John's views are the most important to listen to but ultimately it was the prince's call. He loves to see his horses race, especially the good ones.
"As with all horses you need a sound and healthy year to reproduce anywhere near what she's done this year. The Arc will be in the mind. How she gets there and what she does has to be decided. She has to get through the winter and spring, then we'll see.
"It's been a fantastic year with tremendous performances. There were six top-class performances in a row. You couldn't have asked for more."
Enable is a best-priced 4-1 favourite to win the 2018 Arc from stablemate Cracksman, who is between an 8-1 and 16-1 shot.
What Enable's 2018 campaign could entail . . .
May G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, Curragh
June G1 Prince of Wales's Stakes, Royal Ascot
July G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot
August G1 Juddmonte International or Yorkshire Oaks, York
October G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Longchamp
Enable 2018 specials
Sky Bet Evs win King George, 7-4 win three or more Group 1s, 5-2 win a 1m2f Group 1, 3 win the Arc, 7-2 go unbeaten (void if doesn’t run), 4 win Prince of Wales’s Stakes, 7 win Arc by two lengths or more, 10 win Arc by three lengths or more, 14 win Arc by four lengths or more
2018 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
BoyleSports 3 Enable, 12 Cracksman, 25 Cloth Of Stars, Order Of St George, The Pentagon, Ulysses, 33 Amadeus Modigliani, Brametot, Crystal Ocean, 50 Happily
Enable v Winx in 2018 (Betway prices)
A race over 1m 4-9 Winx, 7-4 Enable
1m2f 5-6 Enable, Evs Winx
1m4f 2-5 Enable, 15-8 Winx
Four other three-year-old stars of 2017 to look forward to in 2018
The year's outstanding sprinter who followed July Cup victory with four-length win in the Haydock Sprint Cup.
Put Nunthorpe Stakes disappointment behind him with a scintillating win in the Prix de l'Abbaye.
Lost out by a nose in the Nunthorpe but trainer Wesley Ward is already making plans for Royal Ascot 2018, where she will attempt to win for the third year running.
Missed the Arc to be saved for Longchamp next year, when he could be a threat to stablemate Enable.
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