Breeders' Cup

Enable very much able as European queen makes history Stateside

Frankie Dettori and Enable land the Breeders' Cup Turf: the jockey said: 'She's amazing. She's very special'
Frankie Dettori and Enable land the Breeders' Cup Turf: the jockey said: 'She's amazing. She's very special'Credit: Edward Whitaker

Enable went where Dancing Brave, Sakhee, Golden Horn and Found could not when she became the first Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner to follow up at the Breeders' Cup, recording history in the Turf at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

The queen of European racing was given a confident ride by Frankie Dettori, who sat her just off the pace and angled her wide before the turn for home.

From there, fellow European raider Magical provided the biggest threat, but Enable was very much able to dismiss her, powering home for a decisive victory.

Sadler's Joy was third, but the £2.7 million contest was about only one horse.

Breeders' Cup Turf result

Trained in Newmarket by John Gosden for owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, Enable won the Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Arc during a stellar 2017.

However, her campaign this term was stalled until September following a spring setback, although the daughter of Nathaniel has more than made up for lost time.

She recorded back-to-back Arc victories last month and was strongly fancied in her bid for immortality.

History was against her though as no Arc winner had graduated to Breeders' Cup glory in the same season, but history was rewritten as she roared home.

Enable (pink cap) powers home for a history-making triumph
Enable (pink cap) powers home for a history-making triumphCredit: Edward Whitaker

"It was a big ask for the filly and everyone knows she's had a difficult year," said Gosden, winning his first Turf, but fifth Breeders' Cup prize.

"She didn't quite come here in the form she would have last year, but she's done it. It was a tough race. Frankie was determined to stay wide for the better ground, but Hunting Horn was attending us all the way and then Ryan Moore slipped up our inner on Magical.

"I thought she was going to have us, but it was a wonderful stretch run between two great fillies and two great jockeys.

"We've come out on top and full marks to our filly because she's been very brave and mentally very strong. She did it today with sheer guts and determination."

Abdullah, whose Expert Eye – also ridden by Dettori – won the Mile on Saturday's card, also owned Dancing Brave, the mighty 1986 Arc hero who could manage only fourth in the Turf later that year.

Gosden's Golden Horn was another beaten in it after his Arc, as were Paris winners Dylan Thomas, Subotica, Saumarez and Trempolino.

"It's wonderful for Prince Khalid, who has been a massive supporter of the Breeders' Cup since 1984 when I first sat with him at Hollywood Park," Gosden added.

Frankie Dettori performs his flying dismount after victory on Enable at Churchill Downs
Frankie Dettori performs his flying dismount after victory on Enable at Churchill DownsCredit: Edward Whitaker

"He's been a huge supporter and was very keen to come here. He's been rewarded, but a neck defeat would have been a tough one."

Dettori, winning his fifth Turf, exclaimed: "She's conquered America and is the first one to do it!

"We had the rain and her wheels were spinning around the bends, so I took her wide to get the fresh ground and she got comfortable and found another gear. She's amazing. She's very special."

Enable is unchanged at 4-1 with Betfair to make it three Arcs next year.

Teddy Grimthorpe, Abdullah's racing manager, said: "Everything that has gone into this year has been an emotional rollercoaster and for Prince Khalid to have a fourth-generation bred filly do this and make history is special."

Gosden and Dettori are keen for the brilliant four-year-old to stay in training, but Grimthorpe added: "Luckily it's not my decision and Prince Khalid will have a think about what to do with this filly.

"Everybody always wants more and we want more of Enable, but we have to do the right thing by her."

If you are interested in this, you might also like:

The perfect end to the perfect race as Enable lands second Arc

Frankie factor: Expert Eye comes good in Mile under Dettori masterclass

Expert Eye stamps stallion claims with authoritative Mile success

Lambourn correspondent

Published on inBreeders' Cup

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