'Game on!' Gosden says Enable is all set for the Love match after Kempton stroll
If this was Enable's final outing on a British racecourse, it could hardly have gone better as the world's most famous racehorse teed herself up for a history-making trip to Paris with a performance that left John Gosden declaring: "Game on!"
Gosden was adamant he did not want Enable to lock horns with Love in last month's Yorkshire Oaks, but following a predictably easy success in the Unibet September Stakes, the champion trainer, like all racing fans, is eagerly awaiting their showdown in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
"That was mission accomplished," said Gosden, who watched from the running rail as Enable and Frankie Dettori repeated their 2018 victory in Kempton's most prestigious Flat race.
On that occasion Enable duelled up the home straight with the mighty Crystal Ocean. This time she was in a different league to the remaining five runners and proved that on the sand, making almost all the running to win unchallenged by seven lengths.
Indeed, the only moment of concern came when she was smacked under the chin by a stall's handler's rope. That caused her to begin slowly. She finished quickly.
"She had a go at kicking me saddling up, so it was important she had a race to take a little of that fizz out of her," explained Gosden. "It was very good for her mentally to have the race. She has had a nice blow, which we could have done at home, but you can't rehearse going to the racecourse.
"She has hopefully had a nice day out and it was a great to see her. It's a shame there wasn't a crowd here to see her but c'est la vie."
Gosden will now hope la vie est belle when Enable meets Love at Longchamp on October's first Sunday, seeking to go one place better than when second last year in her bid to become the Arc's first triple winner.
"We have enormous respect for the Oaks winner," said Gosden of Love.
"If Enable had gone to the Knavesmire I don't know who would have won but, my goodness, they would both have had a hard race – and I did not want her to have a hard race on the Knavesmire seven and a half weeks before the Arc. That wouldn't have been a clever way of getting there.
"You have seen how the French trainers do it. Look at Monsieur Fabre last year with Waldgeist. I learn from my friends."
Enable has become one of Dettori's very best friends. He is desperate to claim his seventh Arc on Khalid Abdullah's mare, mainly because he knows it will be her third Arc.
"I'm not saying she is going to win, but we can still dream," he said. "It's possible. It's going to be tough against Love but we are in the mix."
Charlie Fellowes hopes Prince Of Arran will be in the mix when the stayer returns to Australia for the Lexus Melbourne Cup. He will do so having finished a pleasing third, narrowly behind the Cumani family's Kirstenbosch.
"That was perfect, spot on," said Fellowes. "He is quite fat at the moment. He has only done three pieces of work since he came back from holiday and we knew he was going to need the run, but we couldn't have been happier with that. He'll have one more run in Oz before the big one."
From the moment it was announced Enable would compete at six, her big one has been the Arc.
"Today was a non-event, she went around on her own," said Dettori of this race.
The next race will be different.
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