Superstar filly Enable to stay in training with third Arc the main target
Dual Arc heroine Enable will stay in training and target an unprecedented third win in Europe's premier race following her dramatic victory at Longchamp last month.
The news was revealed on Monday morning by Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, who said no schedule had been set but that all roads would lead to Paris in the autumn.
Grimthorpe said: "I think Prince Khalid wanted to sit back and reflect and enjoy what she has done before coming to any decision. He didn't want to rush into anything. She only ran once as a two-year-old, had a full three-year-old season and only ran three times this year, so she doesn't have loads of miles on the clock."
Abdullah has a long-standing affinity with the Arc and Grimthorpe added: "It's clearly one of the great races of the world and obviously Prince Khalid is now joint-leading owner in terms of number of wins [six, with Marcel Boussac].
"If he were to take the record outright with the first three-time winner of the race, that would be something."
Ascot is keeping its fingers crossed that the track will feature on the schedule of Enable, who won last year's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on her only previous visit.
Enable was only the third three-year-old, all trained by John Gosden, to win the Group 1 in the last 15 years when she left Ulysses in her wake to add to her Oaks win in June and the Irish Oaks two weeks before Ascot.
Ascot director of racing Nick Smith said: "Enable is very very special and it is great news that one of the stars of 2018 will be back next year. We hope a second King George comes into the equation and possibly a first try at ten furlongs at Group 1 level in the Prince of Wales's at Royal Ascot.
"Winning the King George as a three-year-old resonated and it would be great to see her come back and attempt to give the three-year-olds the weight this time."
Enable suffered an interrupted campaign in 2018 but after making her belated return in the September Stakes she won the Arc and the Breeders' Cup Turf, creating history by becoming the first horse to complete the Arc-Breeders' Cup double.
She is a top-priced 4-1 favourite to win the 2019 Arc, while Sea Of Class, who pushed her close at Longchamp, is a 6-1 shot. Coral offered a series of special bets, going 5-1 she retains her title in the Breeders' Cup Turf, 7-1 she goes unbeaten through 2019 and 8-1 she completes the Arc-Breeders' Cup Turf double for a second time.
Great British Racing welcomed the news as a boost for Flat racing. Chief executive Rod Street said: "It is extremely sporting of Prince Khalid and Juddmonte to keep Enable in training for 2019 and incredibly exciting for racing fans and the sport in general.
“It is a matter of fact that leading jumps horses are more widely known than their Flat counterparts, simply because they are around for longer.
“So, with the chance to enjoy more extraordinary Flat performances like those of Enable, the public is likely to make a deeper connection with the horse. It’s really good news and can only help to generate interest in racing.”
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