The American dream: Enable gets green light to run in Breeders’ Cup Turf

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Wed 17 Oct 2018

Connections of Enable are hoping she can defy the weight of history and become the first Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner to follow up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf when she runs at Churchill Downs on November 3.

The likes of Dancing Brave, Sakhee, Dylan Thomas and Golden Horn have all come up short when chasing the famous Group One double, although all made the journey to America after a busy European season.

In contrast, the John Gosden-trained Enable has had just two runs this term after a setback in the spring and with a second Arc in the bag, the team behind the filly believe that enforced absence could turn out to be a blessing.

Our experts reflect on Enable's second Arc triumph

Owner Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe announced her American target in a statement, saying: “Prince Khalid has given the go ahead for Enable to run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. No decisions on her future will be made until after the race.”

He added later: “We’re aware that no Arc winner has won the Breeders’ Cup Turf, but we’re looking for positives – most of them had had a hard, tough season by the time they got to the Breeders’ Cup.

“She certainly hasn’t had a long season, but I wouldn’t say she didn’t have a tough race in the Arc. However, she has only had two races this year, so from that point of view it gave us encouragement.”

Abdullah also owned Dancing Brave who won the Arc in 1986 but failed to fire in the Turf when fourth on what was his eighth run of the season, taking in the Guineas, Derby, Eclipse and King George along the way.

“Dancing Brave had a Guineas preparation and he was going there having run not just a lifetime best, but a world best in the Arc, so it was just a bridge too far for him,” said Grimthorpe.

“For a lot of Arc winners it has come at the end of a long season where the Arc had been the aim,so it is slightly different for her.”

Gosden revealed after her successful Arc defence that she was only around 85 per cent because of a minor setback after her comeback win at Kempton.

Enable looked in fine trim on the gallops at Newmarket on Friday when working in a select party that also included such as Cracksman, Roaring Lion, Stradivarius, Lah Ti Dar and Coronet.

"I think I've finally got her fit," the trainer quipped as she breezed past.“She blew hard after the race [the Arc], harder than usual. She went back to Chantilly that night. We gave her breakfast at 4am, she ate that and got on the van and ate everything here.

“She has been great since and she is an extraordinary athlete.”

Gosden admitted it was “nip and tuck” whether Enable would be able to defend her Arc crown after she suffered a slight temperature.

_Gosden talks to Nick Lightfoot about Champions Day, Enable, Raoring Lion and Cracksman _

“I was pretty anxious going into it as we lost a week," he said. "Losing a filly for five days that should be cantering and working knocks you back and we went back to where we were before the Kempton race.

“You lose the benefit of having a run and she missed her main work. It was a bit nip and tuck."

In an interview with Racing UK's Nick Lightfoot, he added:"It was a real test and she answered the call. I thought the jockey was absolutely brilliant, put his stick down, and just hands and heels, and just picked her up over the line. That’s maturity, rather than panicking and doing too much of that (makes whipping motion).

"So look, it was an extraordinary achievement. It was more down to the filly than anything else. You’re not really meant to win an Arc at 85 per cent."

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