Frankie Dettori relishing more dizzy days with Enable in 2018

Mon 9 Oct 2017

By Andy Stephens

Frankie Dettori has spoken of his delight at the news his "filly of a lifetime" Enable will stay in training next season.

The John Gosden-trained daughter of Nathaniel has enjoyed a fantastic three-year-old campaign, winning the English, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks, as well as producing spectacular performances to beat the boys in the King George at Ascot and, most recently, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.

She won those five Group One contests by an aggregate of more than 22 lengths.

In the immediate aftermath of her French victory Gosden was keen on the idea of Enable staying in training and after deliberating for a week, owner Prince Khalid Abdullah has confirmed she will press on in 2018, with a second Arc bid at a renovated Longchamp high on the agenda.

A statement issued by Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms read: "Prince Khalid bin Abdullah is pleased to announce that Enable will stay in training for 2018.

"Her racing programme will be decided in the New Year, but the defence of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will be high in consideration."

Dettori has partnered Enable to each of her six triumphs this season - she won the Cheshire Oaks in May before her winning spree at the highest level - and is relishing the prospect of being reunited with her next year.

He said on Monday: "I'm very pleased and grateful to Prince Khalid for keeping her in training because, to me, she is a filly of a lifetime.

"What she has achieved this year has been nothing short of sensational. I'm looking forward to having her back next year so we can have another crack at going for the Arc and all the other big races.

"She is the best filly I have ridden. She won five Group Ones, including two Classics, and she didn't just win them, she won them amazingly.

"I think the racing fans will look forward to seeing her race next year, including me, as I'm her biggest fan.

"I didn't have to say very much. John Gosden knows the filly better than I do and he spoke to Prince Khalid and came to the decision."

BetVictor make her 4-7 to win at least three Group One prizes next year.

Her connections will face the delicate issue of determining a suitable programme - and it will be fascinating to see if they explore new angles en route to her Arc defence.

She ruled supreme over a mile and a half and, if they stick to a policy of "it ain't broke, don't fix it", could keep her over that distance with the Coronation Cup, King George and another Yorkshire Oaks being stepping stones to Longchamp.

However, they might be tempted by other avenues and, given Enable has so much speed, dropping back to take on the best over a mile and a quarter has to be a possibility.

For instance, there is no Group One contest at Royal Ascot over a mile and a half and if Prince Khalid is keen to see her in action there then the Prince of Wales's Stakes looms into view.

But would her team want to run her there first time out? It is unlikely, which would mean a potentially a softer target to blow away any cobwebs in May - not ideal if they want her to last well into the autumn for the second year in succession.

A second tilt at the King George looks something of a banker and then there is likely to be a choice of targets at York's Ebor meeting - which in terms of time scale falls perfectly before the Arc. The Yorkshire Oaks proved a perfect prep this year but the Juddmonte International - sponsored by Abdullah's Juddmonte empire - was also considered and would be a much bolder shout.

There is plenty of water to flow under the bridge before then. You only have to look at what happened to Almanzor this year (one subdued run after looking almost unbeatable in 2016) to realise such decisions are not always rewarded.

Hopefully, her story has many more exciting chapters left in it.

DREAM DATES FOR ENABLE - HER POSSIBLE PROGRAMME IN 2018:

MAY: Newmarket Guineas meeting: Racecourse gallop - an away day to help her tune up mentally and physically for the missions ahead.

JUNE: Coronation Cup at Epsom: Brilliant at the track this year when winning the Oaks. If her connections made it a stated aim then you would imagine possible rivals quickly melting away - presenting her with a perfect reappearance race.

JULY: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot: Superb winner of the race this year, albeit getting all the allowances. There have only been two dual winners; Dahlia (1973, 1974) and Swain (1997, 1998)

AUGUST: Juddmonte International at York: You cannot help but feel that her connections will be tempted to drop her back to a mile and a quarter at some stage next year. The obvious race has to be the £1 million contest sponsored by her owner. In terms of time scale, York's Ebor meeting towards the end of August falls perfectly before the Arc.

OCTOBER: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp: the one race her connections have said is a stated aim. Superb winner of this year's renewal at Chantilly.

NOVEMBER: Breeders' Cup: Will they be tempted to roll the dice one more time and head to America? If her whole campaign went like clockwork, then it would have to be a possibility.

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