John Gosden says Enable’s preparation for this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has been more difficult than in previous seasons due to her advancing years.
The six-year-old superstar is aiming to become the most successful horse to ever race in the showpiece Group 1 at Longchamp by securing a record-breaking third victory.
But Enable has it all to do after being beaten by Waldgeist on the run-in last year and trainer Gosden has had to carefully manage his prized asset throughout the current campaign in order to make sure she is in peak condition this weekend.
Speaking about Enable’s condition on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, the Suffolk Sorcerer said: “I think she’s found it more difficult – she’s older and bigger and heavier and getting to race fitness – I went gently at it, [but] it was a struggle though.
“When I ran her in the Eclipse, I was very clear with everyone beforehand that the race would put her right. She went there at 80 per cent and the race did put her right – she went and won the King George.
“She’s been in good form since. She had a nice breeze round in the September Stakes – nothing too taxing for her because the Arc has been the target all year.
“She’s happy and well in herself – Frankie [Dettori] breezed her on the round gallop on the Limekilns on Saturday and he was very pleased with her. We’re here and hope we’ll get there on the day.
“It’s still a few days to go and she’s ready to put in a big, bold effort. We’re perfectly aware how tough the race is and we’re perfectly aware how tough the opposition is.”
Enable is currently favourite for the Arc but is up against Aidan O’Brien’s Love while the stellar field is also expected to contain the likes of Sottsass, Serpentine, Raabihah and Persian King.
Looking back at her wins in 2017 and 2018, then comparing those runs to the near miss last year, Gosden is hoping Enable can build on her experience this time around.
“I think she was overwhelmingly the best as a three-year-old getting the weight in her first Arc,” he said.
“The second Arc, she struggled. She had an injury, came back and won in the September Stakes but then got sick, and then went to the Arc and she was fortunate that day – a very lovely filly Sea Of Class came at her late, but the line came in time.
She’s done it ?
Enable has won the 2018 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe! pic.twitter.com/aC2esVCYkQ
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) October 7, 2018
“She’d missed some work [that year] but she hung in there and last year she ran a blinder. I think we all went a stride quick and all moved a little bit soon for the conditions and let’s hope we can go one better this year.”
When asked about owner Prince Khalid’s decision to keep Enable in training, Gosden said: “He is the most fantastic owner. A great, great owner-breeder and he’s a sportsman and he loves to watch his horses race.
“Enable being a filly, he thought ‘come on let’s go again’. It was entirely his decision on the basis that, all being well, she’s got many years being a broodmare and she does enjoy her training.
“He wanted to know very clearly from me and Teddy Grimthorpe that she was up for it, enthusiastic and in good form at the end of last year and then he took the decision. So it’s a sporting [decision] and let’s hope she puts up a bold show.”
*Odds quoted on the widget are Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules.
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