Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Enable, Dettori, Gosden

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Enable, Dettori, Gosden

They are on the verge of writing one of the most beautiful chapters in the history of racing. Here Lanfranco Dettori and John Gosden, the jockey-trainer combination trainer behind the great Enable, the mare out to record an unprecedented third win in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the world’s top race, open up a few days ahead of the big event.

Of Italian extraction, Lanfranco Dettori is based in England. He will celebrate his 50th birthday in December and his record as a jockey is truly remarkable. He has won the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe six times, which makes him record holder, having ridden in the race 31 times! He won his first Group 1 race (the highest level in racing) in 1990, and, to date, boasts 259 successes at this level.

In a serene mood as the big day comes near he said: « We have already achieved something historic by winning the King George for the third time. Frankly, the pressure involved is less than last year, and it’s not because there will be fewer people in Paris. It’s because we have already experienced disappointment. The three hours which followed last year’s defeat were the worst in my entire professional career, and I think that Enable was similarly downcast. »

On the matter of the tactics, he said: «I’m praying that we will get drawn somewhere between one and eight. Rain is forecast and the ground will most likely be heavy. I hope that we won’t experience extremes of going as happened last year. There are two horses that like to go to the front: Serpentine and Sovereign. So taking up a good position will be de rigueur. »

Like everyone else, he believes that the filly Love will be the most dangerous opponent for the champion that is Enable and added: “The ground is a very important factor and Enable has already shown that she can handle it. It’s a big plus: a bit like the three kilos weight (7lb) filly’s allowance that Love will be receiving. She will be coming into the Arc de Triomphe a bit as Enable did as a three-year-old, but having trod a different path. I hold her in high esteem, like everyone else. I have spoken with my colleagues and racing analysts. They say that a heavy track could count against Love because her low to the ground, fast action is better suited to a good ground.

The genuine heavy ground will turn the Arc into a stamina test. That will play to Stradivarius’ strengths, and, on the contrary, the distance may prove a bit long for Persian King, although anything trained by André Fabre warrants respect. There are other horses which shouldn’t be underestimated such as Sottsass. He hasn’t had a hard campaign and boasts prior experience in the Arc de Triomphe. »

Lanfranco Dettori and his Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe record

Number of runners       31       

Wins                              6          19,35%

Places                           4          12,90%

Six wins (1995, 2001, 2002, 2015, 2017 and 2018).

2019      Enable                        2nd

2018      Enable                       1st

2017      Enable                       1st

2016      Order of St George     3rd

2015      Golden Horn             1st

2014      Ruler of the World     9th

2012      Camelot                      7th

2011      Snow Fairy                 3rd

2010      Cavalryman                8th

2009      Cavalryman                3th

2008      Schiaparelli                Out of first 10

2007      Authorized                 10th

2006      Sixties Icon                6th

2005      Cherry Mix                 Out of first 10

2004      Mamool                      Out of first 10

2003      Doyen                         4th

2002      Marienbard               1st

2001      Sakhee                       1st

2000      Hésiode                      9th

1999      Daylami                      Out of first 10

1998      Sea Wave                   Out of first 10

1997      Swain                         7th

1996      Classic Cliché            Out of first 10

1995      Lammtarra               1st

1994      Only Royale               7th

1993      Misil                           7th

1992      Polytain                      Out of first 10

1991      Shamshir                    10th

1990      Legal Case                  6th

1989      Legal Case                  8th

1988      Roushayd                   20th

John Gosden: “Enable is primed to run a big race.”

John Gosden, one of the most successful trainers (he has won the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three times) of his profession, believes that his mare is ready to give of her best:  «Enable is doing very well! She’s at her optimum racing weight and is happy. We had a bit of trouble getting her really “fit” this year, as the mare has grown older and heavier. However, as things stand, she’s in top form. So we are confident. She has never run a bad race. She invariably rises to the task. She’s primed to run a big race. »

John Gosden will also saddle Stradivarius, the world’s top stayer in the world, and now trying his hand over 2,400 metres (12f) Regarding the ability of his two runners to cope with the

forecast heavy ground, he says: “Enable has already run well on very soft ground, but like many horses, she prefers good ground. She can cope with testing tracks, but that renders her task more difficult: as it’s more demanding in terms of stamina. Stradivarius has always been a fast ground horse, but he surprised us on the day of the [Ascot] Gold Cup when he managed to win, despite the conditions, over 4.000m (2m 4f). So if it rains, we hope that both horses will be able to cope. It is my jockeys who will decide on the tactics.  They have to judge how fast they are going, where they have to be in a race, and how much effort to ask of their horses… It can be dangerous to give a horse in front too much rope, and, in equal measure, the same applies to make too much use of your horse, which invariably entails you cutting your own throat.”

John Gosden will follow the race on television owing to the restrictions relative to Covid-19. Taking it on the chin he said: “For the horses that will be better as they’ll be calmer! Regarding our situation, we just have to deal with it… We live in complicated times. I will watch the race on television, like almost everyone else. My team and I have had the extreme privilege and responsibility of looking after such a mare for all these years. The Enable adventure has been fantastic and, if she wins on Sunday, it would be wonderful. However, above all, the only thing we ask of the mare is that she gives it her best shot. I’m sure that she will do that. 

John Gosden and his Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe record

Number of runners       11

Wins                              3          27,27%

Places                           2          18,18%

Roll of honour (wins) : 2015, 2017 & 2018.  

2019      Enable                                      2nd

2018      Enable                                     1st

2017      Enable                                     1st 

2015      Golden Horn                           1st

              Eagle Top                                 15th

2014      Taghrooda                                3rd

2012      Great Heavens                          6th

2011      Masked Marvel                        Unplaced

2010      Duncan                                     Unplaced

2009      Dar Re Mi                                5th

1996      Tamure                                     Unplaced

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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