With the European racing season in its finale who does the giant killer Enable have to beat in this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe run on Sunday 4 October at ParisLongchamp.
Already the winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and September Stakes in her past two starts, Enable is $3.50 second favourite, and will again be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
As with Enable in winning her first Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a 3yo in 2017, it’s the Irish 3yo filly Love who is the $2,75 Arc favourite, trained by Aiden O’Brien.
Also with Enable, Love is unbeaten this year in winning the Epsom Oaks, Yorkshire Oaks, in addition to the 1000 Guineas, all by a total of 18 lengths when ridden by Ryan Moore.
Owned and bred by Coolmore, Love is by Galileo and sister to Gr3 winners Peach Tree, Flattering half-sister to Lowther Stakes winner Lucky Kristale, of family of 2000 Guineas winning sire Don’t Forget Me
However, it’s another fancied 3yo filly in Raabihah who has drifted from $10.50 to $17 following a shock 3 length defeat in the Prix Vermeille, having previously won the Prix de Psyche.
Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum and always ridden by Cristian Demuro, Raabihah was fourth in the Prix de Diane, having won her first two career starts.
Sired by the 2009 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Sea The Stars, who also won the Derby and 2000 Guineas, Raabihah was bred by Shadwell with her granddam being the Epsom Oaks winner Eswarah.
In now twice winning the Irish Champion Stakes, Magical is at $9 having defeated Ghaiyyath, who beat her in the Eclipse Stakes, with her earlier winning the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Pretty Polly Stakes.
Trained by Aiden O’Brien for Coolmore, Magical is a 5yo mare sired by Galileo from the triple Gr1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Halfway To Heaven, by Pivotal, and sister to triple Gr 1 winner Rhododendron.
Godolphin’s chances are headed by the Charlie Appleby trained Ghaiyyath, who at $13 was defeated Magical in the Irish Champion Stakes, having previously beaten her in the Juddmonte International.
In recently defeating Enable and Anthony van Dyke this season, he is a half-brother to Man-o- War Stakes winner Zhukova, being by champion sire Dubawi from the Irish 1000 Guineas winner Nightime.
Last year’s Prix du Jockey-Club winner Sottsass is at $17, having finished a credible fourth to Magical in the Irish Champion Stakes of 1¼m for trainer Jean-Claude Rouge, having also won the Prix Ganay.
In being by champion French sire Siyouni, his Dubawi half-sister was the €2.5m sale topper at the Arqana Deauville Select Sale, and is half-brother to multi Gr1 and Breeders Cup heroine Sistercharlie.
However one cannot leave out John Gosden’s ever-green ‘2+ miler’ Stradivarius, who also at $17 having been beaten a ‘short-neck’ by Anthony Van Dyke in the Prix Foy, ridden by Frankie Dettori.
The winner of 16 of 26 starts up to 2½ miles, he was coming off a record fourth victory in the Goodwood Cup of 2miles, having previous won his third consecutive Ascot Gold Cup over 2½ miles.
Also sired by Arc winner Sea The Stars, Stradivarius is owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen, being from stakes placed Bering mare Private Life, the grand-daughter of champion duel Oaks winner Pawneese.
Can Enable be the greatest l’Arc de Triomphe winner ever, having won in 2017 and 2018, and second last year. This year she has won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes a record three times.
In what could be considered her ‘Arc prep’ season, Enable is coming off a win in the September Stakes at Haydock which she won as a 4yo in 2018. As both a 3yo and 5yo she won the Yorkshire Oaks.
In running second to Ghaiyyath first up in the Eclipse Stakes in July, she defeated Magical in this same event last year. In her classic year Enable also won the Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks and Cheshire Oaks.
Now the winner of 15 of her 18 starts up to 1½m and £10.7m in prizemoney for trainer John Gosden, she was bred by Juddmonte Farms for owner Prince Khalid Bin Abdullah.
In being by Galileo’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winning son Nathaniel, Enable is the family of multiple Gr1 winning sire Flintshire, from the Sadler’s Wells stakes winning mare Concentric.