Enable repelled the late charge of Sea Of Class to successfully defend her crown in a sensational running of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
John Gosden’s Enable was a brilliant winner of Europe’s premier middle-distance contest last season and although she missed much of the current campaign through injury, an impressive comeback at Kempton ensured she was a red-hot favourite to become the eighth dual winner of the Arc.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Enable was always travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders and the packed grandstands roared as she hit the front.
In contrast, having been drawn out wide, the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Class was dropped out last by James Doyle and was still a long way off the pace rounding the home turn.
She rattled home once in the clear to set up an epic finish, but Enable had just enough in the tank to claim a popular victory. Cloth Of Stars was third.
Gosden said: “It’s not been the preparation we wanted, it’s been very difficult. I actually had a hiccup between Kempton and here with a slight temperature, so it has not been easy.
“She wasn’t at her best today. I’ve had a difficult year with her and started with a bit more hair than I have now. It’s entirely down to the filly and her guts and a lovely ride from Frankie.
“The ground is a little slick - I’d liked to have seen more rain - but she’s got the job done and it’s very much down to her mind and ability. She’s a wonderful filly and it’s an enormous sense of relief.”
Gosden raised the possibility of Enable staying in training as a five-year-old in a bid to become the first horse to win the Arc three times.
He added: “It’s great for Prince Khalid [Abdullah, the owner-breeder]. He wanted to come here and if she’s in good form there’s no reason you wouldn’t try to come again.”