Enable may not retire after defeat in Paris
The Arc De Triomphe was meant to be the star filly's swansong, but those plans might now change
Sport often reduces people to tears and that was the case in Paris on Sunday when supporters of superstar filly Enable were visibly upset when she failed to make racing history by winning the Arc De Triomphe for a third time.
Sent off 4-6 favourite, Enable, the winner of 10 grade 1 races, looked poised for victory 300m out, but Frankie Dettori’s mount was collared in the closing stages by the 16-1 French challenger Waldgeist.
It was sweet revenge for the French as in 2015 it was Dettori, riding Golden Horn, who had thwarted the home country’s bid for a third Arc triumph for the talented mare Treve.
“She just folded a bit and the winner was too good for me. I passed the 200m pole and I was a spent force. I think the ground had a lot to do with it,” said Dettori.
Trainer Andre Fabre, who won the Arc for the eighth time, said: “I always hope for the very best when I run my horses in the Arc, which, of course, is very special to me. With Waldgeist, he carried my highest expectation.”
The Arc was meant to be Enable’s swansong after an outstanding career, but this defeat might change those plans.
“Prince Khalid [owner of Enable] will want to reflect on all the possibilities, give it some thought and hopefully we'll come up with a good answer,” said racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe.
“It was not what we all wanted obviously, but in the end we have to accept these things in racing. How can we complain? She's been the most fantastic filly. Prince Khalid has enjoyed every moment of her,” Grimthorpe said.
Another French runner, Sottsass, well supported in the betting market, filled third place and looks on course for a successful run in big races in 2020.
On the local front, Sean Tarry will be looking to strike back at Tuesday’s meeting at Turffontein after his three-year-olds, Sidonie and Putontheredlight, both failed to place in grade 2 races last Saturday.
Tarry saddles Zillzaal in the seventh race and the champion trainer looks to have found a winning opportunity for the four-year-old after a string of placed runs. The son of Silvano has been placed in six of his last seven outings.
Tarry also runs Russian Beat and Shango, but it is Candice Dawson’s recent winner Approach Control who rates the main danger to Zillzaal.
Dawson has booked Warren Kennedy for the ride and the KwaZulu-Natal-based rider continued his outstanding year when scoring on Vistula in last Saturday’s Joburg Spring Challenge at Turffontein.
Whatever the fate of the Tarry trio in the seventh race, it will be a surprise if the stable is not on the mark with another of Silvano’s progeny Al Mutawakel in the fourth race. The colt is unbeaten in three starts and has been entered for the Gauteng Summer Cup at the end of November.
The right horse for the exacta in this race could be Piere Strydom’s mount Greek Fire. The five-year-old was returning from a long break when fourth behind Tierra Del Fuego a fortnight ago.
1st Race: (2) Jackpot Jewel (6) Ballon D'Or (4) Bouncing Tigger (1) Jet Johnson
2nd Race: (12) Thandekhile (6) Cosmic Ray (7) Emerald Crest (4) Aflame
3rd Race: (9) Golden Belle (6) Magic School (7) Fife (3) Sans Regrets
4th Race: (3) Al Mutawakel (1) Greek Fire (2) Seattle Force (4) Old Man Tyme
5th Race: (6) Captain Flynt (3) Riverstown (11) Waqaas (8) Duology
6th Race: (5) Oravar (2) Rebel’s Champ (3) Down To Zero (4) Rivarine
7th Race: (3) Zillzaal (1) Approach Control (4) Russian Beat (6) Shango
8th Race: (12) Afraad (5) Tunneloflove (7) Our Man In Havana (9) Oyster King