John Gosden poses at Kempton Park Racecourse on September 5, 2020 in Sunbury, England. Owners are allowed to attend if they have a runner at the meeting otherwise racing remains behind closed doors to the public due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: GETTY IMAGESAlan Crowhurst
John Gosden poses at Kempton Park Racecourse on September 5, 2020 in Sunbury, England. Owners are allowed to attend if they have a runner at the meeting otherwise racing remains behind closed doors to the public due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: GETTY IMAGESAlan Crowhurst

“All roads lead to Longchamp”. That was jockey Frankie Dettori’s message to the media after Enable rounded off her Arc De Triomphe preparation with a bloodless win at Kempton Park at the weekend. Sadly, for one person that is not true.        

Trainer John Gosden, probably the most important person in Enable’s remarkable career, revealed he was unlikely to be able to make the trip to Paris on October 4 due to virus quarantine restrictions.

Public health restrictions mean a two-week period of self-isolation on getting home from France.

“There is no way that I’ll be able to go. The yearling sales come straight afterwards and I’m no good locked in the house — it wouldn’t be fair to my owners,” said Gosden.

Reflecting on Enable’s romp in the September Stakes, Gosden commented: “She did it very nicely. Frankie was delighted with her. She’s had a good blow, had a nice day out and got a bit of freshness off her.

“Today she was idling in front and the race will have brought her along nicely. She’ll now have an easy 10 days and we’ll build her up to the Arc.”

Gosden defended his decision not to send his mare to York to take on Love in August’s Yorkshire Oaks.

“We have enormous respect for the Oaks winner Love. If Enable had gone to the Knavesmire I don’t know who would have won. But my goodness, they would both have had a hard race. I didn’t want her to have that just seven-and-a-half weeks before the Arc. That wouldn’t have been a clever way of getting there.”

Dettori, as forthcoming as ever about his favourite racehorse, said he considered the Kempton race as “a non-event — she went around on her own”.

“I’m not saying she is going to win [in Paris] but we can still dream. It’s going to be tough against Love but we are in the mix.”

Bookmaker reaction to Enable’s latest win was to leave her Arc price unchanged with both Betfair and Paddy Power offering 11-4. Both firms have Love as the clear favourite at 7-4.

Unless there are sudden changes to virus regulations in France, the crowd at Longchamp will be limited to 5,000 people, according to France Galop CEO Olivier Delloye.

He said: “We have not received authorisation from the Paris police to have more than 5,000 people. As we feared might happen, Paris has become one of the red zones in terms of circulation of the virus.

“We are now planning for an Arc with 5,000 present at Longchamp. Unfortunately that means no admission to the general public and it will be limited to the staff working at the racecourse as well as trainers, jockeys, owners and breeders with runners and their entourages,” added Delloye.

There is, however, some good news for owners in SA with the National Horseracing Authority announcing the ban on owners entering the parade ring at racecourses has been lifted.

All owners of a winner may now participate in the lead-in instead of only one. Racing remains behind closed doors with no public attendance allowed.  

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.