Enable Overcomes Arc/Breeders' Cup Hoodoo with Game Turf Win

10th at CD , Gr. Stk, 4000000Breeders' Cup Turf (12f)Winner: Enable (GB), f, 4 by Nathaniel (Ire)

Enable | Horsephotos


There is a first time for everything, they say, yet heading into Saturday's GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf, a few things had not been accomplished in the 34 previous runnings, one not entirely surprising and another that bordered on the unbelievable.

Europe's premier weight-for-age race, the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, typically takes place just shy of four weeks prior to the Breeders' Cup meeting. The Arc is the 'Holy Grail,' the race around which many a campaign is built. The Breeders' Cup Turf offers $4 million in prize money, hardly chump change, yet it sometimes doesn't fit the program. Eight winners of the Arc had tried to win the Turf in the same calendar year, eight had failed.

For decades, Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms has churned out top-class racehorses, but from 14 runners to have tried the Turf, not one had succeeded, though Flintshire (GB) (Dansili {GB}) (2014 & 2016) and Sea Moon (GB) (Beat Hollow {GB}) (2011) did manage to finish second. Juddmonte's 1986 Arc winner Dancing Brave (Lyphard) was only fourth in the third running of the Turf at Santa Anita, while Workforce (GB) (King's Best) was denied a chance at the double in 2010 owing to trainer Sir Michael Stoute's concerns about underfoot conditions that were too firm. Ironically, the state of the Churchill turf course was one of the hot topics in the lead-up to this week's championships, as up to three inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday resulted in easy ground (just how easy was the cause of much debate).

In the form of Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}), both of the aforementioned statistical anomalies were at serious risk. And at the end of 12 furlongs and a memorable stretch battle with Magical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) that took place closer to the main track than it did the inside hedge, the wonder-filly managed to right both of those wrongs. The duo put a whopping nine lengths of the Matt Winn turf course between them and the third-placed Sadler's Joy (Kitten's Joy).

Glorious Empire (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), front-running winner of the GI Sword Dancer Invitational, and Channel Maker (English Channel), who matched that feat in the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational S. last time, renewed acquaintances on the front end, as Enable took up a position ahead of mid-field, about five lengths behind fractions of :24.65 for the quarter and :49.11 to the half, a reasonably quick pace in that ground. Kept well away from the inside by Frankie Dettori passing under the line with a circuit to travel, Enable had company to her outside rounding the clubhouse turn in the form of the Aidan O'Brien-trained Hunting Horn (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) as his stablemate Magical monitored intently one spot further back. The latter, recent winner of the G1 QIPCO British Champions Filly & Mare Turf, slipped up underneath Enable to race on even terms into the final four furlongs before Enable upped the ante with a four-wide move around Hunting Horn to launch her bid seven or perhaps even eight wide just outside the quarter pole. Two paths to her inside, Magical sliced through to deliver her challenge, and the two talented fillies laid it all on the line in the final furlong, with Enable just out-gutting Magical, in receipt of four pounds, for the victory. Illustrating the laboring nature of the course, the final six furlongs were navigated in 1:18.43, the ultimate half-mile in :52.10.

“We were going pretty fast for a mile-and-a-half on soft ground,” said Frankie Dettori, riding his second winner of the afternoon and his 14th Breeders' Cup winner overall. “Then I knew that pace couldn't keep up. So then I was just waiting for her to give me the message she was ready to go. I kept my arm inside. I said to myself just wait, let her fill herself up with oxygen, then we'll wait until the straight. Obviously Magical took me on pretty early, and then after a while is a punch up now, she was the best.

The Italian continued, “When asked, 'C'mon, baby, let's go,' she went half a length up, and also ran with some difficulties. I knew then she was fighting for me. I knew that she was strong today. But the ground kind of spoiled it for my filly because I know she likes soft, but she really found it difficult. But she's a superstar.”

Despite winner's circle pleadings from both winning jockey and trainer John Gosden, Juddmonte Racing Manager Teddy Grimthorpe deferred a decision on Enable's future to the boss.

“I think the sort of most important thing is to at least sit back and just enjoy this,” he said. “We tend to sort of move on far too quickly. Really the enormity of this, for the whole team, it's been so emotional. She has created those emotions within us all, especially within Juddmonte. I'm sure Prince Khalid will want to at least sit back and enjoy this. There's no great hurry. She's going to go back home to Newmarket. We'll make sure she's all right, then think about the future.”

A stirring winner of the 2017 Arc, Enable was ruled out of any sort of spring or summer campaign in May and was fresh-up in the G3 September S. over the Kempton all-weather Sept. 8, leading every step of the way to defeat G1 King George runner-up Crystal Ocean (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) by 3 1/2 lengths. Pressing on to ParisLongchamp and sent off the even-money choice, Enable raced handy enough to the pace, responded when asked and withstood a late surge from the supplemented Sea of Class (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) by a neck.

Pedigree Notes:

A fourth-generation Juddmonte homebred, Enable is out of a stakes-winning and Group 3-placed full-sister to Dance Routine (GB), a two-time winner at group level and runner-up in the 2002 G1 Prix de Diane. She would later go on to excel in the breeding shed as well as the dam of the aforementioned Flintshire, who in addition to his Arc performances, won two renewals of the Sword Dancer in this country and was named the Eclipse Award-winning turf male in 2016. Additionally, he won the G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase and was runner-up in a G1 Dubai Sheema Classic before retiring to Hill 'n' Dale with earnings just shy of $9.6 million. Enable's third dam produced GSW & G1SP Daring Miss (GB) (Sadler's Wells) as well as Shining Bright (GB), a daughter of Arc winner Rainbow Quest whose son Spanish Moon (El Prado {Ire}) won the G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, was second in the Hong Kong Vase and placed in two Sheema Classics. The latter's full-sister Spanish Sun won the G2 Ribblesdale S. at the Royal meeting in 2003. Concentric's 3-year-old colt Centroid (GB) (Dansili {GB}) is now a winner for Dermot Weld, while her 2-year-old filly Entitle (GB), also by Dansili, was sixth on her sole start for the Gosden stable in June. Concentric has an as-yet unnamed yearling filly by Frankel (GB) and a 2018 colt by Sea the Stars (Ire).

Saturday, Churchill Downs
LONGINES BREEDERS' CUP TURF-GI, $3,572,000, Churchill Downs, 11-3, 3yo/up, 1 1/2mT, 2:32.65, gd.
1–ENABLE (GB), 123, f, 4, by Nathaniel (Ire)
                1st Dam: Concentric (GB) (SW & GSP-Fr, $117,776),
                                by Sadler's Wells
                2nd Dam: Apogee (GB), by Shirley Heights (GB)
                3rd Dam: Bourbon Girl, by Ile de Bourbon
O/B-Juddmonte Farms Ltd (GB); T-John H. M. Gosden;
J-Lanfranco Dettori. $2,200,000. Lifetime Record: Hwt. 3yo-Eur
at 11-14f & Hwt. 3yo-Eng, Fr & Ire at 11-14f, MG1SW-Eng, Ire,
Fr, 11-10-0-1, $10,705,631. *1/2 to Contribution (Champs
Elysees {GB}), MGSP-Fr. Werk Nick Rating: F.
   Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Magical (Ire), 119, f, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Halfway To Heaven (Ire),
by Pivotal (GB). O-Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, Derrick
Smith; B-Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt (IRE); T-Aidan P.
O'Brien. $680,000.
3–Sadler's Joy, 126, h, 5, Kitten's Joy–Dynaire, by Dynaformer.
O/B-Woodslane Farm (KY); T-Thomas Albertrani. $360,000.
Margins: 3/4, 9, 2. Odds: 0.80, 10.10, 37.10.
Also Ran: Arklow, Waldgeist (GB), Talismanic (GB), Robert Bruce (Chi), Hunting Horn (Ire), Hi Happy (Arg), Quarteto de Cordas (Brz), Channel Maker, Liam the Charmer, Glorious Empire (Ire).
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


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