Things We Learned » Enable in summary

Enable in summary

The case for?  She’s the best.  She’s the best in the race, she’s the best we have seen in ages.  She has John Gosden in her corner and she has Frankie Dettori on her back, she is proven over the course and distance, and she goes into the race in rattling form.  And just 12 runners.  There are never just 12 runners in the Arc.

The case against?  History.  History is against her.  Three Arcs has never been done.  Treve came up short, and she was a five-year-old mare too.  And five-year-olds don’t tend to win the Arc.  More history.  And Japan and Sottsass, who both receive weight, and Ghaiyyath and Waldgeist and old friend/foe Magical.  It could be.

Wide draw is not curtains

It is not ideal at first glance, when you get the draw that is considered to be the worst possible draw, but in may be a little different in this year’s Arc.

Firstly, there are only 12 runners, so Ghaiyyath’s outside draw is stall 12, not stall 19, as it was last year.

Secondly, Enable has been drawn in nine and Japan has been drawn in 10.  So the disadvantage that has been conferred on the Godolphin colt by the draw is minimal relative to the two main players in the race. 

Thirdly, Treve won the Arc from stall 15 in 2013, and Golden Horn won it from stall 14 in 2015, Sea Of Class almost got there from stall 15 last year.

As well as that, Ghaiyyath’s forward-going style means that William Buick can go forward and straight for a couple of furlongs, find his rhythm, in much the same manner as Frankie Dettori did on Golden Horn in 2015.  Then he can move over to his right at the end of the first straight and find his position, possibly in front on the rail, probably handy and not more than one or two off the rail. 

It might even be a positive, for the powerful galloper that Charlie Appleby’s colt is, that he may be able to race on his own for the first couple of furlongs, and not among horses.

Another Group race for Lordan

Wayne Lordan bagged another Group race at Newmarket on Saturday, kicking Royal Dornoch home in the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes.

That’s two Group 2 races (the July Stakes and the Royal Lodge Stakes) to go with his three Group 3s (the International Stakes, the Vintage Crop Stakes and the Stanerra Stakes) and his three Group 1s (the 1000 Guineas, the Pretty Polly Stakes and the Matron Stakes) this season.  Eight Group races, four for Joseph O’Brien and four for Aidan O’Brien.  And in only one of them (Buckhurst, International Stakes) was his horse sent off at shorter than 7/1.

Millisle could get a mile

Shane Foley was right when he said, after he drove Millisle home in the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes on Saturday, that the filly’s trainer Jessica Harrington deserved to bag a Group 1 juvenile fillies’ prize this season, given the depth of talent that the trainer has uncovered in that division.

Albigna and Alpine Star have been high in the pecking order at Commonstown from early, and they were joined by Cayenne Pepper after she ran out an impressive winner of the Group 3 Flame Of Tara Stakes at The Curragh at the end of August.

Add other winners.  One Voice and Cool Vixen and Punita Arora and For The Trees and Between Hills and Nope and Ha’penny Bridge and Secret Stash and Justina and Windracer and Valeria Messalina and Silence Please. 

Millisle’s performance on Saturday may be under-rated.  The Starspangledbanner filly appeared to get a little out-paced through the middle section of the race, but she was very strong out of the Dip and to the winning line.  And she set a new juveniles’ course record.  The time may have been aided by the tailwind and the ground, and the record may have lasted just 35 minutes, but it was still impressive.

She could get a mile too next year.  She may be a dual winner over five furlongs, but the strength with which she finished off her race on Saturday suggested that she could improve for a step up in trip, at least to seven furlongs.  And there is plenty of stamina in her pedigree.  Her dam’s only two runs were over a mile, and she is a half-sister to Ithoughitwasover, who won a listed handicap over a mile and a half, and to Fleur De Nuit, who won a handicap at Listowel over a mile and six furlongs on soft ground.  

Her sire Starspangledbanner was obviously a sprinter, a Diamond Jubilee winner and a July Cup winner, but he did race once over a mile, in a Group 1 race at Caulfield, the Caulfied Guineas, which he won.

The Cheveley Park is usually won by future sprinters these days, not future milers, but winners can still go out in trip as three-year-olds.  The 2006 winner Indian Ink won the Coronation Stakes, the 2007 winner Natagora won the 1000 Guineas, the 2009 winner Special Duty won the 1000 Guineas and the French 1000 Guineas (admittedly both in the stewards’ room).  Millisle may be a 25/1 shot for next year’s 1000 Guineas, but it is legitimate for connections to be thinking about the Classic.

Quiz time

Q. What do the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Champion Hurdle have in common?

A. In both races, only two five-year-olds have prevailed in the last 35 years.

© The Irish Field, 5th October 2019