Ready and willing, but unable – heartbreak for Enable in bid for record third Prix de l’Arc de Triom


 ENABLE suffered heartbreak in Paris as Waldgeist snatched racing immortality from the great mare’s grasp in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe  A near-capacity 45,000 Longchamp crowd – over half of them British racegoers – went into apoplexy as Enable, a hot favourite to become the first horse in history to win Europe’s middle-distance championship three times, hit the front under Frankie Dettori  But the cheers fell into silent shock as Waldgeist, no match for Enable in three previous attempts – including when fourth in last year’s Arc – and jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot slugged to the front 50 yards from the winning post for a one-and-three-quarter-length margin that extended André Fabre’s Arc record to eight  “I let her find her feet and she came good in the false straight,” said a crestfallen Dettori, on board for each of the John Gosden trainee’s 10 top-level triumphs  “I waited for the 300 [metres] but I didn’t find as much as I thought I had left and I just folded a bit and the winner was too good for me today  “I passed the 200 and I was a spent force then – my filly was already tired.”  Gosden was in no doubt Longchamp’s hock-deep mud – the French capital was hit with heavy rain during the run-up to the race – had proved Enable’s undoing  “When I walked the track with Frankie and the stick was going in that far, I thought, ‘Houston, we have a problem!’ said the statesmanlike trainer  “They went a very, very strong pace in very testing conditions. Frankie looked like he had the race won, but a a class horse – a Galileo out of a Monsun mare – he just outstayed us in the ground  “I just knew, when the extra rain came, we’ve lot out most potent weapon. She just simply ran out of stamina the last half-furlong ”  “If the ground had been like last year – good to soft – I would have been very disappointed to have finished second, but I literally could see this sucker punch coming and I take nothing away from the winner, who is an absolutely brilliant horse ”  Fabre, who beforehand had acceded to the reigning champion’s huge popularity – “I don’t want to kick Bambi” – said: “I have huge admiration and respect for Enable – I’m proud that Weldgeist could beat her ”  Waldgeist had stayed on into third behind Enable in Ascot’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in July, and Fabre added: “He pleased me very much at Ascot  “He’s such an easy horse to train, and he was getting stronger – more mature.”  A decision on whether Enable has run her last race will be taken by her owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, in the coming days  “That will be for Prince Khalid to decide,” said the owner’s racing manager, Lord Teddy Grimthorpe 
“It’s not quite what we hoped but how can we complain? She’s been just an unbelievable filly 
“We love her to death and we don’t love her any less now.”

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