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Palace Pier seeks crowning moment in QEII

Palace Pier bids to crown a perfect year by taking his unblemished record to six in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, sponsored by Qipco, at Ascot.

Group One triumphs in the St James’s Palace Stakes and the Prix Jacques le Marois have set the Kingman colt up as the champion miler in Europe.

Trainer John Gosden’s patience with the late developer has reaped dividends with a meteoric rise – and Saturday’s QEII is the final piece in this season’s jigsaw.

“We’ve planned this race since the Jacques le Marois, and he is coming into the race fresh and well. We’ve been happy with him in his pre-race preparation,” said Gosden.

“He ran well on the round mile in June – this is on the straight mile. It is different ground to the one he had in Deauville, but we have been pleased with the horse coming into the race.

“It was hard to judge if his run in Deauville was better than his Royal Ascot run, given the ground. He was impressive at Deauville, but I thought he was impressive at Royal Ascot because he came strongly on the bridle, and I think Frankie (Dettori) had a good hold of him at the end to win in good style.

“He would have been a Guineas horse, but we weren’t able to have a prep in the Greenham, so I went to Plan B. I wasn’t prepared to run him first time up in the Guineas, having missed last autumn, because we had planned to run him in the Lagardere on Arc day.”

Gosden also saddles the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned Nazeef, who has had a terrific season with Group One victories in the Falmouth and Sun Chariot Stakes.

“She has improved remarkably this year,” he said.

“She is a very good filly with a great attitude that won well the other day. She handles the slower ground.

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“She is a course-and-distance winner, and the owner felt she had every reason to be in the race. I think this is probably a better option than America (Breeders’ Cup) for her, and I’d say that is now unlikely for her.”

Sheikh Hamdan’s other runner, Molatham, has stamina doubts to overcome.

Racing manager Angus Gold said: “We think he handles easy ground.

“Whether he stays the trip has different opinions, but I think he will.”

Circus Maximus was beaten five and three-quarter lengths when third to Palace Pier in the Marois, but some of his best performances have come at Ascot.

Circus Maximus (right) has won the Queen Anne Stakes over Ascot's straight mile
Circus Maximus (right) has won the Queen Anne Stakes over Ascot’s straight mile (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Trainer Aidan O’Brien is hoping Circus Maximus’ love for the track will stand him in good stead.

“He won the St James’s Palace and the Queen Anne there, so he does love Ascot,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

“He’s a very hardy, tough horse who loves a strongly-run mile, which is what he usually gets at Ascot.

“The Jacques le Marois was a very strongly-run race – and we were forward, whereas Palace Pier was taking his time. The ground was very deep as well – and Deauville is a Flat track, while Ascot is stiffer.

“We’re very happy with the horse and we’re looking forward to the race.”

Royal Dornoch and Lancaster House complete O’Brien’s three-pronged attack.

The Revenant was runner-up 12 months ago and made a belated return to action when repeating last year’s win in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at ParisLongchamp.

“He has had no physical issues since last year,” said trainer Francis Henri Graffard.

“I had him ready to run at the beginning of the season; then lockdown came, and we had no idea how long it would last and feared that it would force him to run on summer ground that he does not like.

“We decided to turn him out and wait until the autumn. He came back in July to allow us to get him ready for this race and the Wildenstein.

“The Revenant has come out of his Prix Daniel Wildenstein victory very well. He needed the race badly, so he will come on a lot.

“The softer the ground the better for him. Last year it was very soft, which helped us. It would be great if he runs a similar race – and, with humility, I see Palace Pier as the one to beat, and if we were placed again it would be a very good performance.”

Jockey James Doyle expects Century Dream to run a decent race
Century Dream will appreciate the soft ground (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Century Dream outran his odds of 25-1 when third to Roaring Lion in this race two years ago.

Simon and Ed Crisford’s six-year-old will be ridden by James Doyle, who said: “The more rain the better for him – he’s run well in the race before a couple of years ago when he wasn’t beaten far by Roaring Lion.

“He’s in good shape himself, he’s been running well this season and won nicely at Goodwood when he got his preferred surface.”

Trainer David O’Meara is happy with Lord Glitters
Trainer David O’Meara is happy with Lord Glitters (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Lord Glitters has good course form, having won the Queen Anne in 2019, but has finished behind Century Dream in the last two renewals of this race.

David O’Meara reports the grey to be all the better for his run behind Addeybb at Ayr.

“We were happy with his run at Ayr, when he probably took too long getting out but flew home,” he said.

“It’s a very hot QEII, but Ascot suits him and hopefully he can end up in the prize-money.”

Dettori hails ‘one of the greats’ as Enable bows out

Frankie Dettori was fighting back the tears on Monday as he paid an emotional tribute to Enable following her retirement.

The popular Italian rode John Gosden’s brilliant mare on all but two of her 19 career starts, steering her to each of her two victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and three wins in the King George at Ascot.

The six-year-old was back in sixth when bidding to make history with a third Arc at ParisLongchamp just over a week ago, and Dettori admitted to having mixed emotions after receiving confirmation on Sunday evening that she had run her final race.

He said: “Lord Grimthorpe rang me last night. Obviously I shed a tear as I was a bit emotional. I went to see her this morning. I accept the decision and she doesn’t owe anyone anything. It has been a great journey for three and a half years.

“She has touched my heart and has been one of the great mares of our generation. She has won 11 Group Ones and has simply been amazing.”

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Dettori identified Enable’s first Arc success at Chantilly in 2017 as her best performance, while getting huge pleasure out of her second King George victory which came after a titanic tussle with the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Crystal Ocean last year.

On her first Arc success, Dettori said: “The best performance was the first Arc.

“I knew had the race won by the chateau in Chantilly, she was just in unbeatable form that day.

“The King George against Crystal Ocean stands out – she had every chance of throwing in the towel and she didn’t.

“The Oaks would be the other standout race as that is when she first really burst on to the scene.”

While connections did not immediately rule out running Enable again following her latest visit to Paris, Dettori conceded that deep down he knew it would be the last time he would sit on her back – competitively at least.

There were plenty of flying dismounts from Dettori during Enable's stellar career
There were plenty of flying dismounts from Dettori during Enable’s stellar career (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

He added: “After walking back in after the Arc I was trying to enjoy it, as I knew in my heart it was going to be her last race. It is a tough task after finishing sixth in the Arc to have one more dance, so I half-expected this decision.

“It would have been unfair on her. Maybe she is now telling us something, but she has left the game in one piece and luckily for me she is still in Newmarket, so I can still see her. I will go feed her Polos at the stud, obviously not every day, but when I can.

“I’ve been begging John to put me on her one last time in a morning so I can give her my last goodbye.”

He added: “Her longevity and CV is amazing. I’ve got to stay and ride for another three more years, as she is going to Kingman and I wouldn’t mind trying the progeny!

“If they are half as good they are going to be exciting.”

Enable – from Newcastle maiden to record-breaker

Enable is unquestionably one of the greatest racehorses of modern times, with few horses able to lay a glove on John Gosden’s star mare. Her rise was meteoric, but once she hit the top, she never looked like coming back down. Here, we look at her outstanding career – from the very start.

Low-key debut success

John Gosden gave Enable a low-key debut on the all-weather at Newcastle in November 2016, when she led entering the final furlong and strode away to take a one-mile maiden by three and three-quarter lengths.

Stablemate Shutter scores

Enable (not pictured) was beaten by her stablemate Shutter Speed (pictured, right) in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes at Newbury in 2017
Enable (not pictured) was beaten by her stablemate Shutter Speed (pictured, right) in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes at Newbury in 2017 (Mike Egerton/PA)

A quiet introduction to 2017 saw Enable make late progress to finish third behind stablemate Shutter Speed in a 10-furlong conditions race at Newbury in April.

Cheshire please…

Enable wins the 2017 Cheshire Oaks at Chester's May Festival
Enable wins the 2017 Cheshire Oaks at Chester’s May Festival

Ridden by Frankie Dettori for the first time, Enable showed her Classic potential with an impressive victory in the Cheshire Oaks as she swept Aidan O’Brien’s Alluringly aside with the minimum of fuss.

Oaks romp

The driving rain does little to divert Enable from victory in the 2017 Epsom Oaks (Adam Davy/PA)
The driving rain does little to divert Enable from victory in the 2017 Epsom Oaks (Adam Davy/PA)

Leading two furlongs out, Enable put her rivals to the sword to run out a facile five-length winner from Rhododendron in the fillies’ Classic at Epsom, which was run in a thunderstorm.

Classic double

Victory on the Curragh as Enable wins the 2017 Irish Oaks
Victory at the Curragh as Enable wins the 2017 Irish Oaks (PA)

After tracking Bengala, Enable went about her business halfway up the straight and passed the post five and a half lengths clear of Rain Goddess in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

King queen

Enable claims her first King George at Ascot
Enable claims her first King George at Ascot (Julian Herbert/PA)
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Enable was crowned queen in the King George as she beat the colts and older horses in some style with another breathtaking display at Ascot, dispatching the top-class Ulysses by four and a half lengths.

Tour de Yorkshire

Enable takes the Yorkshire Oaks by an emphatic five lengths
Enable takes the Yorkshire Oaks by an emphatic five lengths (Simon Cooper/PA)

The Yorkshire Oaks proved another cakewalk as Enable made all the running at York, and won unchallenged by five lengths.

Arc angel

On French turf for the first time, the filly travelled at the head of the field throughout at Chantilly before surging clear two furlongs from the post and finding nothing to stand in the way of her first Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory.

All-weather warm-up

Enable made a late and low-key 2018 debut by effortlessly winning the Group Three September Stakes on Kempton’s all-weather track, leaving all but the high-quality Crystal Ocean out of view.

Triomphant again

A return to defend her Arc title, this time held at its rightful home ParisLongchamp, saw Enable claim her hardest-fought win yet as she just edged out the late flourish of Sea Of Class.

Enable takes America

A trip to the States provided Enable with another overseas win as she surged to a narrow but convincing success in the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, making her the first ever horse to complete the Arc and Breeders’ Cup double in the same season.

Sandown showpiece

Enable is victorious in the Eclipse at Sandown
Enable is victorious in the Eclipse at Sandown (Julian Herbert/PA)

Stepping back to a mile and a quarter for the first time since her turf debut defeat, Enable proved a lesser trip was no barrier to her success as she claimed the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

The queen still reigns

Enable takes on Crystal Ocean on the way to her second King George win at Ascot
Enable takes on Crystal Ocean on the way to her second King George win at Ascot (Julian Herbert/PA)

Enable retained her King George title at Ascot after an epic shoulder-to-shoulder battle with Crystal Ocean, over whom she eventually prevailed by just a neck.

The perfect (first) farewell to Britain

Darley Yorkshire Oaks Day – 2019 Yorkshire Ebor Festival – York Racecourse
Enable and Frankie Dettori win the Darley Yorkshire Oaks again (Nigel French/PA)

Enable penned what was thought to be her own British valedictory with an all-the-way victory as she took the Darley Yorkshire Oaks for the second time, and extended her winning run to 12 and overall tally to 13 out of 14. Old rival Magical was again her victim, beaten two and three-quarter lengths this time.

Waldgeist prevents Arc history

It was not to be as Enable gave best by a length and three-quarters to old rival Waldgeist. She got the better of young pretenders Sottsass and Japan, but then had nothing left to repel Andre Fabre’s French challenger – as the prize this time stayed at home in the Parisian mud.

Eclipsed

Enable (right) could not quite get to grips with Ghaiyyath on her Sandown comeback
Enable (right) could not quite get to grips with Ghaiyyath on her Sandown comeback (PA)

Enable went off even-money favourite to start the 2020 campaign with victory by defending her Coral-Eclipse crown at Sandown. But on her first start for almost nine months, after connections resolved to race on for another season in pursuit of a third Arc, she failed to reel in the classy and race-fit Ghaiyyath – having to settle for a two-and-a-quarter-length second over 10 furlongs.

Back to her best

Enable draws clear of Sovereign to create history
Enable draws clear of Sovereign to create history (Edward Whitaker)

Only three went to post for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes – but Enable’s opponents were last year’s Irish Derby winner Sovereign and a Juddmonte International hero in Japan, both trained by Aidan O’Brien. The result was never in any doubt, however, as Enable powered to a five-and-a-half-length success to create history by winning the race for a third time.

Bon voyage?

Enable was in a league of her own at Kempton
Enable was in a league of her own at Kempton (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Missing the Ebor Festival and a clash with Love to instead head to Kempton for her final Arc prep of 2020 might not have been to the liking of the purists – but there is little doubt it was the right decision. Her odds of 1-14 said everything about both her and the field she faced – and bar missing the break a touch, she did it as she liked, with Dettori in cruise control. Next stop a last tango in Paris.

No third Arc

Gosden had warned everyone the monsoon-like rain that hit Paris in the days before the Arc on the first Sunday in October would not suit his star, and so it proved as she could only finish sixth behind Sottsass. Enable suffered trouble in running and a slowly-run race did not help her cause, either. What had shaped for months as an Arc to savour ultimately ended in anti-climax, for all the winner Sottsass is a smart performer.

St Mark’s Basilica too good in Dewhurst for O’Brien and Dettori

Aidan O’Brien dominated the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, as St Mark’s Basilica and Frankie Dettori held off stablemate Wembley and Ryan Moore.

The Ballydoyle pair had finished behind Thunder Moon in the National Stakes at the Curragh last time out – but this time the form was turned around as Joseph O’Brien’s colt, the 11-4 favourite, could only manage third behind the 10-1 winner.

The principals came down the centre of the track, while several of the other fancied runners made a dash for the rail, which had been favoured in earlier races.

It was a seventh Dewhurst for O’Brien, while it was a second in three years for Dettori after Too Darn Hot in 2018.

In a race traditionally seen as the juvenile championship with countless champions produced down the years, this season’s field looked well up to scratch.

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Richard Hannon fielded two unbeaten contenders in Chindit and Etonian, while Marcus Tregoning had supplemented Mill Reef winner Alkumait.

None of those could get involved, though, with the result in stark contrast to the fortunes of O’Brien on Friday, when it emerged his two runners in the Fillies’ Mile had carried the wrong saddle cloths and were ridden by the wrong jockeys.

O’Brien had also been forced to pull out all his runners at ParisLongchamp on Arc day last weekend due to issues surrounding contaminated feed.

O’Brien said: “We’re delighted with both of them.

“The plan was that St Mark’s Basilica would run in France and then Wembley would run in the Dewhurst, that’s the way we were going.

“We’ve always liked St Mark’s Basilica a lot, and Wembley, we’ve always thought they were very smart colts.

“The first three were were the same three as in the National Stakes. Every year it’s a great race and the form always stands up.”

On future plans, O’Brien added: “The Breeders’ Cup is possible for the winner, but we’re thinking Battleground (Royal Ascot and Vintage Stakes winner) will go to the Breeders’ Cup, so he doesn’t have to go.

“We’ll see nearer the time, but at the moment we’re thinking Battleground will go.”

Frankie Dettori was jumping for joy after the Dewhurst
Frankie Dettori was jumping for joy after the Dewhurst (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Dettori – who won the St Leger for O’Brien aboard Scorpion in 2005 – said: “They went fast. I was in the middle of the group and I got all the splits. In fairness when I asked him to go he went and he never stopped.

“He didn’t put a foot wrong. His form is good and he didn’t have much to find on the second and third and it all worked out well.

“He would get a mile no problem.”

Palace Pier goes through his paces at Newmarket

Palace Pier stepped up his preparations for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot with a gallop before racing at Newmarket on Saturday.

The John Gosden-trained Kingman colt will put his unbeaten record on the line in the mile prize next weekend, when bidding for a third straight Group One success.

Working over six and a half furlongs under Frankie Dettori, the St James’s Palace Stakes and Prix Jacques le Marois hero moved past his lead horse entering the closing stages of the exercise, before finishing about four lengths clear.

Dettori said: “It was routine work over six and a half furlongs.

“It was just good to get him on the grass and I had not ridden him since Deauville.

“He seems in good form and we were not doing anything too crazy as we are only a week away from Ascot.”

Enable – the story from the very beginning

Enable is unquestionably one of the greatest racehorses of modern times, with few horses able to lay a glove on John Gosden’s star mare. Her rise was meteoric, but once she hit the top, she never looked like coming back down. Here, we look at her outstanding career – from the very start.

Low-key debut success

John Gosden gave Enable a low-key debut on the all-weather at Newcastle in November 2016, when she led entering the final furlong and strode away to take a one-mile maiden by three and three-quarter lengths.

Stablemate Shutter scores

Enable (not pictured) was beaten by her stablemate Shutter Speed (pictured, right) in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes at Newbury in 2017
Enable (not pictured) was beaten by her stablemate Shutter Speed (pictured, right) in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup EBF Stallions Conditions Stakes at Newbury in 2017 (Mike Egerton/PA)

A quiet introduction to 2017 saw Enable make late progress to finish third behind stablemate Shutter Speed in a 10-furlong conditions race at Newbury in April.

Cheshire please…

Enable wins the 2017 Cheshire Oaks at Chester's May Festival
Enable wins the 2017 Cheshire Oaks at Chester’s May Festival

Ridden by Frankie Dettori for the first time, Enable showed her Classic potential with an impressive victory in the Cheshire Oaks as she swept Aidan O’Brien’s Alluringly aside with the minimum of fuss.

Oaks romp

The driving rain does little to divert Enable from victory in the 2017 Epsom Oaks (Adam Davy/PA)
The driving rain does little to divert Enable from victory in the 2017 Epsom Oaks (Adam Davy/PA)

Leading two furlongs out, Enable put her rivals to the sword to run out a facile five-length winner from Rhododendron in the fillies’ Classic at Epsom, which was run in a thunderstorm.

Classic double

Victory on the Curragh as Enable wins the 2017 Irish Oaks
Victory at the Curragh as Enable wins the 2017 Irish Oaks (PA)

After tracking Bengala, Enable went about her business halfway up the straight and passed the post five and a half lengths clear of Rain Goddess in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

King queen

Enable claims her first King George at Ascot
Enable claims her first King George at Ascot (Julian Herbert/PA)
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Enable was crowned queen in the King George as she beat the colts and older horses in some style with another breathtaking display at Ascot, dispatching the top-class Ulysses by four and a half lengths.

Tour de Yorkshire

Enable takes the Yorkshire Oaks by an emphatic five lengths
Enable takes the Yorkshire Oaks by an emphatic five lengths (Simon Cooper/PA)

The Yorkshire Oaks proved another cakewalk as Enable made all the running at York, and won unchallenged by five lengths.

Arc angel

On French turf for the first time, the filly travelled at the head of the field throughout at Chantilly before surging clear two furlongs from the post and finding nothing to stand in the way of her first Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory.

All-weather warm-up

Enable made a late and low-key 2018 debut by effortlessly winning the Group Three September Stakes on Kempton’s all-weather track, leaving all but the high-quality Crystal Ocean out of view.

Triomphant again

A return to defend her Arc title, this time held at its rightful home ParisLongchamp, saw Enable claim her hardest-fought win yet as she just edged out the late flourish of Sea Of Class.

Enable takes America

A trip to the States provided Enable with another overseas win as she surged to a narrow but convincing success in the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, making her the first ever horse to complete the Arc and Breeders’ Cup double in the same season.

Sandown showpiece

Enable is victorious in the Eclipse at Sandown
Enable is victorious in the Eclipse at Sandown (Julian Herbert/PA)

Stepping back to a mile and a quarter for the first time since her turf debut defeat, Enable proved a lesser trip was no barrier to her success as she claimed the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

The queen still reigns

Enable takes on Crystal Ocean on the way to her second King George win at Ascot
Enable takes on Crystal Ocean on the way to her second King George win at Ascot (Julian Herbert/PA)

Enable retained her King George title at Ascot after an epic shoulder-to-shoulder battle with Crystal Ocean, over whom she eventually prevailed by just a neck.

The perfect (first) farewell to Britain

Darley Yorkshire Oaks Day – 2019 Yorkshire Ebor Festival – York Racecourse
Enable and Frankie Dettori win the Darley Yorkshire Oaks again (Nigel French/PA)

Enable penned what was thought to be her own British valedictory with an all-the-way victory as she took the Darley Yorkshire Oaks for the second time, and extended her winning run to 12 and overall tally to 13 out of 14. Old rival Magical was again her victim, beaten two and three-quarter lengths this time.

Waldgeist prevents Arc history

It was not to be as Enable gave best by a length and three-quarters to old rival Waldgeist. She got the better of young pretenders Sottsass and Japan but then had nothing left to repel Andre Fabre’s French challenger – as the prize this time stayed at home in the Parisian mud.

Eclipsed

Enable (right) could not quite get to grips with Ghaiyyath on her Sandown comeback
Enable (right) could not quite get to grips with Ghaiyyath on her Sandown comeback (PA)

Enable went off even-money favourite to start the 2020 campaign with victory by defending her Coral-Eclipse crown at Sandown. But on her first start for almost nine months, after connections resolved to race on for another season in pursuit of a third Arc, she failed to reel in the classy and race-fit Ghaiyyath – having to settle for a two-and-quarter-length second over 10 furlongs.

Back to her best

Enable draws clear of Sovereign to create history
Enable draws clear of Sovereign to create history (Edward Whitaker)

Only three went to post for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes – but Enable’s opponents were last year’s Irish Derby winner Sovereign and a Juddmonte International hero in Japan, both trained by Aidan O’Brien. The result was never in any doubt, however, as Enable powered to a five-and-a-half-length success to create history by winning the race for a third time.

Bon voyage?

Enable was in a league of her own at Kempton
Enable was in a league of her own at Kempton (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Missing the Ebor Festival and a clash with Love to instead head to Kempton for her final Arc prep of 2020 might not have been to the liking of the purists – but there is little doubt it was the right decision. Her odds of 1-14 said everything about both her and the field she faced – and bar missing the break a touch, she did it as she liked, with Dettori in cruise control. Next stop a last tango in Paris .

No third Arc

Gosden had warned everyone the monsoon-like rain that hit Paris in the days before the Arc on the first Sunday in October would not suit his star, and so it proved as she could only finish sixth behind Sottsass. Enable suffered trouble in running, but that was not the sole reason for her defeat, on what was widely expected to be her swansong, although that has yet to be confirmed.

‘No immediate decision’ on Enable future

No decision will be made just yet over whether Enable has run for the final time in her exalted career, following her sixth-place finish in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

John Gosden’s brilliant mare found the very testing conditions in ParisLongchamp against her, as Sottsass provided master French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget with his first win in Europe’s premier race.

Gosden felt the slow pace dictated by Persian King also worked against his runners, with Stradivarius finishing right on Enable’s tail, and he put that down to the absence of Aidan O’Brien’s contenders, who were dramatically ruled out on Saturday evening due to problems related to contaminated feed.

“If we’d had Sovereign and Serpentine in there it would have been a very different race, but as it was it didn’t work out for her or Stradivarius,” said Gosden.

“Frankie (Dettori) said neither horse liked the holding ground, it would have been better if it was wetter. I did warn people, though.

“They didn’t have a hard race as it was only a little dash. They weren’t blowing, so it was a rather elaborate journey for a racecourse gallop up the Longchamp straight.”

While Enable’s future remains up in the air, Gosden did confirm that triple Gold Cup winner Stradivarius will stay in training.

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He told Sky Sports Racing: “I think Mr (Bjorn) Nielsen is keen for Stradivarius to attempt a fourth Gold Cup.

“With Enable Teddy (Grimthorpe, racing manager) and I will report to Prince Khalid (Abdullah, owner) and he will make the decision whether she has one more race or retires. It will be entirely his decision.

“We know she has a great turn of foot. It was unfortunate she was the meat in a sandwich at one point and once you break your stride in that ground it is difficult to get going again.

“To that extent Frankie never touched her with the stick, same with Olivier (Peslier on Stradivarius), the horses weren’t handling the ground so the jockeys looked after them.

“Both are extremely bright after the race which is extremely good news because you always worry in that ground they might pull something.

“She’s been amazingly consistent. She won her maiden, got boxed in when we ran her in a conditions race which we won with another filly, but after that she won everything apart from last year’s Arc and this year’s Eclipse.

“Her mental attitude and mental strength set her apart, she’s so determined, positive about her training, but she found her training tougher this year.

“It’s a pity it wasn’t good to soft ground and an even gallop, but it wasn’t. We’d been lucky we’d had that in the two years we won and were second, but today was very different and quite frankly that didn’t play to her strengths at all.

“It was Prince Khalid’s decision to try again this year and whether she runs again will be his decision.

“It’s a long time to the breeding season. She’ll tell us and if she gives me the right signs we’ll see. If she seems like she’s had enough of racing then fine, but it didn’t look that way when she came off the track.”

For Grimthorpe there are too many positive memories with Enable for him to feel downhearted.

Teddy Grimthorpe would rather remember the good days
Teddy Grimthorpe would rather remember the good days (Simon Cooper/PA)

“It wasn’t what we’d hoped for, there’s no doubt about that, but we owed her – not the other way around,” he said. “The pleasure she has given us has been exceptional in every way.

“Three King Georges, two Arc de Triomphes, Breeders’ Cup, Eclipse, Oaks, Irish Oaks, Yorkshire Oaks. It’s an extraordinary CV for any racehorse.

“Prince Khalid appreciates keeping horses in training and he accepts (what can happen), it just hasn’t worked out the way we hoped it would.

“The ground was very soft and she didn’t act on it well enough.

“She did get a nasty bump, but they had gone quite slowly and it turned into a bit of a sprint – that’s not an excuse, if she’d been going well enough that sort of thing doesn’t happen, so we can’t say that is why she was beaten.

“She’s been exceptional, but there’ll be no immediate decision – we’ll get her back, look at things, check her out and give it some thought and most importantly come up with an answer.”

Enable beaten in Paris as Sottsass takes Arc glory

Enable could only finish sixth as Sottsass led home a clean sweep for French-trained runners in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp.

Third in the race 12 months ago, trainer Jean-Claude Rouget had stated that only one day mattered for the four-year-old this year and he proved trained to perfection.

For John Gosden’s Enable, chasing history with a third victory in the race, she was bogged down in the heavy ground and suffered interference when the pace quickened.

In contrast, Sottsass picked up smartly and stayed on well to beat In Swoop, with Persian King hanging on for third having made the running, just ahead of Gold Trip. Enable’s Gold Cup-winning stablemate Stradivarius was seventh.

As a result of the interference, a stewards’ inquiry was immediately called – but following a short deliberation, the placings remained unaltered.

While Enable did not manage to win a third Arc, she will still go down in history as one of the greatest racemares to have graced the sport.

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As well as her two wins in the Arc, she won the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot three times, the English and Irish Oaks and at the Breeders’ Cup.

Sottsass won the French Derby last season, but had failed to set the world alight this year. However, Rouget had been making increasingly confident noises in recent days and his colt had been well-backed.

Cristian Demuro enjoyed a perfect run through the early stages, just tracking Persian King with Frankie Dettori just a length behind the eventual winner.

When the pace quickened in the straight Dettori had Enable in the perfect position to strike, with Stradivarius on her outside, but she when she needed to quicken, the heavy ground meant she was unable to use her raking stride and she was beginning to send out distress signals when squeezed up.

In Swoop, the German Derby winner, was predictably strong at the finish, but Sottsass was always doing enough and held on by around half a length.

Cristian Demuro with Jean-Claude Rouget
Cristian Demuro with Jean-Claude Rouget (Francois Mori/AP Photo)

Rouget said: “Just after the race last year we thought he was a horse made for this race.

“Between the Ganay (in June) it was a long time. When we ran in Deauville (in August) he was a bit fat and and Skalleti is a very good horse. He is a Group One horse on soft ground, but we had to run in that race instead of going to York (Juddmonte International).

“The choice to go to Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes) was tough, too, and not the Foy. We chose to run him over a shorter distance to give him speed. I think that was a good choice.

“All was made to have the horse 100 per cent today. The result is there.

“The fact the (Aidan) O’Brien horses were not there was easier to understand how the pace will be. I was not surprised to see Persian King in front, because for him it was the best way because he did not pull – he ran a magnificent race at this distance because it was not his trip or his ground.

“We had a good draw to stay behind him and our horse stays the distance better than him.

“John Gosden is a good trainer and if I was beaten I wanted it to be by Enable because she is a super filly, but there is only one winner in the race.”

He added: “Sottsass is owned in association with Coolmore. I do not know if he will run again, but it is not the question for today.

“Whether the horse retires is not my decision.”

2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Betting Trends

Run over 1m4f the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is one of Europe’s most valuable Group One contests that is open to horses of either sex that are aged 3 or older and staged at Longchamp racecourse.

In recent years the contest has been dominated by the younger horses with 11 of the last 18 winners being aged 3 years-old, while 13 of the last 18 - came here off the back of a last time out victory. Last year we saw the John Gosden-trained Enable, who had won the race in 2017 and 2018, finish runner-up to the Andre Fabre runner - Waldgeist - which was trainer Andre Fabre's eighth success in the race.

Enable will be back for more in 2020 though, as she will be looking to become the first horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three times.

Here at Geegeez, we are on-hand with all the key stats for the 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – this year run on Sunday 4th October.

 

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Recent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Winners

2019 – Waldgeist (131/10)
2018 - Enable (Evs)
2017 – Enable (10/11 fav)
2016 – Found (6/1)
2015 – Golden Horn (9/2)
2014 – Treve (11/1)
2013 – Treve (9/2)
2012 – Solemia (33/1)
2011 – Danedream (20/1)
2010 – Workforce (6/1)
2009 – Sea The Stars (4/6 fav)
2008 – Zarkava (13/8 fav)
2007 – Dylan Thomas (11/2)
2006 – Rail Link (4/7 fav)
2005 – Hurricane Run (11/4)
2004 – Bago (10/1)
2003 – Dalakhani (9/4)
2002 – Marienbard (158/10)

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Betting Trends

17/18 – Had won a Group 1 race before
16/18 – Had won over 1m4f before
14/18 – Had 4 or more runs that season
14/18 – Drawn in stall 8 or lower
13/18 – Priced 10/1 or shorter in the betting
13/18 – Drawn in stall 6 or lower
13/18 – Had won at least 5 times before
12/18 – Won last time out
12/18 – Had run at Longchamp before
11/18 – Had won at Longchamp previously
11/18 – Aged 3 years-old
10/18 – Placed favourites
9/18 – Won by a French-based yard
8/18 – Ran at Longchamp last time out
8/18 – Female winners
5/18 – Winning favourites
5/18 – Won by a UK-based yard
3/18 – Trained by Andre Fabre (won the race 8 times in all)
2/18 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien (2016, 2007)
3 of the last 11 Epsom Derby winners that season have won
The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 15/2
Trainer John Gosden has won 3 of the last 5 runnings
Since 1976 we’ve seen just 3 winners aged 5 or older
18 of the last 26 winners were aged 3 years-old
Jockey Olivier Peslier has won the race 4 times
Jockey Frankie Dettori has won the race 6 times

 

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Proud Grimthorpe hoping to see Enable sign off in style

Teddy Grimthorpe has highlighted the skill of John Gosden and his team in ensuring Enable arrives in Paris for a fourth successive year in peak condition on Sunday.

Is it rare for a top-class Flat horse to remain in training as a six-year-old, especially a mare – but owner Khalid Abdullah made a sporting decision to keep Enable in training this season having come so agonisingly close to racing history 12 months ago.

As no horse has ever won Europe’s premier race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, three times, the sportsman in Abdullah came to the fore and he delayed the decision to retire Enable to have one more shot at immortality.

“In races like this, it’s such a monumental day you cannot discount any horse – it never turns out how you think it is going to,” said Grimthorpe, Abdullah’s long-standing racing manager.

“We just have to concentrate on her and Frankie (Dettori) is the best man to have.

“Just to even run in the race four times – given how difficult it is to get to a particular race on a particular day – to do it four years in a row, without pre-empting as she hasn’t lined up yet, but all being well to run in four Arcs, it is a tremendous feat by John and everyone at Clarehaven.”

Win or lose this weekend, Grimthorpe does not think there is much more Enable could have achieved with three King Georges, two Arcs, the English and Irish Oaks and a Breeders’ Cup among her 15 victories.

Frankie Dettori returns on Enable after winning a third King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes earlier this season
Frankie Dettori returns on Enable after winning a third King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes earlier this season (Dan Abraham/PA)

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“She had a really busy three-year-old campaign, missed the first half of her four-year-old season but went and won at the Breeders’ Cup after a second Arc,” said Grimthorpe.

“Obviously we are very biased and everyone has opinions about everything, but the only thing I would say is that her CV stands up to the closest scrutiny.

“The amount of Group One winners she has beaten in her career is staggering and we couldn’t have asked any more of her really.”

Not surprisingly, Gosden fears the testing ground could slow Enable down in the final few strides – just as it did last year when Waldgeist reeled her in.

Speaking to talkSPORT2, Gosden said: “She’s in very good form, we’ve designed the whole season around this day. She won a King George then had a prep at Kempton so she’s ready for this.

“Everyone is concerned about the ground, it could be for specialists, but we’ve planned this for a year.

“She handles cut in the ground, but her best races have been on good to soft. Last year it was testing and it found her out in the last 100 yards. Possibly our jockey might be a bit more patient this time. It’s the same for everyone, but it will suit some more than others.

“I’ll leave tactics up to Frankie, though, he’s ridden in 30 Arcs so it’s pointless me telling him want to do. He’ll ride it how he feels it.”

Stradivarius was in a different league to his rivals in the Gold Cup in June
Stradivarius was in a different league to his rivals in the Gold Cup in June (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Asked how he would feel if Stradivarius came to beat Enable, Gosden replied: “You must let every horse take its chance, the owner/breeder Bjorn Nielsen has been keen to run and there’s a history of good stayers running well in the Arc.

“In the conditions it will bring his stamina into play. Even he might find the ground a bit much, though – although we thought for years he wanted top of the ground and he won an Ascot Gold Cup by 10 lengths on soft.

“This is a different ball game but if he doesn’t sink in too far, he doesn’t have the biggest of feet, he’s capable of a big performance.”

Mogul won the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood earlier this year
Mogul won the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood earlier this year (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Aidan O’Brien is another who must be cursing the weather gods and he felt the ground could be so bad he even took out Love, who had been favourite since July.

Nevertheless, he still runs four, including Grand Prix de Paris winner Mogul and Serpentine, shock winner of the Derby in June. Japan and Sovereign are the other representatives for Ballydoyle.

“We were delighted with Mogul in the Grand Prix de Paris and we felt he was slowly starting to come right,” O’Brien told Sky Sports Racing.

“We’d always ridden him fairly close to the pace, but he’d always shown a lot of speed in his work so we decided last time to ride him for speed and Pierre-Charles (Boudot) gave him a beautiful ride and we got a great result, we’ve been happy since. The ground won’t be ideal but his brother, Japan, handles an ease.

“We think Japan will improve from the Irish Champion but we were a little disappointed. A mile and a half will suit him better.

“Christophe (Soumillon) was happy with Serpentine (behind Mogul), he’d had a big break after Epsom. We went to France using it as a prep for the Arc which Christophe knew.

“He’ll go forward, he doesn’t have to lead but he will if no one else wants, he’s uncomplicated. He’s drawn wide (15), but Christophe knows the horse well.

“Sovereign should be suited by the tempo of a mile and a half rather than the Irish Leger last time.”

Dettori willing Enable on for historic day in Paris

Frankie Dettori is already recognised as one of horse racing’s all-time greats – and on Sunday he will bid to help Enable achieve a similar status with an unprecedented third Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe success.

Having come within a length and three-quarters of steering the John Gosden-trained mare to a record-breaking third victory in the Group One showpiece 12 months ago, the ever-popular Italian will be out to make amends at ParisLongchamp in what is likely to be her swansong.

Though the daughter of Nathaniel has a CV that is far superior to any other horse Dettori has ridden throughout his career, he believes only a win in the mile-and-a-half feature at the weekend will cement her place among the very best to have graced the annals of the Turf.

He said: “She is by far the best horse in terms of CVs that I’ve ridden. When you think of the likes of Fantastic Light and Daylami, I only won five Group One races on them and she has won 11. She has nearly doubled the Group One tally of any other horse I’ve ridden.

“For me, if I can win the third Arc, it is all for her. I will work hard to try to achieve that for her as I want her to be remembered as one of the all-time greats. She can only be called that if she wins a third Arc.

“She came so close last year and we will now roll the dice again.”

Riding an equine superstar like Enable comes with an added level of pressure, but despite the potential reward on offer, the 49-year-old feels more comfortable with the situation he finds himself in compared to the one he faced last year.

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Dettori said: “I actually don’t feel as nervous, as last year we were going for three in a row. Now that she has been beaten in the race last year, it takes a bit of pressure off.

“We know exactly how hard it is to win it. We are under no illusions – it’s going to be tough.

“It took a while to get over it last year as we came so close and I was still in front with 100 yards to go. You always analyse what you could have done better, as does any sportsman, but that is gone now and we have to think forward.

“This year there will only be 1,000 people there so you are not going to get the same atmosphere, but we will still try to make history, however I do feel calmer than last year.”

Enable warmed up for Sunday with victory at Kempton last month
Enable warmed up for Sunday with victory at Kempton last month (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Enable has shown no signs of her form deteriorating this season after bouncing back from defeat in the Eclipse at Sandown on her return to become the first three-time winner of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July.

Having warmed up with victory in the same Kempton Group Three she took in en route to her 2018 Arc success, Dettori feels Enable is in the right place ahead of her date with destiny.

He added: “She has taken a lot longer to get her where we wanted in the summer. She has stayed in training for one reason and one reason only, and that is for a third win in the Arc.

“Everything has been about working backwards from the Arc. She picked up a third King George along the way which was great, as that was another record. I think John has got Enable in the best condition he can. I think we have her where we want her.”

Dettori ranks stablemate Stradivarius as Enable's main rival
Dettori ranks stablemate Stradivarius as Enable’s main rival (Dan Abraham/PA)

Assessing those set to take their chance against Enable in the French capital, the three-times champion jockey expects the biggest challenge to come from her stablemate, and triple Ascot Gold Cup hero, Stradivarius.

He said: “There is a lot of rain forecast at the moment and it depends how much we get. For sure it will be soft and it could be the extreme of very soft. That would put stamina into the equation and Stradivarius could come into the picture.

“He bolted up in the Ascot Gold Cup on soft ground and he is doing really well at the moment, so he would be a big threat which we have to respect

“Enable is in a good frame of mind, though. She is aggressive at home, which is always a good sign with her. She seems in a good place.”

Given the affection Dettori has for Enable, it seems hard to believe he overlooked her in favour of then stablemate Shutter Speed on her first start at three in a conditions race at Newbury. But he explains at the time it was an easy decision to make.

He said: “Shutter Speed was a good work horse. It turned out that Enable is a different horse on the track and the rest is history really. It was an easy decision to make at the time, the way the two horses were working.

“It is amazing how work in the morning and performances in the afternoon can be so different. It is not just Enable who is like that. Palace Pier is the same and you wouldn’t know he is in the yard in the mornings. Some horses need different environments to make them tick and Enable is like that.”

Enable will always have a special place in Dettori's heart
Enable will always have a special place in Dettori’s heart (Bill Selwyn/PA)

Whatever result Enable achieves in the Arc, an outpouring of emotion from Dettori is assured – but for now his focus is on the task ahead and not what awaits in the aftermath.

He said: “It will be emotional on Sunday. At the moment I’m keeping strong. I’ve been there in the same position before, but at the moment it is about focusing on getting the lead up over and done with and making sure everything goes smoothly before getting my leg aboard her in the race. All my emotions will spill out afterwards.

“There will be excitement on the day, but I want to try to enjoy the moment and let the story all unfold.”

O’Brien sounds Arc ground warning for Love

Aidan O’Brien has raised doubts about the participation of Love in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, amid the prospect of significantly testing conditions in Paris on Sunday.

The Galileo filly has carried all before her this season, claiming the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket before adding the Oaks at Epsom and Yorkshire Oaks at York.

She has been aimed at the Arc since her victory on the Knavesmire in August – and with it an eagerly-anticipated showdown with the John Gosden-trained Enable, who is looking to make history as the first horse to win the Arc three times.

But with the going reported to be very soft and an unsettled forecast before the weekend, O’Brien told the Daily Mirror: “When you start getting into extremes – especially when you start talking about heavy ground in France – we have to be realistic.

“We have to make a decision at 9.30am on Friday. Nothing is on or off until we believe things are right.”

Love showed all her class in the Oaks
Love showed all her class in the Oaks (Bill Selwyn/PA)

Frankie Dettori, meanwhile, insists the pressure is off as he prepares to bid for racing history again aboard Enable – 12 months on from what he describes as the worst disappointment of his career.

The brilliant mare will face a maximum of 15 rivals, after O’Brien’s Derby hero Serpentine was the only further entry at Wednesday’s supplementary stage.

Enable failed to complete an unprecedented Arc hat-trick last year, having to settle for second when agonisingly reeled in on rain-softened ground by Waldgeist deep inside the final furlong.

But as the Italian jockey prepares to try again, against a field set to contain Gosden’s own three-time Ascot Gold Cup hero Stradivarius, he explains last year’s deflating experience is helping to keep him calm.

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“We have already achieved something historic by winning the King George for a third time,” he said, reflecting on the six-year-old’s successful 2020 campaign to date.

“Frankly, the pressure involved is less than last year, and it’s not because there will be fewer people in Paris (during Covid-19 crowd restrictions).

“It’s because we have already experienced disappointment. The three hours which followed last year’s defeat were the worst in my entire professional career, and I think that Enable was similarly downcast.”

As for the task ahead this time, Dettori – speaking before concerns about Love’s participation emerged – is mindful again of the challenge of anticipated soft ground – and respectful of the opposition.

“I’m praying that we will get drawn somewhere between one and eight,” he said.

“Rain is forecast, and the ground will most likely be heavy (but) I hope that we won’t experience extremes of going, as happened last year.

“There are two horses that like to go to the front – Serpentine and Sovereign.

“So taking up a good position will be ‘de rigueur’.

“The ground is a very important factor, and Enable has already shown that she can handle it.

“It’s a big plus – a bit like the (7lb) filly’s allowance that Love will be receiving.

“She will be coming into the Arc de Triomphe a bit like Enable did as a three-year-old, but having trodden a different path.”

Dettori predicts ground conditions will play a major part in everyone’s tactics, and may not in particular be to Love’s advantage.

“I hold her in high esteem, like everyone else,” he added.

“I have spoken with my colleagues and racing analysts – they say that a heavy track could count against Love, because her low-to-the-ground, fast action is better suited to good ground.

“Genuine heavy ground will turn the Arc into a stamina test – that will play to Stradivarius’ strengths – and, on the contrary, the distance may prove a bit long for Persian King, although anything trained by Andre Fabre warrants respect.

Stradivarius will relish a stamina test at ParisLongchamp
Stradivarius will relish a stamina test at ParisLongchamp (Dan Abraham/PA)

“There are other horses which shouldn’t be underestimated (too), such as Sottsass. He hasn’t had a hard campaign and boasts prior experience in the Arc de Triomphe (in third last year).”

O’Brien added Serpentine to his team at a cost of 72,000 euros, after being pleased with his first run since his runaway triumph at Epsom.

Serpentine blew away the cobwebs on his first public outing for 71 days when fourth to stablemate Mogul in the Grand Prix de Paris over the Arc course and distance two and a half weeks ago.

Mogul, Japan and Sovereign complete the Ballydoyle trainer’s raiding party.

Fabre is the leading Arc trainer with eight victories and he looks to a ninth with Persian King, who will be stepping up to a mile and a half for the first time.

He won the Prix du Moulin from Pinatubo over a mile on his latest start, and it has been announced Persian King will stand at the Haras D’Etreham Stud next year.

Other leading fancies include two more home hopes, In Swoop and Raabihah.

New protocols allow British-based jockeys to apply for quarantine exemption

British-based jockeys riding at ParisLongchamp this weekend can apply to be exempt from quarantine on their return after the British Horseracing Authority confirmed an addition to its Elite Traveller Exemption protocols for elite sportspeople and essential support staff.

The new protocol – which is effective immediately and also includes trainers and stable staff – covers those who are frequent travellers for competition in a country not covered by the travel corridor exemption.

As things stood, those riding in France this weekend at the Arc meeting would have needed to self-isolate for seven days under the elite sportsperson’s exemption, rather than the standard 14 days.

Earlier in the season, Frankie Dettori – who will ride Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – was forced to choose between riding Palace Pier and Mishriff at Deauville, then completing a spell in isolation, or being available for York’s Ebor meeting – and he chose France.

Frankie Dettori will be free to ride at Newmarket's Future Champions meeting after riding Enable
Frankie Dettori will be free to ride at Newmarket’s Future Champions meeting after riding Enable (Alan Crowhurst/PA)
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With the likes of Dettori, Ryan Moore, Andrea Atzeni, Jim Crowley and Oisin Murphy keen to be able to ride at Newmarket’s Future Champions Day the following weekend, the ease in the restrictions will be most welcome, with Crowley now having the opportunity to partner Battaash in the Prix de l’Abbaye and be in action at Newmarket.

Under the new protocol, jockeys, trainers and stable staff who make frequent trips abroad for competition at Covid-19 secure venues in non-exempt countries may choose to register for a ‘Frequent Private Traveller’ option.

The BHA said that while actively under the program, which requires regular weekly testing and daily post-travel monitoring with the BHA chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill, individuals who travel to compete at international venues on day trips and via private transport will be exempt from self-isolation on their return.

For the first seven days after return to the UK, individuals are only exempt from self-isolation for the purposes of training or competing. Otherwise, they must self-isolate as usual.

Jim Crowley is now in line to ride Battaash this weekend
Jim Crowley is now in line to ride Battaash this weekend (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Individuals must register with Dr Hill at least four days before their first trip abroad, with journeys to and from the international venue to be undertaken in private cars or planes and return journeys to be completed on the same day with no overnight stays.

Private cars must have a maximum of two occupants and private flights must only be shared if two-metre social distancing can be maintained.

Monitoring of individuals who travel under the scheme will last for a minimum of 21 days and will include a weekly Covid-19 test organised through the BHA medical department and funded by the applicant, with the first test result returned prior to the initial trip abroad.

A minimum of three tests will be required under the scheme – which was developed by Dr Hill in consultation with the Professional Jockeys Association and senior riders – with two taking place after any trip.

Dettori determined to enjoy Arc week

Frankie Dettori is trying not to put too much pressure on himself ahead of Enable’s swansong in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next week.

Agonisingly caught close home by Waldgeist 12 months ago when bidding for a third successive win, John Gosden’s mare is back for a fourth run in the European showpiece.

She was beaten on her comeback in the Eclipse by Ghaiyyath but has won twice since, in the King George at Ascot and the September Stakes at Kempton, justifying short odds both times.

Dettori knows this will be Enable’s final run and he determined to enjoy the experience before she heads to the paddocks.

Speaking to ITV Racing’s Opening Show having ridden Enable on Saturday morning Dettori said: “I rode Enable, she’s in good form, and I rode Palace Pier so two champions.

“That was probably one of her last main pieces of work and she’ll do one more next week before going to Paris.

“I’m happy. I’m not nervous – yet!

“She went over seven furlongs on the round gallop with her usual companion.

“She’s never been a flashy worker at home but her action his good, her mental strength is good and it’s all systems go.

“It’s weird that John may not be able to go this year because of the quarantine so it will be a little bit surreal but I’m sure we’ll talk about it.”

Gosden also runs another of Dettori’s favourites, Stradivarius, but he still needs a jockey with planned stand-in Andrea Atzeni unable to commit due to the required quarantine period on his return.

“Don’t forget the Strad – he’s in good form. I’ve no idea who will ride him but he’s in good form and I think he’s slipped under the radar. I thought he travelled really well last time,” said Dettori.

“Obviously I know Enable’s going to stud so I’m trying to enjoy it, I’m not going to stress. Arcs are not gimmes, you’ve got to take on the world and I think John has her the best she can be so we just need a bit of luck.”

Oisin Murphy anticipating tough test for Kameko in Joel Stakes

Oisin Murphy is well aware of the task facing 2000 Guineas Kameko as he prepares to lock horns with Benbatl in the Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

Andrew Balding’s Kameko provided the reigning champion jockey with his first Classic success over the course and distance in early June.

Murphy also knows the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Benbatl well, having steered him to two of his three Group One wins to date, and when he dominated from the front in this Group Two contest 12 months ago.

Murphy said: “Benbatl is one of the highest-rated horses in the world and Kameko is a Classic winner who ran the fastest ever Guineas, so it’s a mouthwatering prospect.

“It will be hard for Kameko with the penalty – we have to give Benbatl 1lb – but there were limited options and he’s in super form and ready to run.

“I obviously love Benbatl. I only raced against him once and that was in the Juddmonte International when I won on Roaring Lion.

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“I’ve ridden Benbatl in work recently as well and he’s also in super form.”

Oisin Murphy knows Benbatl well
Oisin Murphy knows Benbatl well (John Walton/PA)

Kameko has plied his trade over a variety of different trips since his Guineas triumph – finishing fourth over a mile and a half in the Derby, over a mile in the Sussex Stakes and over a mile and a quarter in the Juddmonte International.

Murphy feels the return to a mile will see him at his best in what is a prep race for next month’s QEII at Ascot.

Murphy added: “He travelled very well in the Sussex and got into second place in the Juddmonte, having sat last, and then his run petered out at the line.

“Hopefully the ground continues to dry today – both he and Benbatl want top of the ground.”

Frankie Dettori and Saeed bin Suroor team up
Frankie Dettori and Saeed bin Suroor team up (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Following last year’s success, Benbatl floundered in the mud in the QEII at Ascot, but he bounced back with successive wins in Dubai earlier this year.

Third place in the inaugural Saudi Cup set him up for a tilt at World Cup glory, only for the Meydan showpiece to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Benbatl missed his intended comeback in last month’s Celebration Mile due to the prevailing rain-softened ground at Goodwood – and Bin Suroor is keeping his fingers crossed conditions on the Rowley Mile are not too testing for Frankie Dettori’s mount.

Bin Suroor said: “Benbatl is doing good. He did his last piece of work on the Watered Gallop here in Newmarket and he is doing really well.

“It is his first run in Europe since he went to Dubai and Saudi Arabia. We are looking for a good result from him.

“It’s a tough race, but he won it last year and it’s the right race for him.

“We don’t want the ground to be too soft – good ground would be good for him.”

Six runners remain after both Duke Of Hazzard and Urban Icon were pulled out on Friday morning, because of softening ground.

The field is completed by Regal Reality, Top Rank, Zabeel Prince and Tilsit.