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Havlin reflects on Enable career following superstar’s retirement

Robert Havlin, who steered Enable to the first of her 15 career victories, admits the superstar mare will leave “a big hole” in John Gosden’s yard following her retirement on Monday.

The six-year-old will go down as one of the greats following a glittering career, during which she claimed 11 Group One events, including back-to-back victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and a record three wins in the King George at Ascot.

While Frankie Dettori was on board for all of the big days, Enable’s journey began with an impressive display under Havlin in a Newcastle maiden almost four years ago.

Reflecting on that opening success, the jockey said: “When I won on her she was still a shell of a horse, but obviously had class.

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“After Newcastle she was put away for the winter and started to fill her frame. Coming into the spring, she was starting to get noticed. Her work was always pointing to her being a good mile-and-a-half filly, but as time went on, she kept getting stronger and improving.

“The other thing that always stood out about Enable is she’s always been a very intelligent filly – she certainly worked out how to use her gears and win very early in her life.

“She knows what’s going on around her and is very inquisitive.”

Enable will go down as one of the great mares
Enable will go down as one of the great mares (Julian Herbert/PA)

While Havlin never partnered Enable again competitively following that debut victory, he rode her in plenty of work in Newmarket, something which he always felt was a huge privilege.

He added: “She’ll leave a big hole in the yard now she has gone. She had a presence about the place and it won’t feel the same without her.

“We were here for the golden years and they will be golden memories to look back on.

“She had that presence on the Heath and everybody stopped and looked at her. You felt important when you were riding her, so that was good.

“I’ve not sat on her much this year as I’ve been riding Stradivarius most of the time, but in the previous years I sat on her quite a lot at home.

“There were always people waiting to take pictures as she walked past and you would hear them asking ‘is that Enable?’. She was famous in her own right and a bit of Hollywood-type superstar in Newmarket.”

Enable has a date in the breeding shed with former Gosden ace Kingman next spring and Havlin believes it could be match made in heaven.

He said: “You couldn’t have picked a better sire for her to partner in Kingman. He was a horse I used to ride a lot at home as well – hopefully they will produce some nice babies and we get to sit on them.”