On April 21st 2017, on just the filly’s second career start at Newbury in a Class 3 Conditions Stakes, Enable finished 3rd of 6 runners, 3 & 3/4 lengths behind winner Shutter Speed….
Little did the racing world know that in just under 3 years from her racing debut on November 28th 2016 at Newcastle in a Class 5, 1m maiden, on the all weather, Enable would become the greatest racing mare in the last 20 years & a history maker
Enable…. Sire- Nathaniel – Dam – Concentric – Dam’s Sire – Sadler’s Wells
Age 6YO Mare… Colour… Bay… Owners… Juddmonte Farms Limited.. Trainer… John Gosden
From her racing debut win at Newcastle back in November 2016, in a maiden with Rab Havlin on board for her trainer John Gosden, racing in the famous colours of Juddmonte. Enable ran away to land her debut win with consummate ease by 3 & 3/4 lengths over 1 mile…
Like most 2 year olds, she was put away for the winter, to return for the forthcoming turf flat season in 2017….
21st April .. The infamous day Enable finished 3rd to Shutter Speed on her first turf start and first run of the 2017 season, rated 84 after her run at Newcastle the previous November….
10th May.. Chester – Enable headed to the Cheshire Stakes, a Class 1 Listed race 1m 3f 75y.
She was taking a slight step up in trip but this was to try and find some improvement. The Nathaniel filly’s rating had risen to 102 due to the form of the race at Newbury. The step up in trip brought an improved performance and she finished 1 & 3/4 lengths in front of runner up Alluringly to win the race…
Partnered for the first time with Frankie Dettori…
And yes the crowd were treated to the famous Dettori flying dismount!
2nd June.. Epsom – Enable was entered in the Oaks, her first Group 1 race. This race is for 3 year olds and run over 1m 4f.
Now rated 107 and going off Joint Favourite at odds of 6/1, this would be the last time you would get such a price from the bookmakers on Enable winning a single race at the off….
Enable and Dettori ran out comfortable winners by 5 lengths from her nearest challenger, the Aidan O’Brien trained Rhododendron.
The next stop for Enable was to head to Ireland, the Curragh to be exact, so with Frankie Dettori they headed across the Irish sea..
15th July.. Curragh – A second Group 1 fillies’ race over 1m 4f.
Seeming now the perfect trip for the Nathaniel filly. Now with a new rating of 120, both Enable and Dettori took apart the field in the Irish Oaks to win eased down by 5 & 1/2 lengths from Rain Goddess.
The race was over at the 2 furlong pole, as Frankie and Enable left the field in their wake…..
Two weeks later, the pair headed to Ascot…
July 29th.. Ascot – King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Group 1.. 1m 4f…
Having won her previous two Group 1 races by 5 lengths, would Enable make it 3 Group 1 wins on the bounce? With her rating now up to 122, Enable started the race as Favourite as she had done at the Curragh. The result was the same, with Frankie putting 4 & 1/2 lengths between Enable & her nearest rival Ulysses at the finish. That was 3 Group 1 wins in a row and Enable now had just under a month until her next race!
24th August.. York – Yorkshire Oaks Fillies’ Group 1 1m 4f..
Back taking on her own sex, the now 126 rated Enable was again favourite for the race, Odds ON! Enable didn’t disappoint her throng of growing admirers.
Frankie Dettori quickly putting the race to bed at the 2f pole again with another 5 length victory from Coronet..
Another Group 1 win and another flying dismount for the cheering crowd.
Enable was entered in two more race for the season, one at Ascot on Champions Day and the other in France, the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe on October 1st….
With the decision made by connections, Enable headed to her final race of the season in France….
October 1st.. Chantilly – Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe Group 1 1m 4f..
With Longchamp being renovated, the biggest race in France’s racing calendar was moved to Chantilly. Enable received weight for being a 3 year old and for her sex as a filly.
Installed as favourite and gaining a favourable draw, Enable broke well. Sitting just off the front and as soon as they reached the bend, Frankie asked Enable to go….
Winning by 2 & 1/2 lengths from Cloth of Stars…
A flying dismount followed the 5th Group 1 win of the season… Newbury in April seemed along way off now!
2018….. The year records were broken!
As the season got underway and everyone was looking to see when Enable would make her seasonal return, news broke that she had suffered a setback and would not run for a while. Trainer John Gosden seemed upbeat as did Jockey Frankie Dettori.
Finally news reached everyone that Enable would return in September and if things went well, she would head to France to try an retain the Arc….
September 8th.. Kempton Park(All Weather) – September Stakes Group 3 1m 2f…
As Enable entered the track to head to post, she looked vibrant, on her toes and ready for action. Like she was almost ready to burst..
As the gates opened Frankie dropped her in behind Crystal Ocean and she sat patiently until Frankie asked her to go and that was that…
Easing down at the line having put plenty of distance between Enable & Crystal Ocean to win by 3 & 1/2 lengths…
The queen was back and she knew it!
John Gosden confirmed that if Enable came out of the race ok, she would head to Longchamp…. She was prepped for the Arc.
October 7th.. Longchamp (France) – 1m 4f Prix De L’arc De Triomphe Group 1…
No horse had ever won the Arc after one run ALL season, that was the task set for Enable. Looking well, loading fine and the scene was set….
Enable broke well and Frankie set her back, despite her being a little keen early on. The first mile was without trouble and as they travelled to the 2f pole Frankie asked for Enable to go & she did…..
Passing the few in front and setting sail for the finishing post…
With 50 metres to go, everyone could see Enable was all out, striving for the line as the closers were coming….
And did they come, with Sea of Class the major danger!!!
Enable hit the line!!!
She had won by a short head from Sea of Class… History!
She joined an exclusive club of 6 to win the Arc twice….
But never had it been done with only 1 run all season!
The crowd roared Enable back to the winners enclosure as she and Frankie milked the applause from the packed Grandstand….
In the winners enclosure, with every camera popping…
Frankie gave the crowd and waiting media his famous flying dismount….
Connections confirmed that Enable would be entered in the Breeders Cup Turf the following month and as per the Arc, if she came out of the race well then she would head to America…. Enable was shipped to America and trained at Churchill for a week building up to race day….
November 3rd... Churchill Downs(America) Breeders’ Cup Turf Group 1 1m 4f… The field was very strong, with Magical for Aidan O’Brien, Waldgeist and Talismanic for Andre Fabre heading over from France, all finished behind Enable in the Arc along with plenty of American horses that were looking to take the title….
Enable started as odds on favourite, the gates opened and they sprung fast. Frankie settled Enable back in behind the front few, as had been the way for so long now. The Ground was too soft so Frankie had to try and find a little firmer away from the rail.. He was losing ground, the pace was fierce and unlikely to last so as they got to turn into the stretch, Enable and Frankie were racing wide and was asked to go…
What followed on the straight was a ding dong battle with Magical, both taking each other on leaving the rest of the field playing catch up… All the way to the line it was touch and go…
In the final strides Enable put the race to bed to win and become the first Arc winner to win the Breeders Cup Turf in the same season. Eight others had tried and failed but Enable didn’t….
History was made under the twin spires in Kentucky….
The crowd roared with appreciation, knowing they had seen the best filly in the world… Frankie and Enable soaked up the adoration from the stands and heading to the winners enclosure for the famous flying Frankie dismount!
What the future holds in 2019 for Enable only connections know. On November 19th 2018, Connections announced that Enable will stay in training as a 5 year old and her main target will be a record breaking attempt at a 3rd Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe…
2019 All roads lead to Longchamp…..
Enable returned to the race course after 245 days away on July 6th at Sandown.
Eclipse Stakes Group 1 1m 2f…
Enable was quite keen as the stalls opened, pulling Frankie for the first furlong as some horses do on their return to the track but she soon settled down into stride and the pair sat just behind the leaders, tracking them for around a mile.
Around the 2f pole Frankie asked Enable to quicken and just like she had done previously passing the leader and running out a 3/4’s of a length winner from Magical….
The roar of the crowd was immense and Frankie took Enable into the winners enclosure where the buoyant fans were treated to the standard flying dismount.
Enable came out of the race well and was soon back on the track at Ascot on July 27th
King George IV & Queen Elizabeth Stakes Group 1 1m 4f
Drawn in stall 11, Enable broke well but had to settle in the back of the field after going a couple of furlongs 3 wide. She settled nicely but Frankie looked concerned at his place in the field.
As the race began to unfold Frankie had to pass rivals on the outside and on the turn to home found himself & Enable pushed wide, as they got to 3f out Frankie decided it was time to go, with Enable sat in 2nd place…
A ding dong battle ensued with Crystal Ocean, neither giving an inch so for 2 furlongs they battled it out.
Crystal Ocean edged in front but Enable battled back in the final 50 yards to win the battle by a neck…..
As the pair walked back along in front of the stand with everyone on their feet, giving them a standing ovation. The pair headed towards the winners enclosure the noise was phenomenal…
A standard flying dismount followed and all roads still lead to Longchamp in October and what could be a record breaking 3rd Arc…
Longchamp – October 6th – Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe – Group 1 – 3yo Plus – 1m 4f
Drawn in stall 9, having been drawn in stall 2 ( 2017 ) & stall 6 (2018), this as some may know is not ideal as low draws are where the winner seems to come from. Preparation had gone well like the previous years.
Enable faced 11 other rivals including Ghiayyath, Waldgeist, Japan, Magical & Dierdre…
Ghiayyath a front runner took the field along from the start, with Frankie finding a nice place in 4th spot, sitting behind Magical in 3rd. The field stayed the same until 300 metres from the finishing line when Frankie made his move.
At 200 metres left of the race, Frankie & Enable had daylight from the field and everything looked good for a record breaking day…. 100 metres out & they were still 2 lengths clear of the field but with 50 metres to go Waldgeist had come from the chasing pack to challenge & was level with Enable…..
Heartbreak as Waldgeist passed them in the final strides to win by 1 & 3/4 lengths….
After 10 Group 1 wins on the bounce & 12 races unbeaten ( including Cheshire Oaks (Listed) and the September Stakes (Group 3) Enable had lost…. No flying dismount today….
The crowd looked on in disbelief and Longchamp was quite for a few moments taking in what had just happened….
Take nothing away from Waldgeist, who was a worthy champion & was lead into the winners enclosure after passing along in front of the stands but the biggest cheer was for Enable, despite her defeat, she was still the Queen in their eyes….. Now one question remained – Will Enable race on at 6?
2020 & the year of the global pandemic……
A worldwide shutdown came about in March, with everyone told to stay at home, except for Key Workers. People were only allowed out to shop, exercise or to care for others & their animals. The racing industry shut down too & nobody knew when & if racing would resume…. It did eventually but only with certain restrictions & protocols’ in place…. And the answer to the question from Longchamp the previous October was about to be answered….
YES Enable would race in 2020….
Racing began with a truncated season on the cards with the Derby & Oaks at Epsom on July 3 & 4th…. Enable started her season the very next day at Sandown!
July 5th – Sandown – Eclipse Stakes – Group 1 – 3yo Plus – 1m 2f…..
After a 273 day break & following on from her defeat at Longchamp the previous October, Enable entered the race course again. This would be very different from the roaring crowds she had previously come across, more like when she galloped at Newmarket on heath, as the only people allowed into race courses were officials, TV crews & racing staff….
The 6yo mare faced a field of 6 other rivals, including Ghiayyath, Japan & Dierdre. Ghiayyath took the field along, just as he did at Longchamp , with Frankie & Enable back in 5th, they made headway with 3 furlongs to go, moving up to 3rd.
Enable stayed on to the finish but couldn’t get close to the front running Ghiayyath, who won by 2 & 1/4 lengths. Trainer John Gosden declared pre race that Enable was ‘ only 85% race fit & we have to bring her along gently as I have not trained many 6yo’s’… 2 defeats in 2 races…. But all eyes were on Longchamp in the autumn & Yes, a 4th attempt to win the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe for a record 3rd time……
Just 20 days later Enable was back on the race course, this time at Ascot, where she would race in the King George IV & Queen Elizabeth Stakes….
July 25th – Ascot – King George IV & Queen Elizabeth Stakes – Group 1 – 3yo Plus – 1m 4f…
Enable was attempting to win her 3rd King George, having won the race previously in 2017 & 2019, this time she would only face 2 rivals, with Anthony Van Dyke being withdrawn.
Sovereign & Japan were left in the race, so Ballydoyle v Enable.
Sovereign took the field of 3 along with Enable & Frankie back in 3rd place. As they passed the 3 furlong marker, Frankie made his move & passed both her rivals, quickly putting clear daylight between them in the final furlong.
Enable ended up winning by 5 & 1/2 lengths from Sovereign…
She had now amassed 11 Group 1 wins and John Gosden said they would follow the route of 2018, when Enable went to Kempton prior to the Arc’…. A rest until September it is….
September 5th – Kempton – September Stakes – Group 3 – 3yo Plus – 1m 4f..
A field of 6 went to post at Kempton on the all weather, still no fans allowed but owners were slowly returning to the courses, this was to be Enable’s final UK race & literally hardly anyone was there to see it. The few that were would witness, the greatest race mare in the last 20 years final UK race…..
Enable didn’t disappoint the few that watched at the course or the 100’s of thousands that were watching on TV from their homes all across the UK,
She made the running & this was as a routine victory as she had ever run in her career, routing the field by 7 lengths & with consummate ease…
That was it, her final UK race ended with a flourish and now all roads would lead to her final goodbye, in front of, maybe 1,000 people on a race course in Paris on October 4th….
Enable will leave her mark on racing for years to come, if she remains healthy and she could produce foals for the next 10 – 15 years. In my opinion, she is the greatest race mare I have seen & the best in the past 2 decades in British racing.
Credit must go to Prince Khalid Abdullah, who made the decision to keep her in training past 3, when he could have quite easily retired Enable to the breeding shed.
John Gosden for his magnificent handling of her, from 2 to 6yo has been nothing short of exceptional, yes he is an exceptional trainer, but having trained very few 6yo’s and with the setbacks during her career, he is the master….
And of course, who can forget Frankie Dettori, masterful when needed and nurturing when the moments dictated. He loves her & we love them….
Plus all the stable staff, who with her Groom have been as an integral part of the journey as the 3 people mentioned above. A fantastic job.
Her 11 Group 1 wins, which include 3 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, 2 Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe’s, 2 September Stakes, 2 Yorkshire Oaks, Breeders Cup Fillies & Mares’ Turf along with the Irish Oaks & The Oaks from Epsom. A career spanning 4 season’s and has beaten more than 20 other Group 1 winners in that time is nothing short of phenomenal…. A true racing great…. A Legend…. Thank You Enable
By Rich Williams.
Picture of Enable as a Foal – Juddmonte Farms Limited(Twitter Account)
Sandown (Eclipse) & Ascot – Courtesy of Fran Altoft Photo
Breeders Cup Pictures – Kathleen O’Leary-Hearne