Monday 19 March 2018

Enable can do it for the girls in Chantilly Arc

Trainer Aidan O’Brien. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O’Brien. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

A rather anxious wait for connections of Enable on Thursday to see how she would fare with the draw for tomorrow's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe ended with great satisfaction (two) and she can make it a staggering six winning fillies from the last seven in the big one.

Run at Chantilly on account of Longchamp's redevelopment, like last year, this looks a pretty average renewal of the race, but there is nothing average about Enable. She is a bit like her sire Nathaniel in that she took time to be fully appreciated: indeed she was rated 84 when a 5/1 third on her first start of the campaign at Newbury.

Her progression has been quite astonishing and the main feature of her races is her kick at the end, which leaves her rivals demoralised. Five of them tomorrow are trained by Aidan O'Brien, with the Ryan Moore-ridden Winter fascinating.

She was generally not expected to run in the Arc but, trying 12 furlongs for the first time, she will have her supporters. However, last year's third Order Of St George - mount of Donnacha O'Brien - makes most appeal if you are to oppose the favourite.

Clearly, the track is no problem to the Irish Leger winner, which would certainly appreciate any more rain. As such, it is a concern that not a great deal more is expected, the ground good to soft yesterday.

Six Group Ones take place at Chantilly, with Ballydoyle having runners in all bar one. Magical must be respected in the Prix Marcel Boussac but preference is for Freddie Head's Polydream, which has scored smoothly on both starts under Maxime Guyon.

The Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere sees Happily, which edged out Magical at the Curragh last time, bid to give O'Brien his first winner in the event since he snared three on the bounce, most recently with Holy Roman Emperor winning in 2006. However, Masar, which scored easily at Sandown last time, may have an edge for Charlie Appleby.

It might have been a tough choice for Ryan Moore, who picked Hydrangea over Rhododendron, in the Prix de l'Opera. This trip should suit Rhododendron, which was second to Enable in the Epsom Oaks when odds-on, and at around 8/1 she appeals under Seamus Heffernan.

The Prix de l'Abbaye can go to Marsha, which won the race 12 months ago. Her win over Lady Aurelia at York, where Frankie Dettori thought he'd won on the favourite, renders her a stand-out here, and she should get away with the ground.

O'Brien has no runner in the Prix De La Foret, in which the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Zelzal gets the nod, what would be a rare Group winner for Sea The Stars over seven furlongs.

Irish Independent

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