Gosden's star mare has versatility to land historic Arc treble
Us racing hacks overuse the word 'historic' in relation to various victories, but if Enable wins the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe tomorrow (3.05 Longchamp), the success will be worthy of that label as no horse has ever won it three times.
I flew to Paris in 2015 to watch Treve attempt the treble, but Golden Horn spoiled the party. I won't be there this time around as I've the important matter of my baby son's Christening this weekend, but, hopefully, I can at least earn a few bob elsewhere at Ascot and Newmarket to help pay the bills and have a good day out, as Enable is quite short at 4/6.
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Then again, it all depends on what your idea of value is and some would argue that 4/6 is not a bad price for what is by far, the best horse in the race. Indeed, she's been odds-on in seven of her last eight races, so it would have been possible to make money from backing her at skinny prices - although if hindsight were foresight, we'd all be millionaires.
Still, it's impossible not to be impressed by what she's achieved. Thirteen career wins in 14 races including two Arcs, the Breeders' Cup Turf, an Irish Oaks, the Eclipse, a King George and a few other Group Ones gives you a picture of just how special the John Gosden-trained mare actually is.
She's versatile too - she's won on various types of going, and it's often said that a truly great horse will go on any ground. I'm not so sure it's as simple as that, although it's great to see such horses in action, as they are the rare ones that can manage to rack up win after win.
Of course, you have to be special to win the Arc, and she'll have to be really special to win a third one. Her training has gone very well this season with no setbacks, and while the price is a shade shorter than I'd like, I'm going to have a bet on her if only to be part of history in a very small way. That said, it will only be historic if she wins the darn thing, and I felt the same about Treve, to my cost.
Like Treve, at the age of five she's vulnerable to some younger horses including Aidan O'Brien's three-year-old Japan, a two-time Group One winner which is likely to improve even more - and Sottsass, also aged three which is another one that's versatile regarding the ground.
Of those, Japan's the one I'm most worried about and he might fly the Irish flag a little better than our rugby lads are doing in the country he's named after, but nothing suggests Enable is in decline, and there's no better man for the job than Frankie Dettori, a record six-time Arc winner.
Unless she somehow meets trouble in-running, there's no strong reason she shouldn't win here, and I'm getting more and more excited about this race as it approaches, not from a betting point of view, but purely as a racing fan.
At Newmarket, I'll be relying on Laurens at 4/1 or so to boost my Arc betting pot in the Group One Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (3.25). A winner of the Prix Rothschild at Deauville, Karl Burke's four-year-old let me down when beaten by Iridessa and Hermosa in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, but I believe she was simply having an off day and never settled well, and I reckon she can turn the tables as she faces both of those rivals again today in this race which she won last year.
Burke reported that she had a small bruise on her foot afterwards, and while I'm not sure if that had an impact, the word from the yard is that she's back to her best and is raring to go again. I actually opposed her in her previous race, the City of York Stakes, writing here that the seven-furlong trip was not ideal and that she's best at a mile, a distance at which she's won numerous Group Ones.
Connections have suggested that this could be her last race so fingers crossed it ends up being special, although the threat from Veracious, which is 7/2 favourite at the time of writing, is not easily dismissed. Trained by Michael Stoute, this daughter of Frankel was a somewhat surprising winner of the Falmouth Stakes here last time at 7/1, although there was no fluke about it and I liked the way she was able to quicken a couple of furlongs out.
Do the Double
Manchester United have been woeful lately but at 10/11, surely to God they can beat a Newcastle side that is even-money for relegation? The Red Devils are out to 5/2 in the betting for a top-four finish and Thursday's Europa League draw with AZ Alkmaar will pile more pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who somehow tried to put a positive spin on it. But Newcastle are even poorer, and Solskjaer can at least get a temporary boost for his squad tomorrow.
At Ascot, Morando is tipped to land the Group Three Property Raceday Targets Cumberland Lodge Stakes (2.35), priced around 13/8. He beat previous Group One winner Kew Gardens to win at this level in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester back in May, and while he was out of his depth himself at the top level, he went close again back in Group Three company last time when runner-up, having traded at 1/5 in-running.
With a rating of 98, odds of 16/1 look generous for So Beloved in the Bet365 Challenge Cup at Ascot today (3.10). The David O'Meara-trained gelding has been around the block more than once with six wins from 64 races, and although he hasn't won in ages, he's raced well off much higher than this and was second in a handicap off 105 at York back in May. He put in a couple of questionable runs since, but his third place last time in a claiming handicap at Sandown when rated 1lb higher offered promise, and jockey Angus Villiers takes off a useful 7lbs. Of the rest, Raising Sand has the strongest claims and is set to go off as favourite around 4/1.
2.0 Ascot: Tis Marvellous
2.35 Ascot: Morando
3.10 Ascot: So Beloved (e/w)
3.25 Newmarket: Laurens
3.40 Ascot: Cape Byron
3.05 Longchamp (Sun): Enable