By Emily Shields
The ever popular and beloved mare Enable is on a quest to win her third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after she attempted the same last year but finished a heartbreaking second behind upset winner Waldgeist.
With the scratch of favored filly Love, who will reroute to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, Enable becomes the Arc favorite. She will take on a heady field of Europe’s best colts, and run over the 1 ½ mile distance at Longchamp in Paris. Enable has earned over $14 million and has won 15 of 18 lifetime starts. The daughter of Nathaniel defeated fellow Arc runner Sovereign in the Group 1 King George at Ascot in July, and missed to Breeders’ Cup Classic hopeful Ghaiyyath before that. Last year’s Arc was her first loss since April, 2017.
Her chief rival is stablemate Stradivarius. He loses jockey Frankie Dettori to Enable, but picks up Olivier Peslier and has the stamina to cover the ground, which has been made very soft by a barrage of recent rain. Stradivarius has 22 top three efforts in 24 career starts.
Persian King is unbeaten in three starts on the track, and has proven to like soft ground. Persian King, by Kingman, is coming off a win over highly regarded Pinatubo last out. The Andre Fabre trainee offers value, and is a bit of a “wise guy” horse in this spot.
German Derby winner In Swoop has only run four times, but two of those were sharp wins including one over the distance, and he was second to Mogul last out. The lightly raced son of Adlerflug is trained by Francis-Henri Graffard.
The two French stars to watch are Sottsass, who ran third in this race last year, and his rival the aptly named Way to Paris, who was beaten just a head by Sottsass in June. Way to Paris defeated Sottsass in May, and has won two out of six this year.
Despite the scratch of Love, Aidan O’Brien sends out four runners all at a price. Mogul, Japan, Sovereign, and Serpentine are all offering value because of the backing of Enable. Ryan Moore picks up the mount on Mogul, who won over this track in Group 1 company on September 13. Serpentine was the surprise winner of the 2020 Investec Derby, going to the lead and running the field off their feet. He had to be supplemented to this race for a hefty sum. Japan is a millionaire with five wins in 13 starts; last year he was fourth in the Arc. Sovereign won the Irish Derby as a three-year-old but has not won in the year since.
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