Dubai: It was a fantastic run while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end, and that was the case with English raider Enable who was cruelly denied a record third victory in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, France, on Sunday.
Sent off as the huge favourite to win Europe’s showpiece middle-distance contest, it looked like history was in the making when Frankie Dettori sent the exceptional five-year-old daughter of Nathaniel to the front, only to be passed approaching the line by the fast-finishing Waldgeist, the mount of Pierre-Charles Boudot.
The winner provided French great Andre Fabre with an eighth Arc trophy, 22-years after Trempoline gave him his first.
“I’m very proud that Waldgeist managed to beat such a fantastic mare. I’m delighted.,” Said the 73-year-old Fabre. “He gave me a lot of confidence at Ascot and Pierre-Charles said he could have won.
“The Arc is always a big race because you have the combination of the best mares and colts and it’s a great race.”
John Gosden, who has enjoyed many memorable victories with Enable over the years took the defeat in his stride and paid tribute to the winner.
“She ran an absolutely brilliant race,” he said of the Khalid Abdullah-owned Enable. “Waldgeist came late and strong after they went a good pace.
“Frankie committed and went for it and with the ground testing her, it’s hard to show that turn of foot and Waldgeist has outstayed her on the ground. Full credit to Andre.
“I’m happy with the race but she doesn’t have the same explosive turn of foot on soft, she quickened up well but was outstayed in very testing conditions.”.
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s Victor Ludorum trumpeted his Classic credentials when recording an impressive victory in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere by three-quarters-of-a-length.
Trained by Fabre, the two-year-old son of Shamardal was completing a hat-trick of wins for Godolphin French-based jockey Mickael Barzalona.
Godolphin, the stable formed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, already have the strong hand in the English 2,000 Guineas with Pinatubo (Charlie Appleby) and Earthlight (Fabre).
“I was very impressed with him, he’s a neat horse and very relaxed,” said Fabre. “I will have to speak to Shaikh Mohammad regarding plans for next year but personally I would look at a French Classic campaign.”
Alson who made the running for most of the trip under Frankie Dettori, finished second ahead of Armory for Aidan O’Brien.
The Prix Jean-Luc Lagardree, formerly the Grand Criterium, is France’s oldest and most prestigious event for juvenile horses.
It is the country’s equal richest race for this age group, along with the Prix Morny. Each has a current purse of €400,000.
Victor Ludorum became Godolphin’s fourth winner of the race following Rio de la Plata in 2007, Ultra in 2016 and Royal Marine last year.