Enable - A Horse We'll Never Forget

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The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is just over five weeks away and it's always a special occasion across the English channel but this year, it's set to be one of the most momentous races in the recent history of the race. Not only is superstar Enable going for her third straight victory in the race, it's also set to be her final appearance on a racecourse with retirement looming. 14 races, 13 victories with 10 Group 1 victories, she could become the first horse EVER to win a hat-trick of Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe's with victory in Longchamp.

We've taken a look back at the career of what has undoubtedly been one of the finest racehorses the sport has ever seen.

Where it all began...

As with many of John Gosden's debutants, she debuted at Newcastle and also like many of John Gosden's debutants, she won emphatically by 3¾ lengths after getting sent off as a 7/2 joint favourite. The signs were good from the off for her but then following that run, she was a disappointing third of six at Newbury but since then, she's never looked back.

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The start of the winning run

After her disappointing run at Newbury, there was understandably not loads of hype around her but that was soon to change, very quickly. She returned to winning ways in the Listed Cheshire Oaks at Chester winning by 1¾ lengths to the well fancied AP O'Brien filly Alluringly but it wasn't until Epsom where the racing world got the first inkling that we were seeing a horse of a generation.

Sent off 6/1 joint second favourite to the odds on Rhododendron, she absolutely destroyed the odds on favourite by five lengths and the rest of the field by 11 lengths in testing conditions showing the sort of heart which she would overtime become infamous for. This was Enable's coming out show but even then, we probably didn't realise how special she was going to be.

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Group 1s galore

Picking up her first Group 1 victory in the Epsom Oaks was a feat in itself but that was just the start of FIVE back to back Group 1 victories for the filly. She made it an Oaks hat-trick with another comprehensive 5½ length demolition job in the Irish Oaks followed by victory in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

She then headed back up north for the Yorkshire Oaks which she galloped to a five length victory in then she was ready for her sternest test to date, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.

Sent off as odds on favourite, she failed to disappoint bolting up by 2½ lengths from Cloth Of Stars to win her FIFTH Group 1 victory on the bounce as a three year-old with a combined winning distance of 22½ lengths from those five races. If a certain lager brand did seasons as a three year-old filly, Enable's 2017 would probably be it.

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Better late than never in 2018

2018 was by far Enable's most difficult year to date. Plagued by a knee injury, it was highly speculated that she may have to be retired due to the injury but in typical Enable fashion, she bounced back bigger and better than ever.

She wasn't seen on a racetrack until September when she headed to Kempton for the Group 3 September Stakes.

Sent off an 8/15 favourite, she put any concerns of rust to bed after her 11 month lay off by holding off the challenge of second favourite Crystal Ocean by 3½ lengths. With that victory in the bag, it was all systems go on her quest to win back to back Arc's and that is exactly what she did.

It wasn't her best career performance in the Arc but it did show just how tough of a horse she is. The well backed Sea Of Class ran on late but just couldn't find a way past the superstar filly as she joined the elite club of horses to win back to back Arc's. However, her season wasn't done there.

Connections then made the decision to take her stateside for the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs. It seemed at the time that it would be her final swan song so punters were all for it but little did we know, it was far from the end. It was England vs Ireland in a tight finish once again as she held off AP O'Briens MAGICAL in another tight finish, something which she was becoming renowned for. Connections then confirmed after that race that she'd run again as a five year-old in 2019, a punters dream.

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2019 - That's how to go out with a bang

Enable's 2019 intentions were clear from the off with John Gosden deciding against running her at Epsom and Royal Ascot instead heading straight to the Eclipse at Sandown in July.

Up against AP O'Brien's MAGICAL once again, it was a repeat of the Breeders' Cup Turf with Enable JUST coming out on top in another tight finish.

From then on, it's been very much de ja vu for Enable. Her best season to date was of course 2017 with the five Group 1 victories and her 2019 route would now be the same.

She won at Ascot in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes once again at the end of July and most recently headed back to York to regain her Yorkshire Oaks title in what was arguably her best performance to date galloping on from Magical to beat her by 2¾ lengths. Trainer John Gosden confirmed after her victory at York that this would be her last run on English soil, all but confirming retirement at the end of this season.

She now aims to become the first horse in history to win a hat-trick of Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe's as she heads to recently revamped Longchamp in her quest to rewrite history.

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One thing is for sure, Enable is a horse that the racing community will never ever forget. There aren't many horses to compare her to. An obvious comparison is Frankel. Frankel was a different type of special horse. The most impressive thing about Frankel was by how far he defeated his opponents whereas with Enable, it's more to do with how tough she is and how it's near enough impossible to find a way past her when she hits the front.

Many people like to compare her to Australian superstar WINX. But again, it would be unfair on both parts to compare them. Conditions in the UK & Australia are completely different. The tracks are completely different. The quality of opposition is completely different.

It's a shame we never saw Enable go head to head with Winx but one thing we do know for sure is that even if she'd lost that battle, she's still one of the greatest horses we will ever witness on a racetrack.

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