Superstar Enable will face 15 rivals at the latest declaration stage for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as she goes in search of a record breaking third consecutive win in the Paris Longchamp Group One contest.
The wonder-mare landed the spoils in 2018 to become the eighth dual winner of the race but the five year old is now looking to become the only horse in the history of the sport to take the race for the third time in a row.
Enable this season has had a much better preparation in the lead up to the Paris feature having extended her unbeaten run to 10 races with a hat-trick of Group Ones wins in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and the Yorkshire Oaks at York.
She landed the 2018 edition of the race off the back of just one race prior to the meeting, landing the Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton, meaning she won the Arc on her first turf start of the season which was remarkable.
Gosden now believes with the season she has had to date sets her in good stead for a bold showing on October 6th with the trainer believing she is at the peak of her career.
(Credit At The Races) He said: “She’s got a great stride on her and a great head and a wonderful outlook. She’s always got her ears pricked and she’s very enthusiastic about everything.
“When she was younger, she would run with unhindered exuberance and was often winning her races well. Now she’s got a little older and wiser, she’s rather like a boxer who knows how to win on points – rather than going straight in for the immediate knockout.
“I think that’s maturity that comes. She’s filled her frame and there’s no doubt in my mind that a Flat thoroughbred horse is probably at their absolute peak at five. She’s fully grown now and fully developed.
“We’ll see how we go – there’s some mighty opposition coming at us, there’s no doubt about that.”
Gosden looks set to field another from his stable with three year old Mehdaayih who was last seen finishing an unlucky second in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood but she does not appear to be in the same league as her stablemate.
The only other British runner who looks set to head to post on Sunday is Charlie Appleby's Ghaiyyath, who on ratings alone looks a big challenger at the weekend.
It wouldn't be a big Group One contest without any Aidan O'Brien runners and he is set to take three with him over to France with all of them holding big chances.
The second favourite behind Enable is Japan that made a huge statement at York last time out when landing the Juddmonte International and now stepping up to 1 mile 4 furlongs again he can't be overlooked.
Magical also landed a Group One on her latest start taking the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown but she will have to find something extra then she has done all season having finished behind Enable on two of her starts this season, Anthony Van Dyck finishes off the Irish assault from O'Brien on the race.
Andre Fabre is looking to extend to his seven previous wins in the race and add to the history books with two big chances of Waldgeist who was fourth in the race last year and Musis Amica.
The leading hope for the home contingent is Jean-Claude Rouget’s French Derby winner Sottsass who has had this contest as the big target all season long.
The three year old last time out showed his class in the Group Two Prix Neil over the course and distance of the Arc, when struggling to get a clear run but still getting up to win close home.
(Credit At The Races) The trainer said: “If it is written that I finish my training career without having won the Arc, then so be it. If it is written that I win it with Sottsass or another one in the years to come, then that’s great.
“I am going into the Arc with confidence, but with a horse who has never encountered Enable, who has never encountered Japan, who has never really met anyone.
“So, I can’t invent anything. I have no reference. I can’t say he is going to take his revenge or anything. I don’t know. What I do know is that the horse is looking good, he is in good form. Everything is all right.
“I always want the best horse of the race to win. I am very fair play and if it is Enable, Japan or another horse, if they are better than him, then that’s OK. I just hope that he can express himself, that the race will go well for him.”
There next forfeit stage for the race comes on Wednesday with the final declarations for the race to be revealed on Thursday.