Leading British trainer John Gosden has given the lowdown on his two superstar horses Enable and Stradivarius off the back of their disappointing runs in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Gosden has explained that no decision has been made on the super-mare yet as to whether she will race again or she will be retired to stud after finishing sixth in the Arc at the weekend.
The Newmarket based handler felt that the testing ground and lack of pace in the race lead to his stable star underperforming in a race she has now been involved in the last four years.
With Aidan O'Brien having to withdraw all four of his runners from the contest due to a contaminated feed, it left the race without any pace and with the slow gallop from Persian King at the front it made for a race that suited neither of Gosden's runners.
(Credit ATR) “If we’d had Sovereign and Serpentine in there it would have been a very different race, but as it was it didn’t work out for her or Stradivarius,” said Gosden.
“Frankie (Dettori) said neither horse liked the holding ground, it would have been better if it was wetter. I did warn people, though.
“They didn’t have a hard race as it was only a little dash. They weren’t blowing, so it was a rather elaborate journey for a racecourse gallop up the Longchamp straight.”
Whilst there has been no word on Enable's next step, Bjorn Nielsen with Stradivarius has explained that his staying superstar will be kept in training for another year, with John Gosden over the moon with that decision.
Gosden said: “I think Mr (Bjorn) Nielsen is keen for Stradivarius to attempt a fourth Gold Cup.“With Enable Teddy (Grimthorpe, racing manager) and I will report to Prince Khalid (Abdullah, owner) and he will make the decision whether she has one more race or retires. It will be entirely his decision.
“We know she has a great turn of foot. It was unfortunate she was the meat in a sandwich at one point and once you break your stride in that ground it is difficult to get going again.
“To that extent Frankie never touched her with the stick, same with Olivier (Peslier on Stradivarius), the horses weren’t handling the ground so the jockeys looked after them.“Both are extremely bright after the race which is extremely good news because you always worry in that ground they might pull something.
“She’s been amazingly consistent. She won her maiden, got boxed in when we ran her in a conditions race which we won with another filly, but after that she won everything apart from last year’s Arc and this year’s Eclipse.
“Her mental attitude and mental strength set her apart, she’s so determined, positive about her training, but she found her training tougher this year.
“It’s a pity it wasn’t good to soft ground and an even gallop, but it wasn’t. We’d been lucky we’d had that in the two years we won and were second, but today was very different and quite frankly that didn’t play to her strengths at all.
“It was Prince Khalid’s decision to try again this year and whether she runs again will be his decision.
“It’s a long time to the breeding season. She’ll tell us and if she gives me the right signs we’ll see. If she seems like she’s had enough of racing then fine, but it didn’t look that way when she came off the track.”