Frankie Dettori on Enable’s historic Arc tilt

Enable will leave a legacy that will make her one of racing’s ‘immortals’ if she can pull off an unprecedented third triumph in Sunday’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe according to her big-race jockey, Frankie Dettori.

The six-time Arc winning jockey talked about how the John Gosden-trained mare has taken him “to places that no other horse has” in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports Racing, which will broadcast Sunday’s Longchamp showpiece live on Sky 415 and Virgin 535.

Dettori and Enable will bid for a history-making third win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe this Sunday as the five-year-old mare bids to crown a career that has captured 10 Group 1 races including the last two renewals of ‘the Arc’ as well as the Oaks, Irish Oaks, Breeders’ Cup Turf and two triumphs in Ascot’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Explaining what it has been like to partner Enable, Dettori told David Craig: “She’s extra-special; she took me to places emotionally that no other horse has. She is two different beasts; if you didn’t know she was Enable you would scratch your head because her work at home is only satisfactory but when she gets to the races it’s like someone has turned a switch on; all the lights are on, she’s grinding her teeth, her eyes are sticking out and she’s puffing herself up and you think “wow, she’s up for it!”

“She will leave a legacy that will make her immortal and that’s my inspiration – to achieve something that has not been done before. She’s an unbelievable horse and she has captured the imagination of the whole world. It’s not going to be an easy task but it’s going to be an amazing race. She’s going to have to be at her very best but fingers crossed we get the job done… Let’s hope that I don’t mess up!”

Twelve months ago, Enable became the first horse in history to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and America’s Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same season. This year, the daughter of Nathaniel has already re-written history by becoming the first to reclaim Ascot’s historic King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes having been forced to miss the 2018 race through injury.

Her straight-long battle with Crystal Ocean at Ascot is considered one of the all-time great races and Dettori revealed that is one of the highlights of his glittering career. He said :”The King George was an epic and the hardest race I ever won. Mentally and physically it was a mammoth race; you need to have two great horses to make it a really super race and Crystal Ocean was a great horse.

“Two furlongs I thought I’d got the better of him – how wrong was I? For a moment it was touch and go but then my good girl, Enable, got me out of trouble and we won. I was drained and she definitely carried me – it was the best race I’ve ever been involved in.”

That is some statement given Dettori has also partnered Enable to two triumphs in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, including a last-gasp victory last year when it was later revealed that she wasn’t at her peak.

He explained: “Nobody told me that she had a temperature before the Arc. Everything was hidden from me and maybe it was a good thing because when I rode her in the Arc I rode her exactly the same as I had before; had I known what had happened I would have probably been more reserved and I probably would have lost the race.”

“I rolled up at Longchamp thinking my good girl’s going to do it again. Everything went to plan, I had the perfect race and kicked for home and as I thought to myself ‘great, it’s deja-vu again, lets enjoy it this’ the petrol ran out. She was stopping and they were coming at me like arrows and on the line I knew I’d won but I didn’t even celebrate because I was in such shock. Then when I came back John (Gosden) said ‘by the way I didn’t tell you but she wasn’t quite 100% today’.”

Win or lose, Sunday’s showpiece could well be the final race of Enable’s career, which began with victory in a Newcastle maiden in November 2016, but Dettori was quick to dismiss any talk that he, at the age of 48, might also be considering retirement at Longchamp.

He said: “Next Sunday? No way! When they have to get a zimmer frame to get me to the paddock then I might consider retiring. What am I going to do? I work for a great trainer with a great stable and I love what I do. If I have a fall and a career (ending) injury then of course but at the moment my body is not too bad.”

Watch the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe live on Sky Sports Racing, October 6th 2019
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