Guy Harwood feels Enable has a “tremendous chance” of succeeding where Dancing Brave failed in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
The highly-decorated Dancing Brave was only fourth behind Manila in the Turf at Santa Anita in 1986 – but that came at the end of a long season.
Europe’s champion three-year-old colt had run in all the major races – the 2000 Guineas, Derby, Eclipse, King George and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – before travelling to California.
It sadly proved one race too many, but former trainer Harwood says lessons were learned, and in contrast Enable goes to Kentucky having had just the two races this term, following a setback earlier in the year.
Like Dancing Brave, the John Gosden-trained filly is owned by Khalid Abdullah, and heads to the United States on the back of defending her Arc crown.
“She must have a tremendous chance. She handled the bends at Kempton (when winning the September Stakes) well – OK, it’s the other way (round), but she’s a very agile filly,” Harwood told Press Association Sport.
“She’s going for the mile-and-a-half (race), so she’s got plenty of time to find her feet and get a position.
“Frankie (Dettori) is a magician round those tracks. He knows how to get himself in the right position all the time.”
He added: “She hasn’t had a long season, so she’s probably still pretty fresh. The trip to the Arc and the race itself can take a lot out of a horse, particularly when it’s at the end of the year, but in her case she’ll be fine.
“Dancing Brave had done a long season and when one looks back there were just the signs he was probably going past his best and he got very dehydrated in California.
“In those days we didn’t realise that the best way to do it was to race them off the plane. We had him out there for a while.
“He never got over the dehydration, so he never got back to his best racing weight. It was one of those things.
“I’d have thought Enable would have a great chance. I think she should enjoy the ground and she is drawn two, which is good.
“It will be wonderful to watch.”