Enable is set to line up as the hot favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Saturday – but the dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor has the weight of history against her.
The last seven Arc winners to subsequently pitch up at the Breeders’ Cup have met with defeat, and here we look at the fortunes of the last five horses to attempt the double:
Despite having won the Breeders’ Cup Turf the previous year, Found had to settle for third behind stablemate Highland Reel when she tried to double up. A length-and-three-quarters winner at Chantilly, Found was well tested by Aidan O’Brien with a Champion Stakes second punctuating her Arc-Breeders’ Cup double-header. Ultimately well beaten at Santa Anita, a stumble when leaving the stalls hardly helped her chances.
Golden Horn (2015)
John Gosden’s runner lined up at Keeneland not only as an Arc winner, but also that year’s Derby, Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes victor. The three-year-old was all the rage in the Turf, but the ground was unexpectedly good in Kentucky that year and after a tardy start, he just could not fend off the late thrust of Found, going down by half a length.
Dylan Thomas (2007)
Having his ninth start of the year for Aidan O’Brien on unsuitably soft ground at Monmouth Park, Dylan Thomas never looked like following up his famous Arc success in the Turf. Having shown his very best on a sound surface, Dylan Thomas was all at sea on the testing New Jersey terrain and quickly ran out of gas before finishing fifth to English Channel.
A stunning six-length victory in the Arc prompted the Godolphin team to take the brave route and tackle the Americans at their own game on the dirt in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Frankie Dettori had the colt in the firing line at the top of the straight and he looked to have stolen the advantage with a furlong to run. However, Tiznow was relentless in his pursuit and eventually edged in front on the line, snatching a heartbreaking nose verdict in a photo.
Having held dual Classic winner User Friendly at bay by a neck in the Arc, Andre Fabre sent his four-year-old to Gulfstream Park with high hopes, but Thierry Jarnet was already starting to get to work on the turn for home. While Subotica kept on gamely, he had no reply as Pat Valenzuela manoeuvred Fraise up the inside to claim a narrow verdict, with Subotica only fifth.