Frankie Dettori is “feeling good” about Enable ahead of her bid to win back-to-back Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes – but he has a healthy respect for Sea Of Class.
Dettori partnered John Gosden’s filly to a famous success last year at Chantilly, but the race returns to its usual home at the redeveloped ParisLongchamp.
Enable suffered a setback in the spring which ruled her out for most of the season, returning to action with a stylish display against the classy Crystal Ocean in the September Stakes.
“Before her comeback at Kempton, I rode most of her work for the last month. We had such a dry summer so we weren’t able to gallop her on the grass. We went on the Polytrack instead over no more than seven furlongs to a mile,” said Dettori.
“Despite doing some work and her weight being more or less her racing weight, until you try a mile and a half, you can never be sure.
“Taking on a competitive horse like Crystal Ocean, who is race-fit, was always going to test her a little bit. Yet she showed me that she hasn’t lost her enthusiasm for racing. I was really impressed by her comeback.
“I wasn’t the only one who was so happy to see her, though. The racing public have been cheated of her brilliance this year and hopefully we can try to do it again in the Arc.
“I am feeling good about it. As I said, her comeback race was good. She is trying a new track, but she seems very versatile.”
He went on: “Looking at the trials, the Irish Champion Stakes and so forth, the one I fear the most is William Haggas’ filly Sea Of Class. She’s a Classic winner and was very impressive at York. She will be very dangerous.
“Even though I have won the race five times, I would love to win it again. I regard it as one of the best races in the world.”
Another of Gosden’s inmates set for a big autumn is Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst Stakes and the Italian scotched the retirement rumours from earlier in the season.
Speaking in his Ladbrokes blog, he said: “When there are horses like Too Darn Hot, I can’t afford to retire!
“I don’t look as far ahead as the Guineas. I rode him twice at Sandown and although he looks very good on the eye, you don’t get the feel of the horse because of the steepness of the track.
“Riding him at Doncaster on the flat track, I was able to feel that he was a pretty special two-year-old. What he did between the three furlong and one furlong point, bridging that gap so quickly and passing them out, was very exciting. You can only be visually impressed.
“The Dewhurst is the next step and will give us another pointer as to where we are at.”
He added of retirement rumours from earlier in the season: “What were all those rumours about?!
“For about a month every weekend, they said I was going to retire. I was like, you must be joking!
“Of course I will still be riding at 50. If you look at it, it is only 26 months away. That’s not far!
“I am pretty physically healthy and as you notice I don’t ride when I don’t have to. I concentrate on the big meetings and the good stuff.
“John Gosden is very good with me. We have Rob Havlin too, who fills in the gaps and it seems to work.”