Dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable is reported to be in rude health as connections begin to make plans for her eagerly-awaited return to action.
Despite enduring a troubled preparation, John Gosden’s brilliant mare successfully defended her crown in an epic renewal of the Arc at ParisLongchamp last October, narrowly denying the late lunge of the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Class.
In doing so Enable became the eight dual winner of Europe’s premier middle-distance contest and the following month owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah delighted racing fans when confirming she would stay in training as a five-year-old – with a bid to become the first three-time Arc winner top of her agenda.
Speaking at the Longines World’s Best Racehorse awards at The Landmark Hotel in London on Wednesday, Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe reported Enable had returned to light exercise, and is understandably excited about the year ahead.
“She is in good form. She is not doing much at the moment. John says she is very happy. We will get on the move in February/March,” said Grimthorpe.
“We’ve discussed things many times and there is no real plan apart from the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – that is the main objective.
“Two things will determine how she gets there – one being her well-being and the second is John Gosden’s pleasure.
“So far it is all good.”
While stopping short of confirming a comeback target, Grimthorpe admitted the Juddmonte International at York in August is likely to be strongly considered at the very least.
He added: “I don’t want to nail down a race now, but obviously the top 10-furlong and a mile-and-a-half races will be considered.
“I think it (Juddmonte) is an important race for Prince Khalid and he likes to win his races if he can. We will have to see – it would be on the horizon.”
Enable’s place in history is already confirmed after she became the first horse to win the Arc and at the Breeders’ Cup in the same year.
Reflecting on that success, Grimthorpe said: “The Breeders’ Cup (Turf) win was very emotional because of the setback she had in the spring.
“Coming away from the Arc and winning at Churchill Downs was very special.”
Frankie Dettori has steered Enable to all but one of her 10 career victories, with her key triumphs in France and America crowning another incredible year for the popular Italian.
As well as Enable, one of the horses Dettori is most looking forward to being reunited with in 2019 is the unbeaten Too Darn Hot.
The Dubawi colt rounded off a perfect juvenile campaign with a dominant display in the Dewhurst at Newmarket, and is a warm order to make a successful return to the Rowley Mile on the first Saturday in May, in the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
Too Darn Hot was crowned the leading juvenile of 2018 following the publication of the European Two-Year-Old Classifications, with his rating of 126 ranking him the best two-year-old in Europe since Frankel shared top honours with Dream Ahead on the same mark in 2010. There has been no juvenile rated higher since Xaar in 1997.
Dettori said: “I never rode Frankel so I can’t compare him, but I’m delighted as usually the handicapper has it right. If he was rated 116 I would be worried!
“He is unbeaten and I don’t have to tell you what he has done. I’ve only seen him in his box and I won’t be riding him until April. I’m looking forward to it.
“It is a massive change between two and three. The last time I rode him was in October and the next time I ride him will be in April, so he will be a completely different horse.
“Horses change so much.”