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Waldgeist scuppers Enable's Arc dream

 

Winners: jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot and Waldgeist
Winners: jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot and Waldgeist

By Graham Clark

Enable had to make do with the runner-up spot in her bid for history and a third victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as Waldgeist provided Andre Fabre with a record eighth success.

Having stretched her Group One tally to 10 with victories in the Coral-Eclipse, the King George and the Yorkshire Oaks this season, all eyes were on John Gosden's brilliant mare as she aimed to become the first three-time winner of Europe's premier middle-distance contest.

Frankie Dettori had to niggle the 4-6 favourite along during the early stages, but she was back on the bridle at the top of the home straight and looked well positioned to race into the record books.

Once asked to quicken, Enable did manage to pull clear - and the packed grandstands in Paris roared in expectation.

However, her stride began to shorten in the final furlong on the testing ground and she was unable to resist the fast-finishing 16-1 shot Waldgeist - fourth in last year's renewal and beaten by Enable on each of the three previous occasions they had met.

Both Gosden and Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Enable's owner Khalid Abdullah, declined to confirm the mare's anticipated immediate retirement.

Grimthorpe said: "We've always said Prince Khalid will make the decisions.

"He will want to reflect on all the various possibilities, give it some good thought - and hopefully we'll come up with a good answer.

"How can we complain? She's been the most fantastic filly. Prince Khalid has just enjoyed every moment of her. It was not what we all wanted obviously but in the end we have to accept these things in racing.

"We don't love her any less."

Dettori felt the ground took a toll on Enable in the closing stages. He said: "She just folded a bit and the winner was too good. I think the ground had a lot to do with it."

TODAY'S RACING: Pages 32-33

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