Waldgeist denies Enable unprecedented Arc treble

Tanya Simon
October 9, 2019

John Gosden's odds-on favourite Enable, ridden by Frankie Dettori, looked set to become the first horse to win the Arc three times in the 98th edition when she pulled clear in the final straight, but was pipped on the line by 16-1 shot Waldgeist.

Sottsass finished third for 27-year-old rider Cristian Demuro and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget at 8-1.

"I struggled early but she seemed to come good for me in the false straight".

Whilst Enable's immediate future is undecided, it's expected that Waldgeist, a son of Galileo out of a Monsun mare, is likely to be retired following the Arc due to the significance of the victory.

"She ran a great race", he said. This is a "win and you're in" for the Breeders' Cup and I know that it is very close to the heart of Maria [Niarchos], the Breeders' Cup, so we will talk about that after the dust has settled here.

"Frankie committed, and went for it, and just the last part, in the ground testing her, it's hard to show that explosive turn of foot - and Waldgeist has outstayed her on the ground. He's a fine horse, trained by Andre and owned by a good friend of mine".

"I would say she is probably top of the pecking order (of the stable's fillies) as she stayed the mile so she looks more like a Classic filly".

"I think ground had a lot to do with it".

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

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"Whether she has one more race or races next year is conjecture and speculation really". Prince Khalid has just enjoyed every moment of her.

"It's not what we all wanted, and the wave of goodwill we received before the race was overwhelming, but we have to accept these things in racing".

For Fabre, there was no need for mixed feelings.

"I'm very proud that Waldgeist managed to beat such a fantastic mare, it's well deserved in some ways".

There was to be no consolation for Dettori and Gosden as their hot favourite Mehdaayih faded out of contention behind another surprise victor, Villa Marina, in the Prix de l'Opera.

Fabre, 73, a former jump jockey who has been champion trainer in France 29 times, won his first Arc with Trempolino in 1987.

Gosden was philosophical about the defeat, only her second in 15 starts.

On a hectic and momentous weekend, Saturday saw the racing farewell of another outstanding filly.

He told Gambling Insider: "Clearly the Enable result was a thing for the industry and was very much needed after a awful Saturday at Ascot when five favorites won in a row".

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