It was a case of so near and yet so far for Enable as the great mare was thwarted in her bid for a historic third victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday.
On going that would have been far softer than ideal, Khalid Abdullah’s five-year-old had a lovely position behind the leaders as Ghaiyyath and William Buick set a strong pace at the head of affairs.
As the 12-runner field turned into the straight, Frankie Dettori asked Enable to put her seal on the race. With two furlongs to run she made her challenge and soon put a couple of lengths between herself and three-year-olds Japan and Sottsass, looking the likely winner at that stage.
Yet Waldgeist had other ideas and, switched to the outside by Pierre-Charles Boudot, the colt gradually wore down Enable as the testing conditions started to tell. Waldgeist took the lead well inside the final half-furlong and crossed the line a length and three quarters to the good.
For Waldgeist’s trainer Andre Fabre, it was an eighth victory in the Paris showpiece and the first since Rail Link in 2006. The winner, owned by Gestut Ammerland and Newsells Park, could now be set for a career at stud.
Enable may or may not make a final surprise appearance on British Champions Day before she heads to the paddocks and embarks on a new career as a mother.
British and Irish joy
One Master made it back-to-back wins in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret under Arc-winning rider Pierre-Charles Boudot.
The William Haggas-trained mare had not won since her triumph in the race 12 months ago but clearly enjoys the Paris air and stayed on strongly in the closing stages to defeat City Light by half a length.
Tom Eaves enjoyed a day to remember as he partnered the Kevin Ryan-trained three-year-old filly Glass Slippers to success in the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye for owner-breeders Bearstone Stud, as odds-on favourite Battaash failed to fire.
Glass Slippers was well away from her low draw and never saw another rival, the daughter of Dream Ahead drawing away to score by three lengths from So Perfect.
Jessica Harrington is equally adept with Flat or jumps horses and the trainer enjoyed a Group 1 victory at Longchamp with two-year-old filly Albigna in the Prix Marcel Boussac Criterium des Pouliches.
The daughter of Zoffany, owned by the Niarchos family, scored an impressive two and a half length victory over Marieta and looks every inch a Classic contender for next year.