Enable could win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe off level weights so the fact the horse will receive an age and sex allowance from the older male horses makes her an outstanding bet at Evens with bet365.
No horse has looked like beating Enable over 12 furlongs this season and the form of the King George win has worked out well. Ulysses was very impressive in winning the Juddmonte International at York and reversing form with Enable at Chantilly is unlikely. Cracksman could be the fly in the ointment.
One of the key factors in the prospects for Enable and Cracksman is that they are both three-year-olds, trained by John Gosden. That means they will each receive 3 kg from the older horses while Enable will also get 1.5 kg as a filly. A pound equates to 0.45 kilograms so Enable will have more than 3 pounds in hand over Cracksman in the Arc. That concession can make all the difference in the last furlong.
It must be said French fillies have an excellent record in the Arc but British fillies can be past their best in the autumn. Enable has run six times this season, from April to August and that’s a long campaign racing at the highest level. Enable had a hard race on her last start in the Yorkshire Oaks and crossed the line slowly.
The horse readily beat Coronet by five lengths and that horse ran a solid race in the St Leger, fading in the closing stages through lack of stamina but still finishing just three and a quarter lengths behind the winner, Capri.
It’s difficult to pick any holes in Enable in the context of the Arc. Cracksman could be good enough to beat her with only the burden of the colt’s handicap but the favourite has the older horses covered. Highland Reel and Ulysses are held on the race’s terms.
Despite winning a key trial in France Cracksman is not a definite runner in the Arc, The owner is more inclined to put the horse away until next season but the trainer is keener to run. Gosden knows what can go wrong with horses so this year could be the window of opportunity for Cracksman to win the Arc. He has more idea than most about the relative ability of his two stable stars.
Gosden have a point about running this year because Cracksman ran a faster race than Enable at York and ended the race with plenty in the tank. In contrast Enable was slowing down in the final furlong but the race had been put to bed. Enable’s three pound fillies allowance could be crucial to the final outcome and she can win the 2017 Arc.