JOHN Gosden warned punters that Enable would hate ground conditions at Longchamp – and a slow gallop sealed her fate.
Aidan O’Brien’s horses were taken out of the race at the 11th hour, and with them went the early speed from expected front-runners Serpentine and Sovereign.
Frankie Dettori had to decide where to position Enable after leaving the stalls, with some expecting him to go to the lead.
He took the safe (or sensible, depending on your persuasion) option and held her up in midfield, but the pacesetter Persian King immediately steadied things up.
If that wasn’t the final nail in the coffin for Enable’s chances of a third Arc win, then a barging match with several of her rivals in the home straight as she was trying to pick up certaintly was.
The crawl-and-sprint nature of the race teed things up perfectly for the speedy Sottsass who was perfectly positioned behind the leader by Cristian Demuro and had loads of strong form over shorter distances.
When Frankie asked the wonder mare to quicken two furlongs out her wheels were spinning on the heavy ground and she could only plug on for a distant sixth.
The Italian jock will no doubt regret that he didn’t make more use of her stamina right at the start as dreams of a fairytale end to her career went down the drain.
The unlucky horse in the race was German Derby winner In Swoop, a thorough stayer who was light on experience having had just four starts.
He stormed home from off the pace and to finish a never-nearer second. He was another whose chance was severely hindered by the slow gallop, and he has to enter calculations for next year’s race when he should get a bigger field and a truly run race.
As can often be the case in these big races – decisions made right at the start had a huge bearing on the business end.
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