Arc de Triomphe: Enable & Frankie Dettori denied as Waldgeist wins

Waldgeist
Waldgeist was 16-1 to win before the race

Enable and Frankie Dettori were denied a record third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as Waldgeist pipped her on the line to win Europe's richest Flat race.

Hot favourite Enable, the 2017 and 2018 winner, was a length clear entering the closing stages at Longchamp.

But Waldgeist, ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, was able to give French trainer Andre Fabre a record eighth Arc win.

"I'm very proud Waldgeist managed to beat such a fantastic mare," said Fabre. "I am delighted."

Enable's trainer John Gosden said the five-year-old's owner, Saudi prince Khalid Abdullah, will make the decision whether to retire the mare after the defeat.

"She ran a brilliant race," he told ITV. "Frankie went for it but in the last part, with the ground testing her, it is hard to show that explosive turn of foot.

"When the rain came that is not entirely her scene. She handles soft [ground] but doesn't have the same explosive turn of foot on it.

"In the end she was outstayed in very testing conditions."

It is just a second defeat for Enable, who was the strong favourite going into the Arc off the back of impressive wins in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and the Yorkshire Oaks at York.

She was roared on in the closing stages by the French crowd but could not keep up with 16-1 Waldgeist's fast finish.

Fellow five-year-old Waldgeist, beaten on each of the three previous occasions they had met, finished fourth in last year's Arc.

It was a first win in the race for Frenchman Boudot and sees Waldgeist take the 2,857,000 euros (£2,543,458) winner's prize.

Sottsass finished third under Cristian Demuro for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget at 8-1.

Analysis

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

There was a real sense of deflation here after all the hype surrounding Enable's hunt for what would have been a very special place in racing history.

Nothing against the winner, who is trained by a master and who was given an impeccably-timed ride by Pierre-Charles Boudot, but the fact is that he was 3-0 down in their encounters before now, so it looks like the mare wasn't at her best, at least partly because of the severely rain-softened going.

I doubt she'll race again, but whatever happens she's been a shining star over four seasons.

Nothing in sport, as Man City fans will confirm, can be guaranteed.

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