b f Nathaniel – Concentric (Sadler’s Wells)
Enable is Juddmonte’s most successful homebred racehorse by prize money, and by Gr.1 wins. She also has the highest Timeform rating of any British-trained filly in over 30 years and was the first British-trained mare to win more than £10 million in prize money.
A fourth generation Juddmonte homebred, Enable made a winning debut as a two-year-old at Newcastle in late November 2016. On her first outing the following year, she finished third to stablemate and the more highly-fancied Shutter Speed in a Conditions event at Newbury – but it would be a long time before Enable would taste defeat again.
The easy manner in which she won the Listed Cheshire Oaks brought Enable into the spotlight, and a month later in the pouring rain at Epsom she showed brilliance to win the Gr.1 Oaks by five lengths from Rhododendron – becoming Prince Khalid’s second winner of the race after Reams Of Verse 20 years previously. A five-and-a-half-length victory in the Irish equivalent at The Curragh followed.
On 29th July 2017 Enable lined up against older horses for the first time in the Gr.1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. The result was a four-and-a-half-length triumph over that season’s Gr.1 Eclipse Stakes winner Ulysses (who went on to win the Gr.1 Juddmonte International later that year), with globetrotter Highland Reel, last year’s winner, in fourth.
Another Oaks victory – in the Gr.1 Yorkshire Oaks at York’s Ebor Festival – preceded Enable’s first tilt at the Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, in 2017 held at Chantilly due to the renovation works at Longchamp. She started as the 4-5 favourite and duly won it in that fashion, in doing so becoming the first English-trained three-year-old filly ever to win the race and Prince Khalid’s fifth Arc winner. Jockey Frankie Dettori said afterwards: “She’s a superstar – an absolute freak and she won like I expected. She is uncomplicated with a big heart and I said last week to John Gosden that she was the best she had ever been. I had position A in the race and knew she had no weight, so I kicked and took four lengths and the race was over. C’est magnifique.”
Enable was crowned 2017 Cartier Horse of the Year and 3YO Filly as well as being voted Horse of the Year, Outstanding Filly/Mare and Outstanding Middle Distance Horse at the annual Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) Awards. Her dam, Concentric, was awarded the H J Joel Silver Salver for Flat Broodmare of the Year at the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) Awards.
A setback in training resulted in Enable not being seen on course again until the 2018 Gr.3 September Stakes on Kempton’s all-weather. A winning return set her up for a second run at the Arc, where she just held on to victory from the fast-finishing Sea Of Class. Trainer John Gosden admitted after the race that Enable had not been at her best: “It’s not been the preparation we wanted, it’s been very difficult. I actually had a hiccup between Kempton and here with a slight temperature, so it has not been easy. I’ve had a difficult year with her and started with a bit more hair than I have now. It’s entirely down to the filly and her guts and a lovely ride from Frankie.”
Enable finished her 2018 campaign by becoming the first horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Gr.1 Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same year. In doing so, she surpassed Flintshire as Juddmonte’s highest earning homebred on the track. Her exploits earned her the accolades of Horse of the Year, Outstanding Filly/Mare and Outstanding Middle Distance Horse at the ROA Awards. She also received the Older Horse prize at the Cartier Awards.
Enable returned to the racing scene in 2019, with a historic third Arc bid firmly on the agenda. She began with victory in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, where the crowds chanted her name as she was led back into the winners’ enclosure, and then it was on to Ascot, where Enable won her second King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in an epic battle with Crystal Ocean. She was the first horse to ever to win the race twice in non-successive years.
A second run – and win – in the Yorkshire Oaks followed, before it was on to ParisLongchamp for a bid to make history. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as Enable was caught near the line by the André Fabre-trained Waldgeist, on very soft ground. Though a historic third Arc was not achieved, Enable still entered the record books, as no other horse had won two and placed second once – and she also became the first European mare to exceed £10 million in earnings.
In October 2019, Prince Khalid announced that Enable would remain in training for 2020, with another run in the Arc as her target. In January 2020, she was crowned co-winner of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse award for 2019, along with Crystal Ocean and Waldgeist.
After a break of 273 days, Enable returned to the racecourse to attempt to win another Gr.1 Eclipse at Sandown. She found only Ghaiyyath too good, the Godolphin colt enjoying an advantage of fitness over his rival. It was a fully-fit Enable who lined up three weeks later to attempt to win an historic third Gr.1 King George. In a three-runner race, she won by an impressive five-and-a-half length, becoming the first horse ever to win the race three times.
A successful pre-Arc prep run in the Gr.3 September Stakes at Kempton in September set Enable up nicely for another bid at history. Unfortunately, it proved to be a very wet start to the month of October, and conditions at ParisLongchamp on Arc day were heavy. Enable never appeared to relish the difficult conditions, finishing sixth behind Sottsass, who had finish third to her second in the same race in 2019.
The following week, Enable’s retirement was announced. Juddmonte CEO Douglas Erskine Crum confirmed: “After consulting her trainer John Gosden and his Racing Manager Teddy Grimthorpe, Prince Khalid has decided that Enable will be retired from racing and will now join the Juddmonte broodmare band to be covered by Kingman in 2021.”
Teddy Grimthorpe added: “She has brought so much joy to everyone who has been involved with her. Her elegance and forceful personality have been nurtured by John and his team at Clarehaven, especially by Imran who has looked after her with such calm and devotion. In her, Frankie found a willing partner to execute her ability on the racecourse. Her CV withstands the closest of inspections, very few can match what she has given to racing.”