One of the best race mares to have lived is undoubtedly the excellent Enable.
A beautiful looking filly, Enable won 15 of her 19 career races in four countries.
She landed eleven Group 1 races during her time include two Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe’s, three King George’s, a Breeders’ Cup Turf, an Oaks and more.
She was the 2017 and 2019 European Horse of the Year during a golden time for John Gosden’s yard, his Cracksman being top-rated in between.
Enable was foaled on February 12th, 2014. She was bred by Juddmonte Farms, owned by the late Prince Khalid Abdullah, a prolific worldwide thoroughbred owner-breeder.
A bay filly was a signature white star and narrow blaze and a white sock, Enable was a striking looker.
She was of the first crop of Nathaniel’s, a star middle-distance performer trained by John Gosden who’d won the King George as a three-year-old, then the Eclipse the following season.
That breeding was to come in very handy indeed, the filly going on to be trained, like her sire, by Gosden at his Newmarket base.
|Sire/Dam||Grand Sire/Dam||Great Grand Sire/Dam|
|Magnificent Style||Silver Hawk|
|Concentric||Sadler’s Wells||Northern Dancer|
The great Northern Dancer is close in this pedigree twice over via Sadler’s Wells. This is the line that produced the wonderful Galileo, then in turn Frankel. From there, we’ve had Cracksman, Adayar and many more. This is a very important line indeed.
Enable’s Broodmare Career
It was announced by Juddmonte on October 12th, 2020 that after a terrific career Enable was to be retired. Having sportingly been raced longer than many expected, the decision was seen universally as the right one.
She now becomes a very important part of an equally important breeding operation at Juddmonte, even after Prince Khalid’s passing.
As one of the best mares of hers, or any other generation, a successful time in the breeding sheds is hoped for. A first foal, a colt by Kingman, was successfully delivered in February 11th, 2022.
Enable wasn’t ready to race until late into her two-year-old season.
She was sent to Newcastle to contest a maiden over the straight mile there on the Tapeta track in November 2016, going off at 7/2.
Having been held-up initially, she was allowed to go into then lead inside the furlong before pulling right away to win in style.
As understated as ever, jockey Rab Havlin simply stated afterwards that she was a nice filly.
Proving the point that her yard knew there was lots of improvement to come, when Enable contested a conditions race at Newbury in April, Frankie Dettori chose to ride stablemate Shutter Speed who won the race. Buick was on board Enable who finished third but who had progressed from her debut.
Enable went up in grade during Chester’s May Meeting. Frankie Dettori took the ride for the first time in the Listed Cheshire Oaks over one mile, three and a half furlongs.
She went off 2/1 second-favourite behind Aidan O’Brien’s Alluringly, but after going well in second most of the way round, took the lead with three furlongs still to run before stretching out nicely to become a decisive, eased-down winner. She now looked ready to contest the Oaks at Epsom.
On Friday June 2nd, 2017, Enable took part in the 238th Oaks over a mile and a half. Aidan O’Brien’s Rhododendron went off the odds-on favourite at 8/11 with Enable at 6/1.
The rain began to really hammer down during this race, though Enable was comfortable enough during the proceedings. She raced in third before hitting the front, challenged by Rhododendron with two furlongs to go.
At one point the favourite looked to be going better and they were upsides with just 200 yards to go, but as if to illustrate how much Oaks winners rely on stamina, Enable took only that yardage to pull some five lengths clear of the favourite to win the Classic, Alluringly being another six lengths back in third.
Right then and there it was obvious we had a new star mare, but better was yet to come.
She was sent to the Irish Oaks at the Curragh which she won easily, before taking on the older horses and the males in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stake at Ascot. She stretched away there too to land a race that truly put her at the top of the tree.
A simple win followed in the Yorkshire Oaks, another Group 1, before a crack at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe which was to be run at Chantilly while Longchamp was being redeveloped.
Sent off the 10/11 favourite, she made no mistake and used her weight allowances well to score and round off a quite brilliant year.
Having suffered a setback, her 2018 debut was delayed time and again. Ultimately, we didn’t see her until September when she had a spin on the all-weather in the Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton.
She didn’t get easy opposition as the top-class Crystal Ocean was up against her, but she pulled clear of him to score and set up another Arc raid.
Sent off favourite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for the second time, she was challenged late on by three-year-old filly Sea Of Class but saw the race out to win yet another Group 1.
Given that she’d had an easier time than initially expected in 2018, it was decided that she was still fresh and so a crack at becoming the first horse to win the Arc and a Breeders’ Cup race in the States.
Contesting the Breeders’ Cup Turf, she swept to the front one again at Churchill Downs to beat yet another Aidan O’Brien challenger Magical by just three quarters of a length.
John Gosden was sure she had speed as well as stamina, so having been once again allowed time to come to herself, she was given the 1¼-mile Eclipse Stakes in July as her first target.
She was once again up against Magical, but the same result was recorded as she finished ¾ of a length ahead of the other filly.
Another old rival was then beaten in the King George, Crystal Ocean, while Magical was further back when Enable landed a second Yorkshire Oaks.
A crack at a famous third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was on the cards, though this time she finished a heart-breaking second to Waldgeist.
Very sportingly, she was kept in training as a six-year-old which many didn’t expect.
Her season began in the Eclipse in which she was beaten into second, but despite being favourite that was expected by many as the monster that was Ghaiyyath was by then sweeping everything he came up against aside with his aggressive racing style.
The race got Enable fit though and she scared off the opposition in the King George in July, easily winning against just two rivals to land the event for the third time.
Another September Stakes was used as an Arc prep, but her win there proved to be her last as her Arc swansong ended in her heaviest defeat, a 6¼-length reverse behind Sotsass.
Enable’s Group 1 wins:
|Date||Race||Won By (Runner-Up)||SP|
|02/06/17||The Oaks, Epsom||5 lengths, Rhododendron||6/1|
|15/07/17||Irish Oaks, Curragh||5½ lengths, Rain Goddess||2/5|
|29/07/17||King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot||4½ lengths, Ulysees||5/4|
|24/08/17||Yorkshire Oaks, York||5 lengths, Coronet||1/4|
|01/10/17||Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Chantilly||2½ lengths, Cloth Of Stars||10/11|
|07/10/18||Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Longchamp||Short-neck, Sea Of Class||Evs|
|03/11/18||Breeders’ Cup Turf, Churchill Downs||¾ length, Magical||8/13|
|06/07/19||Eclipse Stakes, Sandown Park||¾ length, Magical||4/6|
|27/07/19||King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot||Neck, Crystal Ocean||8/15|
|22/08/19||Yorkshire Oaks, York||2¾ lengths, Magical||1/4|
|25/07/20||King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot||5½ lengths, Sovereign||4/9|
Enable brought home an amazing £10,724,320. That compares with the best from anywhere in the world.
Given the varying prize money levels in different countries and the fact that at times she was competing in fillies’ races, her pound-for-pound earnings may be considered by some to be the best ever.
Enable was bred by Juddmonte Farms, owned by the late, great Khalid Abdullah.
She also ran in his colours, as did other greats such as Frankel, Dancing Brave and Kingman.
She was sent to be trained by John Gosden and was ridden for the majority of her career by Frankie Dettori.