Frankie Dettori: "I love horses, but I love Enable more than the rest"

Sun 7 Jul 2019
 Dettori encourages more volume from the Sandown racegoers after landing the Eclipse (Focusonracing)
Dettori encourages more volume from the Sandown racegoers after landing the Eclipse (Focusonracing)

Frankie Dettori has spoken of his attachment to Enable after the superstar of European racing returned to action with a comfortable success in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.

Enable was returning from a 245-day break and tackling a a trip two furlongs short of her perceived best of a mile and a half as she headed into the Group One event.

However, the result was never in doubt as John Gosden’s mare held off her old foe Magical to win an eighth Group One.

“She was brilliant. To come back in the Eclipse, (against) tough competition, it wasn’t a walkover – the way she did it – she travelled like her old self, quickened and showed she was as good as she was last year,” Dettori told Sky Sports Racing.

“When I watched the replay, she was the last off the bridle yet everyone was saying the trip was too short. That’s the way I like her – a strong traveller, got a kick, got everything.

“It would be wrong of me to say I don’t love horses. I love horses, but I love her more than the rest because she takes me emotionally to places other horses can’t.”

He added: “Look at the races we have won together, the biggest races in the world, it is phenomenal. I have tears in my eyes every time I ride her because she has character.

Watch: John Gosden, Frankie Dettori and Teddy Grimthorpe reflect on Enable's success

“You could argue I’ve ridden better (horses), but her longevity and what she’s done is awesome. She’s one of the best I’ve ridden in my life.

“It’s very unusual for a superstar to still be racing at five. It might have happened with Winx in Australia, but in Europe it’s very rare.”

Enable will try to win the King George at Ascot for a second time later this month before heading to York for either the Juddmonte International – which is sponsored by her owner Khalid Abdullah – or the Yorkshire Oaks, then all roads lead back to France in search of a third Arc.

“I’ll enjoy the next three months in the mornings and her next three races, it’s been an incredible career,” said Dettori.

“A lot of credit goes to Prince Khalid for keeping her in training and of course John is an incredible trainer to keep her going, keep her zest intact – she was like a three-year-old first time out yesterday.

“We’ve raised the bar with her, she’s been tremendous, a joy to be around.

“It’s been mad since the four (winners) at (Royal) Ascot, everyone thinks I’m going to do it every Saturday! If it makes people enjoy it and come racing, singing songs, then why not.”

 Team Enable celebrate their Sandown success (Focusonracing)
Team Enable celebrate their Sandown success (Focusonracing)

Gosden admitted to a sense of relief, but would not confirm her York target just yet.

“I think it’s more relief and then the elation late last night,” he said. “She’s a lovely racemare, she’s in great form, came out of it well, ate up and was in great order this morning.

“Let’s hope we can make it to the next stepping stone and the one after that. It will be King George and then York – a decision (on which race) will be made a little later.”

Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Rouget expects his Prix du Jockey Club winner Sottsass to be even better by the autumn ahead of a mouthwatering clash with Enable.

All being well, the two will meet in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, but Enable – who will be bidding for a record third win in the race – sets a very high standard.

Sottsass comfortably accounted for the French Guineas winner Persian King in the French Derby and his trainer feels there is plenty more to come.

“Normally he will go for the Niel and then be trained for the Arc,” Rouget told Sky Sports Racing. “He’s in good form – it’s the classic French preparation.”

Of the potential clash in the Arc, Rouget added: “John (Gosden) is a good friend of mine and I am a sportsman, so I hope the best horse will win.

“There will be other horses, but they will be the two favourites for the race, if there are no problems before.

“I thought he could become like that in the autumn. I was surprised on Jockey Club day he put in such a smashing performance, I didn’t think he’d be ready to do something like that until the autumn so to do it in June – I think he’ll be a great horse in the autumn.”

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