Criquette Head-Maarek hopes Enable can make history by winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for a record third time after hearing the brilliant filly would be staying in training as a five-year-old.
Head-Maarek saddled the great Treve to win successive Arcs in 2013 and 2014, while she finished fourth place behind Enable’s John Gosden-trained stablemate Golden Horn in her hat-trick attempt the following year, in what was her last racecourse appearance.
The French trainer, who retired in February after a glittering career spanning more than 40 years, applauded owner Prince Khalid Abdullah’s decision to carry on with Enable’s racing career in 2019.
Enable wins a second Arc
“Age has its own problems, but when they are very good like she is why not keep her in training? She is a top-class mare and she’s sound,” she told Press Association Sport.
“I did that with Treve and everything was perfect. Enable is an incredible filly. To win an Arc plus the Breeders’ Cup – for me she did something very few horses can do. She’s something else.
“Of course it is a fantastic thing her staying in training. It’s a great idea and I hope she wins a third Arc.”
John Reid believes it is “brilliant” the racing public are going to see more of Enable.
Analysis of Enable's King George triumph
The former top jockey enjoyed great success on older horses in his day in the saddle.
Among the five-year-olds he rode to major victories were Tony Bin in the 1988 Arc and Swain in the 1997 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Reid believes horses only reach their peak at about that age and in the past some of the best ones have been retired to stud before they have probably reached their full potential on the track.
“They can do it. Horses don’t mature until they are four or five. As long as they’ve not had too much abuse or injuries, they will be better than ever.” said the Classic-winning jockey.
“There’s no reason to suppose they won’t be (as good) – they should be better really.
“Generally they don’t go backwards. They get stronger and more powerful. As long as there’s a bit left they should get better.
“There has been plenty of horses in training that age. In the past we retired the good ones far too early, having really not seen the best of them.
“I think it’s brilliant.”