Enable saved the best until last as she capped a memorable season with a scintillating display in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.
John Gosden’s brilliant filly lined up as the hot favourite for Europe’s premier middle-distance contest after four consecutive victories at the top level in the Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.
The three-year-old made a fast start from stall two and Frankie Dettori always had her well positioned in behind Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Idaho and Order Of St George.
The popular Italian gave Enable her head racing inside the final two furlongs and she quickly stamped her class, quickening clear in stunning fashion to seal a dominant success.
Dettori, winning the Arc for an unprecedented fifth time, said: “I was very confident all week – she is a tremendous filly.
“I said to John last week she is the best she has ever been. To keep this filly at 100 per cent all year is fantastic.
“I had position ‘A’, I knew I had no weight and she stays, so I kicked and she gave me four lengths and the race was over. She’s amazing and is an absolute freak. I love her.
“John is a genius.”
What made the performance all the more staggering was how keen Enable was for much of the mile-and-a-half journey. Dettori had his mount in the perfect place throughout, but she refused to settle.
However, the daughter of Nathaniel still had more than enough in the tank to leave her rivals trailing in her wake in the straight.
It was a second Arc success for Gosden following the victory of Golden Horn two years ago.
The Clarehaven handler ruled out another run this year in the Breeders’ Cup, but does have high hopes Enable will stay in training as a four-year-old.
He said: “She’s very special and she was well positioned by Frankie in order to show her sheer class and brilliance.
“It’s all about the filly and the owner-breeder Prince Khalid (Abdullah). He bred the mother and for his farm to produce something like this is exciting for us all.
“I think it would be wrong to run her again this year. I think to go to the Breeders’ Cup would be wrong, too hard on the filly.
“If she’s in great form we should consider next year. She has only raced for 10 months of her life.
“She had one little run last November, but really she’s only had one season of racing. There would be every reason to keep her in training next year as a four-year-old, particularly with the new Longchamp opening.
“That would be exciting – to try to win the Arc on two different tracks.”
Reflecting on the performance, he added: “She showed an impressive turn of foot and acceleration to kill the field. She has amazing ability.
“Frankie got her in a great position. He’s pretty good for an old jock.
“She’s shown us at home that she’s right in the zone. She’s eating well and looking well and still has her summer coat.
“She enjoys her work. We don’t ask her anything at home, we just let her enjoy herself, but she gave us every sign that she was ready to run a race like that again.”
Battaash led his rivals a merry dance to claim Group One glory in the Prix de l’Abbaye. The Charlie Hills-trained three-year-old won twice at Sandown and once at Goodwood during the summer, but was only fourth when stepped up to the highest level in the Nunthorpe at York, getting agitated before the start.
However, he burst out of the stalls this time in the hands of Jim Crowley and never looked in serious danger of being caught.
Last year’s winner and Nunthorpe heroine Marsha did her best to bridge the gap inside the last of five furlongs, but Battaash was away and gone, being comfortably clear at the line.
Sir Mark Prescott’s Marsha held on to the runner-up spot from the Clive Cox-trained Profitable in a British-dominated finish.
Hills said: “He was quite simply a different horse (yesterday) than the one you saw at York. As soon as he arrived in the stables (yesterday morning), I knew that.
“It’s very important to win that Group One with him and he did it in great style.
“I’m looking forward to having him around next year. He’s finished for this season, but everything is open next year, including the Breeders’ Cup.”
The prestige of Doncaster’s St Leger meeting received a boost when Aclaim, winner of the Park Stakes, pounced to land the Prix de la Foret.
Aclaim’s win in this seven-furlong contest saw jockey Oisin Murphy and trainer Martyn Meade record their landmark first triumphs at Group One level.
Earlier Murphy had placed fourth in the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye sprint on Duke of Firenze for Bawtry trainer David Griffiths.
The sprint was won by Battassh in stunning style.
Disappointing at York’s Ebor meeting, the horse was ridden by Jim Crowley, who began his career riding National Hunt horses for Yorkshire’s Grand National legends Sue and Harvey Smith.