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Enable and Sea Of Class on course for titanic rematch in 2019 Arc

Enable (left) holds on to deny Sea Of Class (centre) in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

After their incredible showdown in Sunday’s showpiece event, connections of both Enable and Sea Of Class confirm the star fillies could lock horns again in next year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

When the betting for Sunday’s Arc opened, Enable and Sea Of Class sat someway clear of their nearest challengers. Enable’s price shortened after last year’s Arc queen made a winning comeback at Kempton and, when Sea Of Class was handed a poor draw out in box 15, William Haggas’s filly began to drift in the betting.

By the time the gates opened at Longchamp this weekend, Enable was the even-money favourite, with Sea Of Class as long as 6/1 with some bookmakers. However, when it came to the crunch, this year’s Arc turned into a showdown between the two stand-out fillies of their generations.

Frankie Dettori got the perfect toe into the race on the favourite and, rounding the turn for home, he asked Enable to go and retain her crown. Just when it seemed Gosden’s girl had held all at bay, James Doyle and Sea Of Class came storming down the centre of the track. With every inch of turf she crossed, Sea Of Class was gaining on the leader, but sadly, for Doyle and Haggas, the line came just in time for Enable and Frankie was left celebrating a sixth Arc triumph.

“It was my 30th Arc and I was probably my most nervous." Dettori told the Telegraph. "Everything went to plan – I expected O’Brien’s [horses] to make it an end-to-end gallop for their stayers and I found myself in a fantastic spot.

“She was not carting me as she can early on, but she came alive in the false straight and I thought there’s life in the old girl. I waited as long as I could and at the 300-metre pole I said, ‘Come on girl, let’s win the Arc.’ I had a little glance, saw she was three lengths clear and thought, ‘I’ve won this.’ But the petrol ran out and I could feel James coming."

“She’s only had a canter round Kempton – she was not the Enable of last year, but she got the job done because of her class. John’s a genius to win an Arc with a horse that did not run for 11 months. It’s two wins on the same horse at different tracks.”



Naturally, Frankie and John Gosden drew the plaudits, but you have to credit Doyle for the ride he gave the gallant runner-up. Turning for home, Sea Of Class was last against the rail, with a wall of horse ahead of her. Yet, the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks winner managed to weave her way through the traffic and would have nabbed Enable had the finishing line come a few yards later.

"It was absolute agony.” Doyle told AtTheRaces on Monday. “I was heartbroken, more so for everyone that has been connected with her - her owners and William and Maureen (Haggas)." 

"I know we bang on about how much it is a team effort, but it truly is and this filly has come a long way in a short space of time.”

"She is a completely reformed character to the one we first dealt with back in the spring. From my point of view, everyone wants to win the Arc and when you get that close it was a real sickener, but she was beaten by an absolute superstar.”

"Enable ran a hell of a race. To do that on her second start of the season and her first run back on turf since the Arc last year was an amazing performance. Full credit to them."

In his own interview with the press, William Haggas said the plan was to keep Sea Of Class in training for her four-year-old season. John Gosden also said it was likely Enable would continue to race in 2019, but stressed that it would be owner-breeder, Prince Khalid Abdullah who would make the final decision.

"If she's in great order, her owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah will make the decision, but it would be wonderful if he felt she would like to go for it," Gosden said to Sky Sports.

"If she's fit and well, she'd only be five years old - that's like reaching a zenith in a way for a Flat horse - so it would be great. Put it this way, the filly will tell us - and he will make the decision."

This news has been met with jubilation by flat racing fans around the world and bookmakers have already started taking bets on who will win the 2019 Arc. Ladbrokes are currently offering 6/1 on both Enable and Sea Of Class winning at Longchamp in 12 months’ time, with Masar, Waldgeist and even Too Darn Hot featuring in the early ante-post betting.

*2019 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (6/10/19 Longchamp) betting with Ladbrokes*
6/1 Enable, Sea Of Class, 14/1 Masar, 16/1 Too Darn Hot, 25/1 Waldgeist, Anthony Van Dyck, 33/1 Bar

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Enable and Sea Of Class on course for titanic rematch in 2019 Arc

After their incredible showdown in Sunday’s showpiece event, connections of both Enable and Sea Of Class confirm the star fillies could lock horns again in next year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

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