PARIS – Waldgeist denied Enable a historic third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory on Sunday in a thrilling duel at Paris Longchamp, giving French trainer Andre Fabre his eighth win in the race.
John Gosden’s odds-on favourite Enable, ridden by Frankie Dettori, looked set to become the first horse to win the Arc three times in the 98th edition when she pulled clear in the final straight, but was pipped on the line by 16-1 shot Waldgeist.
The five-year-old winner delivered French trainer Fabre his first success in the €5 million ($5.49 million) showpiece since Rail Link in 2006.
“I’m very proud that Waldgeist managed to beat such a fantastic mare and it’s well deserved in some ways, so I’m delighted,” Fabre, who claimed his first Arc in 1987 with Trempolino, told ITV.
“(I thought he would win) when he passed Enable. The Arc is always a big race because you have a combination of the best mares, best colts. It’s a great race.”
It was a first win in the race for French jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot.
“I’m really happy to win my first Arc, it’s the horse of my life,” said Boudot. “I respect Enable because we denied the champion a third coronation. I can die now.”
Sottsass finished third for 27-year-old rider Cristian Demuro and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget at 8-1.
It was only the second defeat from 15 races for Enable, but Gosden would not say whether the five-year-old mare would run again, insisting the decision would be made by owner, Saudi prince Khalid Abdullah.