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Longchamp, Paris, the first Sunday in October. Yes, it’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day. This year could be extra-special with John Gosden’s marvellous mare, Enable, seeking to become the first horse to win three Arcs.
She faces a difficult task as the best middle-distance performers in Europe will be in opposition. She looks the one to beat though, with her three victories this summer highlighted by her King George win at Ascot.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 27, 2019
To mark the occasion, we’ve put together a short list of some our favourite race mares of all time.
Black Caviar was the pride of Australia with a series of impressive wins in their top sprint events.
However, everyone wanted to know where she ranked on the international stage, and connections took the brave decision to target Royal Ascot in 2012.
A lot went wrong before the race, with the 30-hour journey proving difficult. The race was smoother, despite an over-confident jockey causing alarm in the final 100 metres.
Mission accomplished, and Black Caviar had stamped her name in racing folklore.
A complete rags-to-riches story. After showing very little ability in her first 2 seasons, this filly ran up a sequence of big handicap wins as a 4-year-old.
She then took the step up to Group company in her stride. Her powerful front-running style enthralled the racing world with top-level victories in the L’Abbaye and Nunthorpe. From humble beginnings, she went on to be voted European Horse of The Year in 1993.
Being up with the pace is usually very important in American racing. Zenyatta threw this rule out the window, often trailing huge distances in the early stages of her races.
Her most famous win was in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic when she became the first mare to win this event. As usual, she appeared an unlikely winner throughout the race, making up a large deficit in the final 500 metres.
Heartbreakingly she tried the same tactic a year later but just came up short, and retired with a record of 19 wins from 20 starts.
Here is her BCC win, a spine-tingling moment with a great commentary.
Criquette Head’s mare, Treve, was the last horse to attempt a hat-trick of Arc wins. Her failure in her third attempt in 2015 shows the scale of the task facing Enable and Frankie Dettori. Treve was 2.00 favourite for that renewal after a sparkling season, much like Enable this year.
Still, she will be remembered for her two majestic wins at Longchamp when she showed a monstrous turn of foot to destroy some classy opposition.
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