Owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah and trained by John Gosden – both of whom described her as a “filly of a lifetime” – Enable was named Cartier Horse of the Year in 2017 after a phenomenal three-year-old campaign, in which she won five Group 1 races.
Having won her sole start as a juvenile, Enable was beaten in a condition stakes race over 1 mile 2 furlongs at Newbury on her three-year-old debut, staying on to finish third, beaten 2½ lengths and a head by stable companion Shutter Speed and Raheen House. However, her proximity to the 110-rated Raheen House, who’d finished fourth in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster the previous October, earned her an 18lb rise in the weights.
She proved that the weight rise was justified, though, by winning the Cheshire Oaks by 1¾ lengths, eased down, on her next start at Chester. Winning jockey Frankie Dettori said afterwards, “She’s a very nice filly, who is improving all the time. She is beginning to know what she is doing.”
The daughter of Nathaniel certainly knew what she was doing by the time she arrived at Epsom for the Oaks proper, drawing clear in the closing stages to beat the odds-on favourite, Rhododendron, by 5 lengths, with her old rival Alluringly a further 6 lengths away in third.
She won at the Curragh, with a minimum of fuss, to become a dual Oaks winner and moved on to Ascot for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, in which she faced older horses, including colts, for the first time. Frankie Dettori wasted down to 8st 7lb, his minimum riding weight all year, to take the ride and Enable quickened clear in the closing stages to win by an impressive 4½ lengths.
After another facile victory in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York in August, at odds of ¼, Enable made her final start of the season came in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, run at Chantilly during the redevelopment of Longchamp, in October. Sent of 10/11 favourite, she was ridden clear 1½ furlongs from home to beat Cloth Of Stars by 2½ lengths. Her Timeform rating of 134 is only a few pounds behind the best fillies of the last five decades or so and she stays in training as a four-year-old, so she could still be better yet.