Later in the summer, Enable will look to achieve a slice of history.
She will be aiming to become the first horse in history to win a hat-trick of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe titles – a feat that some of the greatest horses from the annals of time have failed to achieve.
Indeed, there has only been eight two-time winners of the Arc, and that explains the extent of Enable’s extraordinary achievement.
She enjoyed the perfect warm-up win at the Ebor Festival, triumphing in the Yorkshire Oaks in customary comfortable fashion.
John Gosden’s filly stayed on rather nicely to defeat her long-standing rival Magical by more than two lengths, and it was a victory of such class that some bookies have slashed her odds of winning the Arc to odds-on prices of 4/5.
The win came just a couple of weeks after she was elevated to second place in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2019, with a mark of 129 she is curiously just behind Crystal Ocean in the ratings – he lost at the same Ebor Festival. Enable, with victory at Longchamp, will surely overtake her nemesis in the rankings even after she is retired. She also has a Timeform rating of 129, and climbing, as well.
Sadly, that could well be her last run on British soil now that she’s pushing for her pension at five-years-old, but the Arc and then a possible jaunt to America could act as the perfect send-off for one of the finest horses produced by the modern generation.
But where does she stack up in comparison to the great and the good of the sport? Let’s take a look at the highest-rated horses of all time according to Timeform.
Frankel: Rated 147
When the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings were recalibrated, historical ratings were changed and Frankel was confirmed as the undisputed greatest horse of all time.
And Timeform agree with that assessment, making the House of Saud their clear 147 champion of thoroughbred racing.
The evidence is irrefutable. This was a horse that went 14 races unbeaten – was rarely challenged in fact – with numerous Grade 1 victories to his name.
Wins in the 2000 Guineas, the St James’s Palace Stakes, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Champion Stakes. Other than success on international soil, Frankel’s career is unmatched.
Now in stud, Frankel continues to produce champions at an alarming rate, and that is the result of being a genetic freak!
Sea Bird: Rated 145
Racing buffs who know their history will be familiar with the work of Sea Bird, who ran predominantly in France back in the 1960s.
He only ran eight times in all, but his performances in winning seven of those outings were such that Timeform rate him as the second best thoroughbred in history.
Sea Bird is one of the few dual Derby and Arc champions, and in his triumph at Epsom remained his only run on British soil.
Also a Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner, stallion’s career may have been a short one but he packed plenty in, and his CV is the envy of anyone.
Brigadier Gerard: Rated 144
Being labelled the greatest racehorse trained in Britain in the twentieth century is no mean feat.
And when you look at the record of Brigadier Gerard, you can see why the tag is so well deserved.
Eighteen starts, seventeen wins, and some of those high-profile wins came in races that are well remembered to this day, such as the 2000 Guineas triumph over Mill Reef.
From the Vault: Brigadier Gerard wins the 2,000 Guineas in 1971
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) 5 May 2017
Many of the more meaningful flat races also appear on Brigadier Gerard’s charge sheet, including the King George, the St James, the Sussex Stakes and the Goodwood Mile.
Tudor Minstrel: Rated 144
Only punters with long memories will recall the exploits of Tudor Minstrel in the 1940s.
The Coventry Stakes, the 2000 Guineas and the St James were all won with consummate ease, and it was only a step up in trip that saw Fred Darling’s horse come a cropper – particularly, to much punters’ chagrin, when he failed to win the Derby as an odds-on favourite.
But over one mile, few horses of any era can truly hold a candle to Tudor Minstrel.
Abernant: Rated 142
A specialist sprinter, Abernant overcame disappointment in the 2000 Guineas when a close second to establish himself as one of the fastest in the business.
In a two year reign of terror, the grey won the King’s Stand Stakes, the July Cup, the Nunthorpe Stakes (twice) and the King George Stakes, also twice.
Timeform rated him as the best sprinter as a two, three and four-year-old, while the Telegraph gave him the accolade of ‘the best sprinter to ever grace a racecourse’. Gordon Richards, the prolific jockey, noted that Abernant was the quickest horse he ever rode.
Ribot: Rated 142
What an incredible horse this was. Ribot finished his career unbeaten with 16 wins in as many starts, and incredibly he won over all distances from 5f to 1m 7f in three different countries!
A two-time winner of the Arc, the stallion was a major winner in his native Italy and found the time to head over to UK soil to win in the King George VI in 1956.
Ribot went on to enjoy a fine stud career too, siring two Arc champions as well as winners of the St Leger, the Oaks, the Irish Derby and the Belmont Stakes.
Mill Reef: Rated 141
To give you an idea of how good General Brigadier was, the horse he gave the run-a-round to in the 200 Guineas is ranked as the seventh best in history by Timeform.
But then, Mill Reef has the kind of CV most can only dream of.
A dual Derby and Arc champion, In Balding’s stallion also won the King George VI and the Eclipse Stakes in a stellar campaign as a three-year-old.
A two-time winner as a four-year-old, Mill Reef’s career was brought to a sadly premature end by a broken leg. But his place in the pantheon of the greats was assured.