Racing

Frankie Dettori on cusp of history-making Arc success with Enable

Galileo Gold, ridden by jockey Frankie Dettori, on his way to winning the St James's Palace Stakes during day one of Royal Ascot 2016, at Ascot
Graham Clark

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Records are there to be broken and that is exactly what Frankie Dettori is hoping happens on Sunday aboard Enable in this year's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.

Already a member of the elite band of riders with four wins to their name in the European middle-distance championship, the affable Italian will attempt to form his own exclusive club, and with it a slice of history, by tasting victory for a fifth time.

While each of his previous winners have been exceptional performers, none entered the race as an odds-on prospect, which is what the John Gosden-trained three-year-old is set to be in her bid for a fifth top-level success this season.

After a reappearance third at Newbury, the daughter of Nathaniel has conquered all those before her, with wins in the English, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks, and, most impressively of them all, a demolition job against the boys at Ascot in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Dettori is keeping his fingers crossed the Khalid Abdullah-owned filly can prove to be the star attraction once again and cap off a memorable season for both horse and jockey.

He said: "The filly is well, but there are 18 runners in the race, anything can happen so you need a lot of luck.

"She has been very consistent all season. You have just got to keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best

"It was after Chester (Cheshire Oaks) we knew she was pretty special and she has turned out to be just that.

"Obviously I am nervous going into the race, but I am also excited. I just hope we turn up on the day well and hope for the best.

"I would rather be an odds-on shot than 20-1 going into the race."

Reflecting on his previous winners, Dettori described the victory of Lammtarra as a "dream come true", while Sakhee was the "one I was most confident about" and Golden Horn "the best so far".

LAMMTARRA (1995)

"It was nerve-wracking. He was an unbeaten horse and a Derby and King George winner.

"I was only 24 and there was a lot of pressure on me. I had lots of faith in the horse. The first Arc is probably the one you remember the most. It was amazing and it was a dream come true.

"As a kid the only races televised were the Derby, King George and Arc, so to win one was great and no words can describe it.

"The race was very straightforward. I sat close to the pace. I kicked really early and wanted to make sure they were in full flight before they came to me.

"He had a tremendous will to win and was a hard horse to pass and that proved to be the case. I remember looking across at that grandstand - it was amazing."

SAKHEE (2001)

"Sakhee was probably the one I was most confident about.

"He had worked incredibly well before the Arc. I rang my parents up and told them to come to France as I told them I was going to win the Arc.

"They said 'don't talk like that son', but I said 'just get over here'.

"He won by six lengths and it was never in doubt. The ground was soft and he loved it.

"After that he was beaten a nose in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He was a lovely horse to ride as he was very easy."

MARIENBARD (2002)

"He was probably the surprise package.

"He had been working well and he had a great draw. I guess Sulamani was unlucky not to win.

"Everything fell right, from having a good draw to the split happening at the right time. He was a late developer.

"He is the one that surprised me the most, but I will take it.

"He got better as he got older. He won two Group Ones in Germany before the race so he came into it good form. It was probably not a vintage Arc, but he still won an Arc."

GOLDEN HORN (2015)

"He was the best one so far. I had a bad draw and I had to improvise and I went on my own. He was another Derby winner and again I had lots of faith in him.

"He came out of the stalls exactly like I thought and he won, which was great. It capped a fantastic season for me, him and John Gosden.

"As it is the one that is freshest in my memory, it is the one I remember the most. It was thrilling and it was the last one at Longchamp before the redevelopment.

"When I got the draw it was not ideal, but you have to come up with a plan and luckily it worked. It looked great as I won - it would have looked poor if I was beaten, but it was brilliant."

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