Enable will face a number of threats to her Arc De Triomphe crown at Longchamp
We look set for one of the highlights of the Flat season on Sunday, as Enable bids to make history by becoming the first horse to win three renewals of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
Enable once again arrives here in scintillating form having won three straight Group 1 contests this summer, and John Gosden will be hoping that she can bow out with one last accolade. As you would expect, Enable is a clear favourite for Sunday's Arc - she's 4/5 at the time of writing - though there's a reason that no horse has ever won the race three times, and she will face a stern test. Indeed, only one horse has ever tried it - Treve back in 2015 - and she was beaten by a three-year-old, a certain Golden Horn.
The latest confirmation stage for the Arc was on Monday, and Enable will face a maximum of 15 rivals, with a host of potential threats within that line-up. With that in mind, we have picked out the three main contenders to take down the John Gosden trained superstar.
Any Aidan O'Brien runner is to be respected, and that is certainly the case for Japan, who appears to be the main threat to Enable this weekend. The Galileo colt has improved in leaps and bounds so far this season, producing his best effort yet to thwart Crystal Ocean in the International Stakes at York last time out. He arrives here proven over course and distance, having won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris back here in July, and in winning back-to-back Group 1 contests the last twice he has proven himself as the best of his generation over middle distances. In receipt of an age allowance from Enable, it would be no surprise if the Ballydoyle star is the closest challenger to the wonder-mare as they enter the final furlong on Sunday.
The French will be desperate to win their big race for the first time since 2014, and plenty expect Sottsass to put up an extremely strong showing this weekend. Like Japan, he has grown throughout the season, with a number of increasingly impressive displays. Like Enable, he is a classic winner having won the French Derby at Chantilly in June, and he too is proven over course and distance having won the Prix Niel on Trials Day last month. Sottsass has been popular in the market over the last couple of weeks, and it would be no surprise to see a late plunge on the Parismutuel from the home contingent on the day.
We have spoken about the best of the classic generation, and in terms of the older horses, it is Waldgeist who looks the biggest threat to the favourite. The pair have met on several occasions during their careers, including in this race last year, and it's worth noting that Waldgeist was less than two lengths behind Enable and Crystal Ocean when third in the King George at Ascot races in July - having made up plenty of late ground. Like Sottsass, Waldgeist won on Trials Day here last month, running out a comfortable winner of the Prix Foy, and this hold-up performer will be ready to take advantage should Enable fail to fire. A strong pace looks likely, and it would be no surprise to see Waldgeist hit the frame at the very least.