Saudi-owned Arc winner Enable captures historic Breeders’ Cup Turf

Frankie Dettori celebrates as he rides Enable to victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf horse race at Churchill Downs. (AP)
Updated 04 November 2018
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Saudi-owned Arc winner Enable captures historic Breeders’ Cup Turf

  • Enable, who won the 2017 Arc as a three-year-old, completed the unprecedented double despite a nightmare start
  • Saudi Arabia-owned Enable became the first horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Breeders’ Cup

LOS ANGELES: Saudi Arabia-owned Enable became the first horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same year on Saturday as she held off Magical to triumph at Churchill Downs.
“She conquered America! She’s done it,” ecstatic jockey Frankie Dettori said after Enable showed all her heart in holding off Magical in a thrilling stretch duel, winning the $4 million race by three-quarters of a length.
Eight prior Arc winners had come to America to try for the 1 1/2-mile Turf, the first Dancing Brave 32 years ago. All had failed.
Enable, who won the 2017 Arc as a three-year-old, completed the unprecedented double despite a nightmare start to her four-year-old campaign that didn’t get underway until September thanks to a leg injury.
Her second Arc triumph in October came after just one prep race in September — and trainer John Gosden said she’d battled fever in between.
“She’s been very brave, mentally very strong to get herself here,” Gosden said.
Dettori said Enable’s “wheels were spinning” early on a turf course softened by mid-week rain.
He purposely kept her wide seeing the better ground and as they headed into the straight, he said, “she found another gear.”
Enable and Magical — who split horses under jockey Ryan Moore — quickly went clear, Enable finally taking control as they entered the final furlong.
Sadler’s Joy was a distant third — nine lengths back.
As they galloped out after the finish, Dettori and Moore briefly clasped hands.
“It was a wonderful, wonderful stretch run between two great fillies and two great jockeys,” Gosden said. “I thought coming into the straight when Ryan (Moore) came up on her, we had a race on our hands. She showed enormous courage to go and win.”


Juan Antonio Pizzi tells Saudi Arabia to improve or forget about beating Japan

Updated 18 January 2019
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Juan Antonio Pizzi tells Saudi Arabia to improve or forget about beating Japan

  • Green Falcons face tough route to final starting with Japan in the second round on Monday.
  • Coach warns players they have no chance of ultimate glory unless they go up a gear in the UAE.

LONDON: Juan Antonio Pizzi has told his Green Falcons they will have to learn the lessons of their defeat to Qatar if they are to have a chance of beating Japan in the second round.
Pizzi’s players went into the Group E clash already assured of a place in the knockout stages, having beaten North Korea and Lebanon in their first two marches. But the prospect of topping the pool and avoiding four-time champions Japan was still motivation enough to avoid temptation to treat the Qatar match as a dead rubber.
In a lackluster performance — a marked contrast to the energy and creativity of their first two matches — the Green Falcons failed to impose themselves in the game and paid the price when two Almoez Ali goals gave the win and points to Qatar.
That left Pizzi annoyed, warning his players they cannot afford to make the same mistakes against Japan.
“We tried to impose our style of play on Qatar, but our finishing and our ability to make the right decisions at crucial moments were not there tonight,” Pizzi said.
“We were good in the first 30 minutes, but an individual error for the first goal and then another mistake from a set-piece saw us concede twice.
“I am just starting to think of the game versus Japan. As I have stated before, I respect all of the teams that are here and do not feel either superior or inferior to anyone.
“It is now important for us to learn from the mistakes we made against Qatar and perform better when we play Japan.”
The first rule of any tournament is to get through to the knockout stages. That Saudi Arabia have managed that, having failed in the 2011 and 2015 editions, is a success. Add to that the fact they qualified for their first World Cup in 12 years last year, and it is clear that Pizzi’s team is still one on the up.
If there is a positive to take out of the Qatar defeat it is that the side’s first poor performance in the tournament came in a group match having already made it through, rather than in a winner-takes-all encounter such as the one they face against the Blue Samurai in Sharjah on Monday.
“We will bounce back. I don’t feel that we are not as good as (Japan) in any way,” Pizzi said.