Enable – Is She The Greatest?

Features | 1st October 2019

“The greatest filly to take to the track”; a phrase mooted by many when it comes to describing Enable, but is it justified?

This weekend the mare dubbed the “Queen of Racing” will cross the channel in an attempt to win a mind-boggling third Arc De Triomphe title. Should she achieve the feat she’ll further cement a legacy which already places her as an all-time great. But is she the greatest of them all? We profile the champion in question along with four other equine stars that could feasibly lay claim to that title.


A model of consistency and the definition of equine brilliance. Now 5, her third bid at the Arc may well be her final trip to the racecourse, but John Gosden’s mare has already put together a CV worthy of being mentioned as one of the best to do it. Since May 2017 she has seen off every challenger to have come before her, landed a magical 10 Group 1 victories including two Classics and two victories in Europe’s premier middle distance race, the Qatar Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe. Should she win a third Arc this weekend, it’ll add another layer of jaw-dropping statistical brilliance to an already world-class list of achievements.


A match-up between Australian wonder Winx and Enable over 10 furlongs was what the racing public craved, but sadly such a spectacle never materialised. Retired at the age of 8 following a much publicised fourth victory in the Cox Plate, her longevity far outweighs any that have been before and will likely follow. The Australian wonder mare possessed an electric turn of foot which saw her to a record 33 straight wins including 25 Group 1 victories. In 2018 she was named the Cartier Horse Of The Year alongside Cracksman whilst also becoming the darling of the Australian nation. Her name will always be etched in history as Royal Randwick Racecourse agreed to name their new grand stand after the great mare, a sign of just how good she was.


The brilliant Treve hadn’t always been earmarked for great things. As a yearling she was overlooked by prospective purchasers before being re-purchased by her breeder for just 22,000. The French superstar would go onto win some 272 times that amount in prize money during a stellar career. She won 12 races in total, including 6 at Group 1 level. Along the way she was enlisted into an elite group of horses that have won the Arc De Triomphe twice, only to be prevented a magical third following defeat to Derby winner Golden Horn in the 2015 renewal.

Ouija Board

Ed Dunlop’s superstar mare certainly lived up to her name as she continually conjured up performances worthy of her status as on of racing’s top draws of the mid-noughties. The mother of 2014 Guineas and Derby winner Australia won a remarkable eight Group 1 races in four different countries. Outside of the British flat season the Ed Dunlop trained star mare somewhat deviated from the traditional middle-distance path, instead choosing to forgo the Arc De Triomphe in favour of competing for the top prizes in America and Japan. She garnered much success in that time with high profile victory’s in the Hong Kong Vase and Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf.


Zarkava, now 14, never once tasted defeat in her brief but brilliant two-year career. Seven races and seven victories have seen her take a special place in history as one of a few to have competed at the top level and come away unbeaten. Never once raced outside of France, she swept all before her in the 2008 season, winning four Group 1 races before going on to pick up the Cartier Horse Of The Year gong. Her greatest victory came in the 2008 Arc De Triomphe.

Owned by one of the most respected owner-breeders of all time, his highness the Aga Khan, her achievements were held in highest regards by the entire operation. The Aga Khan glowingly reflected that Zarkava represents the centre point in which his family’s champion thoroughbred breeding operation revolves around.

All in all it’s fair to say that Enable belongs in the conversation as the greatest filly or mare to ever grace the turf. Her achievements are incomparable and a third Arc De Triomphe would place her in a stratosphere where only she sits.

This weekend may see her take to the track for the last ever time so all we can do is hope she goes out in style!