Enable became an even stronger favourite at +137.5 with BetOnline for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday when connections took Love out of the race over concerns about the very soft going after rain in the Paris area and more in the forecast.
Love began the week as the +150 favourite but drifted in the betting after rain softened the ground. She flip flopped with Enable at the top of the betting and trainer Aidan O’Brien admitted the underfoot conditions would be a disadvantage for his horse.
In any sporting contest you can only beat the opponents who turn up but if Enable wins a record third Arc the achievement will be devalued by the absence of Love. Enable was set to give the 1,000 and Oaks winner seven pounds and would have needed almost a career best run to prevail.
The big mover in the betting is Stradivarius. Soft ground does not inconvenience the horse and a bigger issue is the distance. However, the race may pan out to suit the second John Gosden runner who could thwart stable mate’s Enable shot at racing history.
The shortest-priced French challenger is Sottsass. The third favourite finished third in the Arc last season and connections immediately targeted the race again. However, the four-year-old colt gets no allowances and will carry three pounds more than Enable.
We will now never know if Enable would have beaten Love because Enable will not be around 12 months down the line. Love may still be in training but will not receive the weight-for-age allowance. Enable must make hay while the sun shines even though she has benefitted from rain.