Tom Stanley: “Enable is one of the greatest we’ve ever seen, but I have to mention Newspaperofrecord. She’s a machine!”

10 min


All hail Enable

She only went and did it!

Dancing Brave, Trempolino, Saumarez, Subotica, Sakhee, Dylan Thomas, Golden Horn and Found have all tried to win at the Breeders’ Cup after winning the Arc in the same year. Step forward Enable.

She is now undeniably one of the greatest we’ve ever seen and trained, and she’s ridden and owned by those who fit that billing too.

It’s funny how this game pans out. John Gosden said he’d rather Enable had arrived in America off the back of the season she’d had last year. But she was a fresher filly having had just the two starts and perhaps that’s why the hoodoo was broken. And what a partnership Gosden and Dettori have forged over the last four years.

It began over twenty years ago before Dettori went to Godolphin, and when that rider was dismissed by said operation eighteen years later and considering retirement the man some call Johnny G came to the rescue. Gosden’s retained rider, William Buick, had been snapped up by, guess who, Godolphin so he turned to a man in need of a leading role. As I say, funny how this game pans out.

Enable under a great ride from Frankie Dettori to win the Breeders Cup Turf.

The greatest showman

To my mind, there is no better big-race rider than 47-year-old Dettori and he showed that on Saturday night.

How we will miss the greatest showman when he retires. As for John Gosden’s handling of Enable, I cannot imagine the finesse and skill which went into getting this filly to win an Arc when she wasn’t 100% then get her to peak in America off the back of an interrupted season and make history. That’s some team at Clarehaven. As for Enable, please come back and try for a third Arc next year. Please!

Finally, on the Breeders’ Cup, I have to mention Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Seriously, she’s a machine!

That was the second biggest winning margin in a turf race at the meeting and she barely came off the bridle. There’ll be no more exciting international runner were she to make it to these shores next year and trainer Chad Brown says it’s a distinct possibility.

Jolly good Fellowes

Saturday morning started well waking up to the news that Prince Of Arran had won out in Australia and guaranteed his place in the Melbourne Cup. His trainer, Charlie Fellowes, deserves all the credit he gets for what he has achieved with this horse. I’m delighted because I spent a morning filming with Charlie a few weeks back where he told us just how much was riding on the horse winning and guaranteeing his place.

The team have not only been rewarded with a place in Tuesday’s race but also with a first Group race success! You can listen to our Matchbook Melbourne Cup special podcast from Monday where I’ll be joined by Francesca Cumani You can find it here

Bryony sitting tight

How Matchbook ambassador Bryony Frost kept her partnership with Black Cotton intact in the Charlie Hall Chase was unbelievable.

Thrown in the air and up onto his neck, she lost her irons and had to jump the next in a matter of strides. Easy! As a result, every colleague of mine in the Racing UK studios started roaring her on to go and win the race. We love to see the seemingly impossible made possible.

Matchbook Ambassador Bryony Frost somehow managed to stay up on Black Corton on Saturday.

It wasn’t to be but it’s worth pointing out that whilst Bryony did brilliantly to stay on Black Corton, I thought Danny Cook was superb all the way around on Definitly Red. He never let Black Corton get away and upped the tempo after his mistake, never allowing his opponent to find a rhythm.

It was a dominant, aggressive ride and he put the utmost faith in the stamina of his horse.

It was not a vintage renewal but a fascinating race to watch nonetheless.

Samcro. Samslow?

A 4/9 shot getting turned over will always raise an eyebrow and when it’s the supposed second coming we’re quick to go into disaster territory, which was the message doing the rounds on social media in a few places after Samcro’s shock defeat at Down Royal. However, he was taking on a couple of race-fit rivals and a winner who loves that sort of ground. Bedrock is talented and looked to get a more economical ride from off the pace too.

It was a good time, Samcro was giving weight away and we may just have learnt that two miles on quick ground are not his optimum conditions.

No that’s not the ideal start to a champion hurdle campaign but it’s far too soon to write him off as not the horse we thought he was.

After all, I thought Roaring Lion was a flash in the pan after the Craven. The Morgiana Hurdle in a few weeks will tell us more.

Tom is not ready to write off Samcro just yet.


I know we are into jumps season proper but it’s well worth keeping an eye on the flat juveniles at this time of year.

I’m not saying Oydis is going to be a world beater but I was taken with her debut on Saturday. Her trainer had won the first division of this fillies’ novice with a very nice sort (also note down Feliciana De Vega) but his filly in division two was far less professional.

Oydis didn’t want to go into the stalls, was then very slowly away and raced keenly. She also raced out towards to middle of the track which I’m not sure was the place to be. The only horse to make up ground from the rear, she may have been well beaten but I think this daughter of Nathaniel will have a bright future.

We may have to wait a while until seeing her out again but get her in the tracker!