No Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe fairytale in Paris for Dettori and Enable

Pierre-Charles Boudot, riding Waldgeist, wins the Qatar Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe from Frankie Dettori and Enable, ending her bid to become the first horse to win Europe's richest race three times.

Well, she's still the Queen of people's hearts here in Paris but why is it that no matter how many times you are told not to believe in fairytales, they always get you in the end, writes James Toney at Longchamp.

Because when all you think to be true proves not so accurate, things won't ever be quite the same.

Of course, it'll pass. They'll be others that win our affections, play with our emotions, make our hearts soar and heads hurt in this most intoxicating of sports.

And history will ultimately remember her ten Group One wins, at home and aboard, not this narrow defeat at Longchamp. However, for Enable's connections it will sting.

But her story remains one for the ages, so try your best to forget this slightly soggy ending here in the French capital.

Frankie Dettori has tasted many highs in his career but this defeat will probably hit him hardest of all. Jockeys aren't known for being sentimental but Dettori looked crestfallen as he returned to the parade ring, like all the nervous energy he's been running on for weeks suddenly evaporated and left him flatter than a Crêpe Suzette.

He was greeted like a winner but there was no flying dismount and no broad grin. Never one to be knowingly undersold, he had said victory would be like the 'moon landing' but, unfortunately, this was more Apollo 10 than Apollo 11.

No horse had ever won Europe's richest racing prize, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, three times. Indeed only one horse had ever attempted it - Dettori, ironically, beat it.

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Enable started odds on to reset that history but it was the weather that conspired against her, as Waldgeist won a head-to-head charge to the post that ultimately became a stamina test on energy-sapping soft ground.

The post-mortem immediately started. Was Enable fully firing? Did Dettori make his move too late? But it's all ultimately meaningless and a little unfair.

"Waldgeist came late and strong after they'd gone at a good pace," said Enable’s trainer John Gosden.

"Frankie committed and went for it but with the ground really testing her it was hard to show that turn of foot and she's been outstayed there, full credit to them.

"I thought she still ran a brilliant race and while she handles soft ground she doesn't have the same explosive turn of foot on it."

In recent weeks connections have made no attempt to downplay the narrative that this would be the final chapter for Enable but with defeat still raw, no-one was prepared to confirm it.

Gosden refused to say whether this would be it for his star filly, with the opportunity of one last race, perhaps at the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot, tempting if perhaps not sensible.

And then there's the prospect of defending her Breeders' Cup title at Santa Anita next month, which surely would be a case of heart ruling head.

"She's run a super race but ultimately she's been outstayed on very sticky ground," said Teddy Grimthorpe, who manages owner Khalid Abdullah's racing operation.

"She's been the most fantastic filly and Prince Khalid has enjoyed every moment with her. You have to accept defeat in sport and we don't love her any less.

"He will make the decision about her future, he will want to reflect and give it some good thought and I know he will come up with a good answer."