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Superstar trio share Longines best racehorse award

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Superstar thoroughbreds Enable, Crystal Ocean and Waldgeist have been named as joint winners of the prestigious Longines Best Racehorse Award for 2019.

The John Gosden-trained Enable, owned by Saudi royal Khalid Abdullah, narrowly missed out on a record third straight Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe title in Paris.

Her conqueror at Longchamp, the Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist, also won the Group 1 Prix Ganay in Paris in April.

Crystal Ocean, from the stable of Michael Stoute, was a Group 1 winner at Royal Ascot in June, beating Waldgeist in the process. But he was pipped by Enable at Ascot again in July, with Waldgeist in third.

The illustrious trio were honored at a lavish awards ceremony in London Wednesday. The Arc, Europe’s richest race, was named as the Longines Best Horserace.

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Accepting his award, Gosden said Enable would likely make her first start of the year in June, possibly at Royal Ascot, as she gears up for another tilt at a third Arc crown.

“She was phenomenal throughout the year, she had a great race in the Arc — she was beaten by a better horse on the day,” said the Englishman.

“She’s been nothing but magnificent throughout her career. She enjoys racing, she enjoys training… so we’ll gear her towards the autumn. She’s only six so she’s still young.”

Enable’s jockey, the colourful Italian Frankie Dettori, added: “She’s been amazing, She’s captured not just racing’s imagination but other sports’ imagination. She’s attracted other people to watch the sport. She’s got a sense of brilliance about her.”

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Dettori said he is ecstatic Enable wasn’t retired after the Arc at Longchamp in October.

“I can’t say how pleased I am she’s still in training,” he said of Prince Khalid’s decision.

“To me, it’s a dream come true. I know the Arc is nine months away but that’s our main target. It’s very rare to have this kind of horse so let’s enjoy it. It’s going to be a lot of pressure for me and John but that’s the reason we get up in the morning.”

Crystal Ocean, a son of renowned sire Sea the Stars, was bought from owner Evelyn de Rothschild by Irish racing and breeding conglomerate Coolmore and retired to stud in October.

Waldgeist, who won about $5.6 million in his 21-race career, has also been retired and will stand at stud at Ballylinch Stud in County Kilkenny in Ireland.

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