Matt Chapman's Good, Bad and Ugly from this week's world of horse racing

SO in many ways it was a weekend of disappointments with both Enable and Battaash beaten in France.

But who or what has made my latest Good Bad Ugly column?

I love Andre Fabre. Now Fabre doesn't speak to the French press, but you get him on a good day as a member of the British hack fraternity and he sings like Andrea Bocelli!

Life is about characters. Fabre is a character and that's my kind of trainer. That said, Fabre has been in the wilderness for a few years.

At the weekend he proved once again that form is temporary and class is permanent. He is the master European trainer.

Although Fabre has had Group 1 winners over the last ten years, you would be hard pushed to name any horse that blew you away.

Cloth of Stars, Flintshire and Persian King were decent enough – but hardly exciting.

Now Fabre has won another Arc with Waldgeist, and he has two juveniles in Victor Ludorum and Earthlight who are exceptional. Fabre is back. Bigtime.

I should just add in the good column that John Gosden was massive in defeat just as he is in victory. Take a bow Johnny G.

It's odd how different people look at things. I love Enable and think she is an absolute monster of a horse.

But I was amazed to read so many journalists writing that she lost nothing in her Arc defeat and that she was mighty in her loss.

Enable did not battle once tackled – not like in the King George – and was way below her best in my opinion. There was nothing mighty about her defeat at all, she was beaten fair and square.

That takes nothing away from what she has done in the past – personally I think her Arc/Breeders' Cup double was the ultimate glory.

No-one likes facts about horses they love. But the simple truth is this. Enable does not have a particularly high rating for a worldy. Most seasons there are at least two horse rated 130+ and she was rated 128 before the Arc. It might just be that she has not always come up against the greatest of opposition. Just saying!


The Arc was once again a lesson to all those talking about sport that to ignore opposition – however weak – is never sensible. The build up to the Arc was Enable crazy, and opposition blank. The result will have been ugly for many.

You would have thought Enable was in a one horse race on Sunday. As we found out she was not. I'm as guilty as anyone over this, even though I tipped the winner eachway! Racing is never simple. It's the complication of the sport that is its beauty.

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