Frankie Dettori became the most successful jockey in Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe history and Enable, his fifth winner in the race, earned her place in racing's roll of equine greats when she galloped to a "too easy" 2½-length success at Chantilly yesterday.
There is no point in getting older if you do not get more experienced and the 46-year-old jockey cleared the potential tactical minefield of an inside draw by switching outside the Ballydoyle's front-running pair, Idaho and Order of St George soon after the start.
Never out of the first three, Dettori waited until two furlongs out to unleash Enable. From that point onwards, with the Chateau de Chantilly and her 17 rivals left in her wake, the outcome of the 96th Arc was never in doubt.
Enable shot clear and Dettori was able to stroke her neck as she cruised home to collect her fifth Group One of the season.
Cloth of Stars fared best in the battle for second with Ulysses, running yet another solid race but once again no match for the filly, a further length and a quarter away in third.
"I toyed with the idea of making the running," said Dettori, whose flying dismount had even more spring to it than usual.
"I was aware Idaho, Order of St George and Capri were all good stayers, and I said to John that when I reach the little tower, after 400 metres, I'll find out what's happening. Idaho was a bit free so I let him go on and I dragged the filly back in behind Order of St George.
"At that moment, my job was done. I was where I wanted. I had free air on my left, running away round the bend. I was nearly clipping Order of St George's heels. I went too early at York so I counted to 10 here and went at the 400m pole. She burst three or four lengths clear. Once she plateaued at that speed, I knew it was all over. It was so smooth and effortless. In an Arc, you expect something to happen, it seemed too easy."
John Gosden, Enable's trainer, was fulsome in praise of Dettori's early manoeuvre. "We walked the whole track," he said. "Frankie was very clear he wanted to go forward, and the critical part of the race was very early. It was the one thing he did which was perfect -- he was in the perfect position to give her every opportunity to win and not get boxed in."
He even had an affectionate dig at the veteran rider, saying "I'm very pleased an up-and-coming young jockey was able to use his head. He was eccentric and brilliant on Golden Horn two years ago, here he used his experience -- and confidence.
"She's a wonderful filly. She goes, and then if they come to her, she goes again. It is testament to Khaled Abdullah as an owner-breeder. He was educated in France and has been a big supporter of French racing, so to win another Arc is very special for him."
Having eclipsed the likes of Freddy Head, Yves Saint-Martin, Pat Eddery, and Olivier Peslier, all of whom won it four times, Dettori said: "It's a great achievement. I've had 29 goes and five wins, maybe not such a good strike-rate.
"First and foremost, though, it's about Enable -- she's the best filly I've ever ridden. John's been a genius to keep her in top shape all year."
There were no losing jockeys' hard luck stories. Mickael Barzalona on Cloth of Stars said everything had gone perfectly for him.
Echoing those sentiments, Jim Crowley, who went on to win the Prix de L'Abbaye in scintillating style on Battaash later in the day, said he had latched on to Enable's tail from the start. "But the winner's exceptional," he added.
The 50 members of the Japanese media who followed Satono Diamond to Europe will return disappointed. They have had the runner-up five times but Satono Diamond did not add his name to the list of heroic failures. The 21st Japanese runner in the Arc finished nearer the back than the front.