French horse Sottsass won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday as Enable's bid to become the first horse to win the race three times ended in disappointment at ParisLongchamp.
Sottsass -- third last year -- gave trainer Jean-Claude Rouget his first victory in the race although he endured a nervous wait after a steward's enquiry.
Enable was prominent on entering the finishing straight but Frankie Dettori failed to rouse the 2017 and 2018 winner and she finished sixth.
It was the first time in her 19 races she finished outside the first three.
Her stablemate the three-time Ascot Gold Cup winner Stradivarius also failed to take to the ground and finished seventh.
"It was too deep (the ground) it killed her (Enable) action," said Dettori.
German Derby winner In Swoop finished like a train to take second while long-time leader Persian King was third.
The winner's jockey Cristian Demuro and several of his fellow jockeys were called into the stewards room to watch the finish and give their version of events.
The last time an Arc winner was disqualified was Sagace in 1985 handing victory to Enable's owner Prince Khalid Abdullah's Rainbow Quest.
There was to be no repeat this time and confirmation resulted in social distancing being disregarded as the trainer and others hugged in the paddock.
Rouget required a glass of water before reacting to having at last conquered the Arc -- gulping it down in one go.
"It is great to win the Arc of course because it is like no other race," said the 67-year-old.
"I prefer the spring classics as they are less complicated.
"By the time the Arc comes the horses are tired and the ground is unpredictable.
"We won because we prepared the horse for this race....we lost races this year in order to win this one."
Owner Peter Brant watched from the United States but his racing manager Michel Zerolo relayed his reaction.
"He is overjoyed as this has been a lifetime ambition to win the Arc," said Zerolo.
"I think he has had four runners before without success so he told me seeing Sottsass triumph gives him just huge joy."
Zerolo could also slap himself on the back as he had picked the horse out from a selection of 25 he had been offered by the breeder as yearlings.
Zerolo said last year's French Derby winner could run in the Breeder's Cup in the United States later in the season -- Enable went on to win there after her 2018 Arc success.
- 'She has been a joy' -
The winning party were joined in their celebrations by the 1,000 spectators permitted to attend under the coronavirus protocols.
For the Enable camp there was no hugging but also few regrets at the pleasure the six-year-old mare has given them through the years.
"She has given so much to everyone to the whole sport," said Prince Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe.
"She has been such an important part of our lives we have no complaints and no excuses.
"She just did not handle the ground as well as we might have hoped but in racing we have to take these things."
Grimthorpe, though, said Prince Abdullah would make the final decision as to whether that was the final curtain on her career.
"There are no regrets, expectations are always very, very high with her, pretty enormous really.
"But to win three King George VI's, two Arcs, a Breeder's Cup, an English Oaks, an Irish Oaks and a Yorkshire Oaks it is an extraordinary CV for any racehorse.
"Really she has been a joy."
The race took place after the dramatic decision by Aidan O'Brien to withdraw his four runners due to their returning positive tests believed to be due to contaminated feed.
Ironically O'Brien's employers Coolmore Stud will have ended up with a smile on their faces as they are part-owners of Sottsass and he could well be making the trip to stud there come season's end.