Trained by John Gosden and ridden with supreme confidence by Frankie Dettori, the five-year-old showed she was as good as ever when winning Sandown’s historic Group One over 10 furlongs.
She will now step back up in trip to a mile-and-a-half for Ascot’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 27 before reverting back to 10 furlongs for York’s flagship race next month.
This race is significant because Enable is owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah whose Juddmonte breeding operation sponsors the International – the day one highlight of the Ebor festival.
His colours were carried to International glory in 2012 by the incomparable Frankel and there is growing hype around Enable as she begins her quest for a historic third successive Arc later this year.
Though she had not raced since winning at America’s Breeders’ Cup meeting last November, she dominated a quality field and was never threatened by her rival Magical who was a creditable second.
Gosden, winning the race for the fourth time, said: “It’s been a long preparation, she’s only started coming to herself the last two weeks and quite frankly she’s come here at 85 per cent (fit), maybe 90.
“The last furlong I was concerned and I told Frankie if she gets tired you look after her. This is not a prep, it’s an Eclipse, but it’s a prep for the rest of the year. I couldn’t be more thrilled with her. She is a filly that we can hopefully get to the King George, York (Juddmonte International) and Longchamp (Arc). It has always been the plan, those four races, so this has been a good start.”
A jubilant Dettori, who was once again in flying dismount form, said: “She is uncomplicated, as you know. It was actually funny – as we turned for home she grabbed the bit and wanted to go, but I said, ‘wait a little bit, let’s just get to the two (furlong pole) first’.
“In the back of our mind we were very confident, but the race will bring her on. I’m as ecstatic as I was when I won my first race on her. She is a superstar and she is unbelievable now with the Eclipse on top.
“She has so many gears and has got that unbelievable will to win. She has got size and scope, and she’s got the stride. You wouldn’t get this reception in a football game. I can’t hear myself talk at the moment. It’s amazing. When she comes racing the lights come on. I love her so much. She’s the queen of racing.”
The sadness is Enable, the 2017 Yorkshire Oaks heroine, won’t race Sea Of Class – the horse who chased her home in last year’s Arc. Trained by Yorkshire-born William Haggas, Sea Of Class –who came to prominence when winning last year’s Irish and Yorkshire Oaks – is fighting for her life after colic surgery. She will not race again if she pulls through.Also on the injury sidelines is Karl Burke’s Laurens after he confirmed the five-time Group One winner will miss this Friday’s Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
“She’s just got a little niggle on her left hind,” said the Leyburn trainer. “This has been brewing over the last 48 hours. She’s too valuable an animal, too good (to risk) – she owes us nothing.
“So as much as it hurts to miss out on a chance of a Group One, we’ve taken the right decision. John (Dance, owner) was fully supportive of that, if anything more than I was – he was pretty adamant we should skip it, and we hope we’ll get her right for the race in Deauville (Prix Rothschild) in three weeks.
“It’s not a serious injury in a long-term scheme – it’s just at the wrong time.”
Burke was speaking after Kelly’s Dino put up a game display to land the Old Newton Cup at Haydock under Ben Curtis.
A horse whose early career was blighted by injuries, Burke hopes a rise in the handicap might qualify Kelly’s Dino for the Ebor at York. “It was the perfect race, perfect place – and he’s a horse who stays well, so I’ve been dying to step him up in trip for the last six months,” he added.
“When we hit the front we were always going to keep going – he doesn’t overdo himself, hence the cheekpieces. I’d love him to get in the Ebor – that’s the race we’re looking at.”