David Probert is thrilled to have picked up the ride on Crystal Ocean for what promises to be a fascinating clash with Enable in the 188Bet September Stakes at Kempton on Saturday.
The John Gosden-trained Enable was the undoubted star of the 2017 Flat season, winning the English, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks as well as the King George at Ascot and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.
She makes her first start since her Paris triumph in this weekend’s Group Three, but faces a far-from-straightforward task with Sir Michael Stoute’s Hardwicke Stakes winner and King George runner-up Crystal Ocean in opposition.
Ryan Moore has partnered Crystal Ocean to each of his three victories this season, while William Buick was on board when he chased home stablemate Poet’s Word at Ascot in July.
But with both riders otherwise engaged on Saturday, Probert comes in the mount and is unsurprisingly relishing the challenge.
He told Press Association Sport: “It’s a fantastic ride to pick up, and I can’t thank him (Stoute) enough for giving me the opportunity.
“I kind of knew I was in line for the ride, but it wasn’t until Thursday morning that it was confirmed and obviously I was delighted.”
He added: “Crystal Ocean is a very nice horse – a top-level performer.
“He ran a very good race in the King George and has been running consistently well all year.
“We’re taking on the filly (Enable), who is getting 8lb, but he has got to have a big chance.”