All eyes on Enable as brilliant filly returns to action at Kempton

Arc heroine clashes with Crystal Ocean

  • Friday 07 September
  • News
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John Gosden warns Enable will improve for the run when she makes her eagerly-anticipated return to action in the 188Bet September Stakes at Kempton.

The daughter of Nathaniel enjoyed a stellar campaign in 2017, 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, with Gosden keen to blow away any cobwebs ahead of the defence of the Arc crown on October 7.

Gosden told Press Association Sport: “She’s been off 11 months, so it’s been a while. She was due to run in early June, but we’ve taken our time and she seems in good form.

“I’m sure she’ll come on for her race. It will be nice to get her back on the racecourse again and I think she’s looking forward to it as well. She has been as frustrated as the rest of us.

“She’s coming back from injury, but hopefully that is behind us.

“We’re not going there to give her a hard race. I think it’s important people are aware of that.”

Enable faces a far from straightforward task, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Hardwicke Stakes winner and King George runner-up Crystal Ocean in opposition.

Gosden is not surprised such a high-profile rival is lining up against Enable due to a lack of alternative options.

He added: “I think we expected it, to be honest, as where else do you prep?

“The only other option is the Legacy Cup at Newbury over a mile and three (furlongs). That is only 15 days before the Arc and if you get a knock or a bang during the race you’re in trouble.

“There are really no other options, so it’s no surprise to us something else decent is turning up.”

Enable carries the colours of leading owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah and his racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe is excited about her comeback.

He told At The Races: “She’s in great form. She did her last little breeze earlier this week and John and Frankie (Dettori) were very pleased with her. She came through it nicely. She’s ready to go.

“We were thinking about York (last month) and that just came a little bit too soon. She’s been able to have two or three bits of work since then to tune her up.

“Obviously the Arc is the main aim for her, so we’re really looking at this as a prep race. It’s not the be all and end all.”

Grimthorpe added: “What we’re looking for her to do is run really well. If she wins then so much the better, definitely.

“I think if she runs a big race and maybe gets a little tired or whatever, and comes out of it in good shape, then we can go to Paris with plenty of hope and confidence.”

Gosden and Abdullah are also represented by Weekender, who is no slouch in his own right having finished second to stablemate Muntahaa in the Ebor at York a fortnight ago. However, he will be expected to adopt a pacesetting role on Saturday.

Roger Charlton’s Cribbs Causeway and Peak Princess from Richard Hannon’s yard, both of whom will be huge outsiders, complete the line-up.

All eyes on Enable as brilliant filly returns to action at Kempton
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