Enable 'in good shape' for Eclipse return

Only qualm over any chance of ‘very firm’ ground

  • Wednesday 03 July
  • News
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Enable’s connections would be wary of very fast ground as she approaches her anticipated return to action in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Racing’s golden girl has not been seen since winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November – and her season is being built around a bid for equine immortality with a third win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

On Saturday, the John Gosden-trained daughter of Nathaniel will be having her first race over 10 furlongs since the only defeat of her career – which came on her three-year-old debut at Newbury.

It is notoriously difficult to win a Group One first time out, and fillies and mares do not have a historically great record in the race, the last successful one being Kooyonga in 1992.

“She’s in good form – she had a nice breeze this morning and looks in good shape,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, on Wednesday.

“I don’t think she’d want the ground very firm. Ten furlongs isn’t worrying us, because she’s got a good cruising speed, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned about that. We thought Sandown would suit her, actually.”

Sandown clerk of the course Andrew Cooper expects Enable’s trainer John Gosden to examine the track for himself, and hopes he will find the surface satisfactory.

“Hopefully it will be OK. I’m sure John (Gosden) will take a look over the next few days,” he said.

“Ultimately it’s his and the connections’ decision. We want to provide a safe, fair racing surface – and I think we’re on course to do that.”

Watering is taking place every day this week, in the absence of any rain.

“It’s been a question of how much water to put on,” added Cooper.

“The weather outlook seems very clear – dry and two quite hot days to come.

“It looks like Thursday and Friday are going to be in the mid-20s, Saturday possibly back to where we are today at around 21C-22C, but certainly no sign of any rain.

“There hasn’t been any rain in this area since the night of June 25. The ground officially is good to firm, good in places.

“We’ve watered every day this week. We left it alone over the weekend after watering towards the end of last week.

“It’s just a daily exercise at the moment to keep the going as it is or keep it in that sort of area. We’ve been putting on three to five millimetres a day to do that.

“We’ll be looking to do something similar on Thursday and probably overnight Friday into Saturday after racing on Friday.

“For summer Flat racing – with dry, hot weather – the reality is we are going to be at near good to firm for Saturday in my view. You can’t water enough to be better than that.

“You do your best to try to hold it at safe, fast, summer ground.”

Hughie Morrison has confirmed the participation of Dante winner Telecaster.

The colt looked set to play a major role in the Derby after being supplemented – but having raced keen early, he faded tamely to finish last of 13.

“We were very happy with him yesterday (Tuesday) – so unless there’s a late wobble, we will be there on Saturday,” said Morrison, counting down to a contest which forms part of the Qipco British Champions Series.

“Epsom probably came too soon for him, and the course was probably not to his liking. Hopefully we are not going back too soon. He is bursting with energy at home, so we thought we’d better run him.

“Will we get the horse which ran in the Dante on Saturday, or the one who ran in the Derby?

“He doesn’t give you any outward signs of the contrary. It’s pretty unnerving, and it would be easy to bottle it – but he looks well, is working well and opportunities like this do not come along very often, so off you go.”

Enable 'in good shape' for Eclipse return
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