Enable all set for eagerly-awaited Eclipse return

King George could be next on the agenda

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Enable is expected to be primed for action as she makes her seasonal bow in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

John Gosden has not rushed his star five-year-old back into action this term, so this will be her first outing since her stellar autumn last year, when she won a second Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe before adding Breeders’ Cup Turf success on her final start.

Connections have made no secret of their desire to challenge for a record third Arc win in October and while that is the ultimate aim, Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, insists that is not the reason for her belated return.

He said: “It wasn’t the fact that the Arc is her big target why we missed Ascot, it was more the fact we’ve had to wait for her to tell us that she was ready to run.

“Certainly her last few bits of work have said that.

“She beat Crystal Ocean first time out after a long break last year. It’s like everything, she’s got a campaign in front of her and it’s a question of balance.

“All being well, I’m sure John and Prince Khalid will be looking at the King George next.”

Magical was beaten just three-quarters of a length by Enable at Churchill Downs and has won three of her four starts this term, including the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

She finished second in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes last time out and is one of two runners for Aidan O’Brien along with outsider Hunting Horn.

O’Brien said: “She seems to be in good form. Obviously she only ran at Ascot and we haven’t done a lot with her since then, but she seems to be in good form.

“She’s run four times now this season and we’ve been very happy with each run. She ran a very good race at Ascot.

“We’ll take it one race at a time with her. It’s very possible she could have a break after this, but we’ll see how she is.

“We were going to give her a break after Ascot, but she came out of the race very well.

“With the autumn in mind she’s going to have to have a break sometime and it’s very possible it could be after this, but we’ll discuss that after the race.”

Sir Michael Stoute is also double-handed, with Brigadier Gerard winner Regal Reality and Lockinge scorer Mustashry.

Regal Reality won that Group Three over course and distance despite getting very worked up in the preliminaries, but Chris Richardson, managing director for owner Cheveley Park, is not overly worried about a repeat of that behaviour.

He said: “He had a ‘moment’ that evening, but things slightly went against him, as far as he was concerned. He’s a horse who likes routine and on that occasion he was being asked to come into the paddock at a moment there was a horse coming out, and it just upset his rhythm.

“If you change his routine at home, including on gallops, it can be the same, but he’s hugely talented and it did not affect him once the race got under way. He was impressive and Sir Michael is of the opinion that he deserves to take his chance.

“By all standards it’s a very competitive race against some significant opposition, but the horse is in great form and has performed positively at the track. I think moving up to a mile and a quarter suited him last time and I know Sir Michael feels it is going to be his advantage going forwards.”

Stoute said: “I think he’s just got to take the next step now. I’ve been happy with his home work. Physically he is going the right way. He’s got a bit to find off his rating, but I like the way he is progressing.

“He just can be a little erratic en route to the gate, but I think we have got on top of him. He is just being a bit cheeky.”

Mustashry steps back to 10 furlongs for the first time in a year, having raced at nine furlong or less so far this term.

The six-year-old won his first Group One in the Lockinge, but could not follow up in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“He came out (of Royal Ascot) very well. He disappointed me slightly. He wasn’t at his very best, didn’t seem to really fire but his weight loss was at a minimal. We’ve been happy with him,” said Stoute.

“He is very consistent in his home work – he’s a competitor, he loves doing what he does.”

Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “He’s only had one race over 10 and won it, they’ve always felt he’d stay further than a mile.

“Obviously we’re taking on the very best but something has to run against her. Michael has been happy with the horse since Ascot where he felt the ground was just a bit easy for him.

“He has always wanted a little bit further than a mile, he got away with it in the Lockinge as he’d had a run and the others hadn’t.

“Stepping up to a mile and a quarter should hopefully help him travel through the race a little better.

“He’s admirably tough and consistent and, as Michael said, he’s a six-year-old gelding so let’s have some fun.”

Should either Regal Reality or Mustashry triumph, Stoute would set a new record of seven wins after the triumphs of Opera House (1993), Ezzoud (1994), Pilsudski (1996), Medicean (2001), Notnowcato (2007) and Ulysses (2017).

Telecaster is on a retrieval mission for Hughie Morrison after disappointing in the Derby on his most recent outing.

He won the Dante Stakes at York on his penultimate outing and his trainer is hoping for a return to that kind of level in this race, which is part of the Qipco British Champions Series.

Morrison said: “He’s a horse who has got a lot of ability and we look forward to a good run – I just hope he turns up.

“He didn’t at Epsom and there was no reason to think that he wouldn’t, other than he had not had enough time to recover from a hard race 16 days before (in the Dante), as well as the fact that he was an immature horse who’d had three races in the spring. We had that doubt in our mind.

“Mentally, he’s always been strong-willed and he keeps himself fit, I think we knew that after winning his maiden (at Windsor). He never really did any serious work before the Derby, or after it.

“He obviously learnt a lot at Windsor, otherwise he would not have won the Dante the way he did.

“The weight-for-age concession is helpful, although we are a relatively immature three-year-old.

“I’m a huge admirer of Enable. She’s a fantastic mare and is fantastic for the sport. It’s great to be even considered for a race that she competes in.”

Enable all set for eagerly-awaited Eclipse return
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