Enable not certain to take in York before historic third Arc bid

Brilliant mare could be freshened up before heading to France

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John Gosden expects Enable’s route to ParisLongchamp and a third crack at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October to become clearer in the coming days.

The five-year-old got the better of Crystal Ocean by a neck in an epic battle for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday – a race that will live long in the memory and saw her become only the third horse to win the midsummer showpiece twice.

Enable holds entries in both the Juddmonte International – which is sponsored by her owner, Khalid Abdullah – and the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at next month’s Ebor meeting at York.

However, Gosden is unsure whether to plot a direct course to France, as the daughter of Nathaniel attempts to become the first three-time Arc winner on October 6.

He told Racing TV’s Luck on Sunday programme: “She will tell us – she’s very expressive. She’ll tell us what she wants to do. We talked about it yesterday, (racing manager) Teddy Grimthorpe as well, whether we go to York or do we just go straight to the Arc.

“I think we will start making those decisions in the next week.

“She’s in both races – that would be a later decision. You’re training for the same meeting, so that makes it fairly easy.

“But I think the key thing is whether she goes to York at all, or whether we just do the other thing, freshen her up – she runs well fresh – and bring her up to the Arc without having taken any risks in going anywhere else.”

Gosden reported his multiple Group One winner to be in fine form following what appeared to be one of the toughest tests of her career to date.

He added: “She got back and ate all her feed up. She races more like an old pro now rather than the youthful exuberance of her three-year-old days – she’s a bit more measured in everything, I think.

“She seems in good order this (Sunday) morning. Mr (Frankie) Dettori came round and looked pretty tired actually – more tired than her!”

Gosden was also keen to pay tribute to Enable’s resilience, with the mare seemingly back to her very best after a troubled campaign last term.

He said: “As everyone knows, she’s come back from injuries and surgery last year and then a week’s sickness between her Kempton run and the Arc – she’s just shown such amazing mental strength, which is why I slightly alluded to the fifth set at Wimbledon and it’s 12 games all.

“It’s Djokovic, Federer, Nadal – these guys are so mentally strong and both she and Crystal Ocean have showed that. That is so much a component of what a great athlete is.”

Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe was in Deauville on Sunday, where he told Sky Sports Racing: “I think all being well we’d certainly look at York, both the Juddmonte and the Yorkshire Oaks, and see how she is and how she is in the next few weeks.

“It’s exactly three weeks, but that having been said it’s just over five weeks (after York) to the Arc, so the lead-up is almost perfect.”

He added: “It was a wonderful day in every way, especially for Prince Khalid and his family, and I always say to have a good race you need two very good horses and certainly Crystal Ocean and Enable were that.

“She’s a filly that’s got to be enjoyed, not just for Prince Khalid and Juddmonte, but also the wider racing fans have taken her to their hearts. She stirs the emotions.

“She’s so very special, she has a great mind and is easy to love.”

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