Enable set to face Ballydoyle battalion in King George

Maximum of seven rivals for superstar mare at Ascot – with six from O’Brien.

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Enable will face a maximum of seven rivals when she bids to become the first three-time winner of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

John Gosden’s brilliant mare was just denied in her bid for an historic third consecutive victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at the end of last season, filling the runner-up spot behind Waldgeist to end her sequence of 12 straight victories.

Less than a fortnight later, Enable’s owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah delighted racing fans by confirming his charge would stay in training as a six-year-old – with a return to Paris in the autumn top of the agenda.

The daughter of Nathaniel had to make do with the runner-up spot behind Ghaiyyath when bidding for back-to-back victories in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on her return to action earlier in the month.

However, Enable will be the hot favourite to make history under Frankie Dettori this weekend, having blown her rivals away as a three-year-old in 2017 and coming out on top in an epic duel with Crystal Ocean in last year’s renewal.

Abdullah’s racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, said: “We’re very happy with Enable. Everything has been straightforward since the Eclipse and we think she’s come on for that run.

“We’re looking forward to Saturday.”

Gosden has also entered his Hardwicke Stakes heroine Fanny Logan, while the other six contenders are all trained by Aidan O’Brien, with both trainers bidding to claim the prestigious prize for a fifth time.

Reacting to the entries, Grimthorpe added: “It is what it is. These big races are not supposed to be easy to win.

“It’s not going to be a very big field, obviously, but there are only so many horses at that level.

“It’s a shame there’s no three-year-old in the race, but we’re just concentrating on our ourselves and Enable seems in good shape.”

The two chief hopes for Ballydoyle appear to be Magical and Japan.

Magical was last seen claiming her fifth victory at Group One level in the Pretty Polly Stakes, but has proved no match for Enable on a number of occasions in the past.

Japan was a little disappointing on his first start of 2020 in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but raised his game to finish only a head behind Gosden’s superstar mare when third in the Eclipse.

O’Brien has also entered Anthony Van Dyck and Sovereign – winners of the Investec Derby at Epsom and the Irish Derby respectively last season – as well as Eclipse fourth Magic Wand and Sir Dragonet.

Enable set to face Ballydoyle battalion in King George

Ascot 15:35, 25 July 2020

Ascot 15:35, 25 July 2020

Finished 3 of 3 @ 5/2

disputing 2nd early, held up 3rd after, ridden over 2f out, soon edged left, edged right over 1f out, no impression, well beaten 3rd inside final furlong, eased

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