The Guardian
3 minute read
20 Nov 2018
9:46 am

Enable stays in training

The Guardian

Winx, Enable clash at Royal Ascot being mooted again.

NEW RIDER. Frankie Dettori has also been chosen to replace the suspended Damien Oliver (pictured) on last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Almandin.

Frankie Dettori has ex-pressed his joy at the news star filly Enable will remain in training next year.

The Italian jockey, whose astute riding helped her to an emphatic success in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe eight days ago, received the news yesterday morning a er dropping in to see her at John Gosden’s stable in Newmarket.

“Obviously, I’m delighted,” said Dettori, who also offered his thanks for the decision to her owner, Khalid Abdullah. “I gave her a few Polos this morning and said hello and I was told then.

To me, she’s the filly of a lifetime, so of course I’m made up. What she’s done this year has been phenomenal. Everyone who likes racing wants to see her again next year, so it’s great news.”

Asked if Enable, an improver since making her racing debut less than a year ago, could develop into an even better horse next year, Dettori laughed and replied: “All she has to do is be the same.”

From a low-profile beginning, Enable became Europe’s standout Flat racehorse of 2017, winning five top-class races in succession from the Oaks in June to the Arc four months later.

Having been beaten in a £10,000 race at New-bury in April, she is now the winner of £3.8m (R68.33 million) and is rated within 1kg of the best fillies to have raced since the second world war by the respected Time-form organisation.

Those close to Enable wanted to take a week after her Arc success before reaching a decision about her future and she could have been retired to her owner’s Newmarket stud if she had shown signs that her busy year had taken a significant toll on her.

However, Gosden reported on Friday that she had taken her French race so well that she was already “bucking and squealing”, so another full campaign in 2018 seems on the cards for a horse who has so far appeared robust.

“Prince Khalid bin Abdullah is pleased to announce that Enable will stay in training for 2018,” read statement.

“Her racing program will be decided in the new year but the defence of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will be high in consideration.”

Among those to cheer the news was Timeform’s Flat-racing editor, David Johnson, whose thoughts quickly turned to the possibility of a clash between Enable and Winx, the Australian mare who has won her last 21 races, amassing £7.3m in prize money.

Her jockey, Hugh Bowman, who has had plenty of experience of riding in Britain, recently voiced his support for the idea of bringing Winx to Royal Ascot next year, possibly for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

“You would think the Prince of Wales would be the target for Enable at Royal Ascot,” Johnson said.

“She’s surely not going to drop down into Group 2 company for the Hardwicke. But then there would be that slight question mark, is she definitely quick enough for the shorter distance?

“I think home advantage would give Enable an edge but in ratings terms we’ve not got anything be-tween them. I imagine Frankie would make his move first and then Hugh Bowman would deliver Winx last of all, judging by the way she’s been ridden. So maybe Frankie would steal it from the front? We’ve seen that before, haven’t we?”

While Johnson will be pleased to see more of Enable, he noted that top-class three-year-old fillies have generally found it hard to improve their peak ratings the following year.

“If we end up having this chat in 12 months’ time and we’re saying Enable has been rated the same as this year, that means we’ll have seen some special performances, or at least one, anyway.”

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