Enable dazzles on her return in Coral-Eclipse at Sandown
6 Jul 2019
Fabulous mare makes light of an eight-month absence and chalks up her eighth Group One success.
Dettori salutes as Enable clinches the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. Picture: Ian Headington/Racingfotos.com
Enable raised the roof as she made a superb seasonal debut in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
The John Gosden-trained mare became only the third of her sex to win the mile-and-a-quarter QIPCO British Champions Series showpiece, after Pebbles (1985) and Kooyonga (1992) – and did it in style as she registered her eighth Group One triumph.
Frankie Dettori had the 4-6 favourite in the ideal pitch in second place behind the Aidan-O’Brien-trained Hunting Horn, before asking the four-time Series heroine to go and win her race.
Though it was her first start since the Breeders’ Cup, she had the class to overcome any race-rustiness and defeat her old rival Magical, from the O’Brien team, by three-quarters of a length. Regal Reality was two lengths back in third.
Gosden, winning the race for the fourth time, said: “It’s been a long preparation, she’s only started coming to herself the last two weeks and quite frankly she’s come here at 85 per cent (fit), maybe 90.
“The last furlong I was concerned and I told Frankie if she gets tired you look after her. This is not a prep, it’s an Eclipse, but it’s a prep for the rest of the year. I couldn’t be more thrilled with her. The King George next is the plan.”
He added: “She is better over a mile and a half. This time Hunting Horn was a friend to her and set a nice even pace. We just sat there and Frankie, when he pressed the button one and a half out, put the race to bed.
“There was a magnificent mare in second and they say a filly hasn’t won this since Kooyonga, well you had a one-two there and that tells you a lot about Magical as well as her. They meet again and I’m sure they will meet again in the King George.
“She is a filly that we can hopefully get to the King George, York (Juddmonte International) and Longchamp (Arc). It has always been the plan, those four races, so this has been a good start.”
A jubilant Dettori said: “What a great filly. All of us put so much work into it and she has slowly come these last 10 days. She has been flying up the gallops.
“In the back of our mind we were very confident, but the race will bring her on. I’m as ecstatic as I was when I won my first race on her. She is a superstar and she is unbelievable now with the Eclipse on top.
“You wouldn’t get this reception in a football game. I can’t hear myself talk at the moment. It’s amazing.
“She’s special and she touches me. When she comes racing the lights come on. I love her so much. She’s the queen of racing.”
O’Brien was magnanimous in defeat and said of Magical: “She ran a great race. We might give her a little rest now.
“We wanted to give her a rest after Ascot, but she came out of Ascot very well and we just decided to let her take her chance here. We’ll bring her back for the autumn.
“Enable is a great filly, beautifully trained, beautifully bred, beautifully ridden. It’s a privilege to be here to see her.”