ENABLE (GB) registered a ninth Group 1 victory following a pulse-chasing tussle with fellow British-bred runner CRYSTAL OCEAN (GB) in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
In an epic encounter which will live long in the memory, the dual Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine once again stole the show to confirm her status as the undisputed queen of worldwide Flat racing.
Owned and bred by Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms Stud operation, Enable had to work seriously hard to get the better of Crystal Ocean, who emerged a terrifically game nemesis.
There was nothing between the protagonists until late in the piece, when Frankie Dettori’s partner, who also won the King George in 2017, eventually got on top by a neck.Fellow British-bred entire WALDGEIST (GB) finished third, a further length and three-quarters away from Enable.
Jockey Frankie Dettori said:
“I’m exhausted, emotionally. Wow! She’s very good but she’s also very brave. She’s brilliant. It was a fantastic horse-race.
“What hasn’t she won? She has such a will to win. We’re on the road to Longchamp now.
“She’s extraordinary. She’s an amazing horse, in every way. She gives me emotion that no ever horse has given to me in her entire life. I love her.”
Enable, trained by John Gosden, is a five-year-old daughter of NATHANIEL, who is based at Newsells Park Stud in Hertfordshire.
She is now unbeaten in 11 races and is next month likely to head to York, where she is entered in the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks and the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes, before she bids for an unprecedented third Arc triumph at Paris-Longchamp.
Her dam, CONCENTRIC (GB), was also a Juddmonte homebred who has produced a four-year-old half-brother CENTROID (GB), who won on debut last August for Dermot Weld.
A three-year-old half-sister, ENTITLE (GB), has made four starts for Gosden and was last seen running in the Group 1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly in June.
Trainer John Gosden said:
“She’s everything you want – she has a great mind.
“What a great battle with Crystal Ocean. It’s what you wanted to see – he headed her and she came back; two great athletes. They’ve put up a great King George.
“We’ll just play with her now. We’ll quietly let her come along the next 10 days and we’ll make a decision where we want to go with her.
“She is slightly pencilled in to go to York, which is a nice six weeks before the Arc.
“We’re incredibly lucky to train this horse. She’s very much the people’s mare.
“But it’s all about Prince Khalid. It’s all down to him. He bred her and has had the courage to keep her in training at a five-year-old.”
STAR CATCHER (GB) provided British owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer with another huge winner after she led from pillar to post in the Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
Oppenheimer – of GOLDEN HORN (GB) and CRACKSMAN (GB) fame – bred the John Gosden-trained daughter of SEA THE STARS at his Hascombe and Valiant Studs, in Newmarket.
And she did not let the side down on her foray to Ireland, having made all the running to readily defeat FLEETING by half a length under the white-hot Frankie Dettori.
Gosden’s inmate was following in the hoofprints of last year’s heroine SEA OF CLASS and the mighty ENABLE (GB), who did the business in 2017.
Star Catcher was on Tuesday supplemented into the Group 1 Classic at a cost of 40,000 euro, having won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Jockey Frankie Dettori said:
“The filly has done nothing but improve. We knew she was good enough to do herself justice, so it was a good effort.
“It was a matter of getting the fractions right. She (Fleeting) came to me, but, in fairness, I could have gone a little bit further and she would never have passed me.
“We put our neck on the block in supplementing her, but we thought she was good enough.”
Star Catcher’s late dam, LYNNWOOD CHASE, has been a most influential asset for Oppenheimer and Hascombe and Valiant Studs, having produced four winners to date.
Oppenheimer’s new star is a half-sister to Grade 1 Canadian International, Royal Ascot scorer CANNOCK CHASE and the Group 2-winning PISCO SOUR.
Lynnwood Chase also has a two-year-old filly by KINGMAN (GB) – named MAURIMO (GB) – who is training with Roger Charlton, a yearling filly by FRANKEL (GB) and a colt foal by TIME TEST (GB).
Trainer John Gosden said:
“When I suggested to Mr Oppenheimer (about supplementing Star Catcher), he was very brave and said, ‘Go for it, if you think it’s right’, so he gave me full support.
“She’s a lovely filly and she’s really done well since Royal Ascot. It just seemed an obvious thing to come here.
“She’s out of a good mare and is by Sea The Stars, who, to me, is a phenomenally good stallion.
“This is a mile-and-a-half filly. Maybe, later in the year, the Prix Royallieu or the Prix Vermeille could be options.”
JAPAN (GB) on Sunday registered a first Group 1 triumph in his upwardly mobile career by taking top spot in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt added to his gains from the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot with a half-length defeat of Slalom in the hands of Ryan Moore.
Japan, who finished third in the Derby at Epsom, is a son of GALILEO and was bred at Dr Andreas Jacobs’ Newsells Park Stud, in Hertfordshire.
He was bought by the Coolmore operation for 1.3million guineas at Book 1 of the 2017 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
Japan’s prolific and much-in-demand dam, SHASTYE, has produced five winners, including 2013 Investec Oaks runner-up SECRET GESTURE (GB) and the Group 3-winning SIR ISAAC NEWTON, who also claimed the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot three years ago.
Newsells Park Stud continue to reap the rewards from sending Shastye to Galileo, with two-year-old colt MOGUL (GB) bought by Coolmore for 3.4m guineas at Book 1 of the 2018 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien said of Japan:
“We’re very happy with him. We thought that the pace might not be strong, so Ryan rode him more prominently – it panned out well.
“We’ve rushed him a little bit from race to race. We’ll look to give him a little break before a prep for the Arc, or perhaps run in the Irish Champion Stakes.
“Hopefully he comes out of this well and the Arc is something to look forward to.”
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