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Enable goes one better than Frankel in record King George

ENABLE (GB) landed an unprecedented third victory in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot Racecourse this afternoon, advancing her total number of top flight wins to eleven, surpassing the tally of ten recorded by fellow Juddmonte star FRANKEL (GB).

Prince Khalid Abdullah’s homebred, who claimed the race both in 2017 and 2019, saw off her Ballydoyle rivals SOVEREIGN and JAPAN (GB) in convincing style under an emotional Frankie Dettori.

The six-year-old daughter of NATHANIEL (GB), who stands at Newsells Park Stud in Hertfordshire for a fee of £25,000, has been kept in training with John Gosden and will bid for a third Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp in October. She was denied victory in the final stages of last year’s race by WALDGEIST (GB), bred at Newsells Park.

Enable’s dam CONCENTRIC (GB) has a three-year-old Frankel filly named PORTRUSH (GB), also in training with John Gosden, who won nicely at Yarmouth Racecourse earlier this month. While it would be unfair to expect the same results as her record-breaking half-sister at this stage, connections are optimistic that she will earn at least black type status.

Simon Mockridge, Stud Director at Juddmonte Farms, expressed his joy following today’s triumph:

“It was another extraordinary ride by Frankie, who always knew that he had the bases covered, and another phenomenal training performance by John Gosden to have her in peak form.

“It is a great delight that she’s won today and become the first horse ever to win three King Georges. It’s another point of history for her.

“The win today means that she does surpass Frankel in winning eleven [Group One races] which is another milestone.”

Mockridge attributed the win to Prince Khalid, who chose to keep the mare in training for another year:

“It is testament to Prince Khalid keeping the mare in training as a six-year-old.

“It’s incredibly sporting of him, it’s wonderful for the sport to have a great race mare like her staying in training, so that younger generations can be judged against them; it’s the only way we can ever tell how good horses are over a period of time.”

The Juddmonte team were not able to witness Enable’s landmark win, but still supported from their Banstead Manor base:

“It was nice to watch her on television but there is something about being there and seeing her. She has this very magical way of moving around the parade ring and she’s incredibly serene. She is a massive presence.

“It was just so nice to see her looking so incredibly happy in her work.”

Enable is set to retire to stud at the end of this season and GBRI asked Mockridge whether any breeding plans had been drawn up:

“It’s a bit early to be making any decisions. The focus has, and the reasoning behind keeping her in training has, always been the Arc and Prince Khalid and the team made that very apparent from the onset.

“There are options and you would have to consider Kingman, who is absolutely flying at the moment. I imagine he will be high up on the list but that will need to be discussed with Prince Khalid; he is the decision maker.”

British Racing Welcomes Government Stage 5 Pilot Event at Goodwood Racecourse

Photo credit: Dominic James.

British Horseracing welcomes today’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announcement that a small number of sporting events, including horse racing, will be used to pilot the safe return of spectators through late July and early August.

The announcement also confirmed the horse racing pilot event will take place on 1st August at Goodwood Racecourse, as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

This is potentially an important step forward in the sporting economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the industry is grateful for the support of DCMS in selecting horseracing to be one of the sports to host a pilot event, two months after we returned safely behind closed doors.

The RCA-led Stage 5 industry working group have also worked tirelessly in recent weeks to enable this pilot event to take place, reflecting the unique characteristics of racecourses as outdoor sporting venues.

This event will be a pilot to implement new safety protocols developed by DCMS, the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and Racing to implement new safety protocols to allow elite sporting venues to welcome back spectators. An event for 5,000 people, plus participants, has been designed for the safety of all onsite. Attendance will initially be offered to Goodwood Racecourse Annual Members and their guests. The day will be carefully planned in conjunction with the local government and other relevant bodies to ensure that the event carries minimal risk to attendees and the local community.

The sport recognises the continued support of racehorse owners through this extremely challenging period and as part of the pilot, new initiatives which may increase the number of owners on course and increase the level of hospitality offered will be trialled.

For all racegoers attending the event, a code of conduct must be acknowledged and agreed in advance. This sets out expectations on the behaviour and actions of everyone involved to maintain hygiene levels and social distancing, as well as outlining the facilities and initiatives put in place by the racecourse to enable this. Further information will be published in due course.

Following the pilot event, the Stage 5 industry group will conduct a thorough debrief to understand which measures worked well and which require further refinement.

Whilst collectively we share the excitement of all involved in hosting this event, it will not be possible for all racecourses to immediately follow suit and welcome crowds. This will be subject to a successful debrief, finalising the extensive protocols involved and further permission granted from Government.

David Armstrong, RCA Chief Executive and Chair of the welcoming crowds industry group, commented:We welcome the fact that horseracing is to be selected as one of the pilot events to welcome back crowds and my team and I acknowledge the great responsibility upon us.

“The safety protocols involved will be stringent and the Goodwood Racecourse team are in a fantastic place to implement them. The sport has come together to offer support to ensure the pilot event provides us with sufficient learnings that others may follow in time. These learnings will allow us to draft industry-wide protocols fir the wider scale return of crowds as soon as we are able.

“Crowds bring a wonderful atmosphere to a raceday and many businesses associated with racecourses are reliant upon them. I sincerely hope that all involved enjoy their day— our focus now turns to supporting the Goodwood team in what is a landmark day for the sport.”

Adam Waterworth, Sport Managing Director at the Goodwood Estate, commented: “We are delighted that the Qatar Goodwood Festival has been selected as a pilot event for the return of crowds. It marks an important day for the sports industry following a few challenging months.

“Our Annual Members have continued to support us throughout, for which we are enormously grateful. It is therefore fantastic to offer them the opportunity to witness racing on The Downs again.

“The Goodwood team will ensure the racecourse adheres to Government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene. We hope that this will be the next step in ensuring crowds for future sporting events.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “For months millions of us have felt the void of being unable to go to the match to support our team or attend a top-class sporting event. So I am pleased that we are now able to move forward with a plan to help  venues safely reopen their doors to fans.

“I recognise that not every sport, team or club has the benefit of huge commercial revenue, and it is often their dedicated fans that are the lifeblood which helps keep them going. By working closely with sports and medical experts, these pilots will help ensure the safe return of fans to stadia.

“Although it will remain some time before venues are full to capacity, this is a major step in the right direction for the resumption of live spectator sport across the country.”

Oxted rounds off outstanding July Festival for Britain’s owner-breeders with dominant July Cup Success

Former Racehorse Owners Association Vice President Tony Hirschfield and Stephen Piper had cause to celebrate the dominant victory of OXTED (GB) in Saturday’s Group 1 July Cup not only in their capacity as co-owners with David Fish, but also as the horse’s breeders. 

 The pair bred the classy sprinter under the banner of Homecroft Wealth Racing at Hirschfield’s Cheval Court Stud in Surrey, which now operates as a dressage horse breeding operation after Hirschfield decided last year, at the age of 71, that the time had come to wind down his personal thoroughbred breeding interests.

 The result rounds off an outstanding week at Newmarket’s flagship summer festival for Britain’s owner-breeders: Thursday saw Her Majesty The Queen’s homebred TACTICAL (GB) win the Group 2 July Stakes and Hascombe & Valiant Stud homebred DAME MALLIOT (GB) land the Group 2 Princess’s of Wales’s Stakes, while on Friday NAZEEF (GB) came home best in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes for owner-breeder Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Stud.

 Oxted is the first foal out of CHARLOTTE ROSINA (GB), who won four times for the same connections, but whose career was cut short by injury. After a stint at Cheval Court Stud, Charlotte Rosina was sold to Tom Malone at last year’s Tattersalls Ascot November Sale for £45,000, a sum that now looks like a relative bargain.

 Oxted is the most successful flagbearer for his sire MAYSON (GB), who won the July Cup himself in 2012. Mayson stands at Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket alongside his damsire PIVOTAL (GB) for a fee of just £5,000 in 2020. 

 The mare returned to Mayson two seasons after her first visit, producing another colt. Now a two-year-old, CHIPSTEAD (GB) is also in training with Teal.

 Speaking with GBRI on Saturday afternoon, Hirschfield commented:

 “It’s nice to have a Group 1 winner at the end of your breeding life. He’s giving us a lot of fun and it’s nice for a small operation like ourselves, albeit we’ve bred some wonderful horses at Cheval Court Stud. 

 “I have a huge association with breeding. Such horses as CHACHAMAIDEE, SUPERSTAR LEO and ROYAL ARTIST (GB), I bred all of these with my partner Lester Piggott. 

 “I’m 72 years old now so I wound down Cheval Court Stud and now live abroad, but of course still bred Oxted, now a 4-year-old, and of course I have the full brother as well.

 “Chipstead is a 2-year-old was bred by myself and Steve Piper.  Again, we bred Chipstead at Cheval Court Stud. We named the horses Oxted and Chipstead for different reasons – Oxted is where I got married to my late wife, at Oxted which is next to Chipstead. Also, Oxted is where Steve Piper, my partner, has his office and Cheval Court Stud is at Chipstead. So we decided we’d call the yearling Chipstead.

 “We tended to race our fillies and sell our colts, but we decided to keep this colt and we kept Chipstead too as he was the last.”

 SCEPTICAL (GB), who finished 2nd in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes on his last start, claimed the runner-up spot once again in the July Cup, making it a British-bred 1-2 in the blue riband event. 

 

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