‘We will see how we want to play it’: Trainer John Gosden admits he has choice to make over handing Enable a break following stunning win in King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
- Enable and Frankie Dettori won the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
- Trainer John Gosden yet to decide if to run at York’s Ebor meeting or Longchamp
- Enable will be monitored before deciding whether to hand her a longer break
John Gosden is likely to decide this week whether Enable will run at York’s Ebor meeting next month or go direct to Longchamp in October for her attempt to become the first three-time winner of the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
Running at the Knavesmire in either the Yorkshire Oaks or the International Stakes had been the original plan for the mare.
But after Saturday’s dramatic defeat of Crystal Ocean in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot – a tussle Gosden described as ‘epic’ – he could hand Enable, who won the Eclipse Stakes on her seasonal comeback, a break before the most important race of her season in Paris.
Enable and Frankie Dettori rode to victory at King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Gosden said: ‘I don’t think a hard race like that will leave a mark on her but we will monitor her over the next few days and we will see how we want to play it.
‘She has now won an Eclipse Stakes and King George so we don’t have to go (to York) there unless it is in her interests to do so. Everyone knows she was kept in training to try to win a third Arc. That has never been done before and it has always been the focus of the whole season.
‘It is why we deliberately did not start her off until July. It is just over three weeks to York so if it fits, it fits. But if we think it is better to wait and freshen her and bringing her back up for Longchamp then we will do that.
‘I need to be making a decision by the time we get through Goodwood. If you are going for York, you are going for York but looking at Longchamp in the first week of October is a totally different programme.’
Trainer John Gosden admitted he has to decide soon what race comes next for Enable
Gosden added that the fact Khaled Abdullah sponsors the International Stakes would have no bearing on decisions.
The trainer said: ‘It would be nice to (run in the International) but that would be the tail wagging the dog. We will be influenced by that one little bit. Prince Khaled would want what is right for the filly and that is all he would care about.’
Saturday’s King George lived up to expectations and more. Enable’s titanic battle with equally courageous Crystal Ocean justifiably drew comparisons with the 1975 King George when Derby winner Grundy beat Bustino.
In both races, pacesetters set a frenetic early pace before the heavyweight contenders step forward home straight slug-fest.
What may well be at the back of Gosden’s mind when he considers his next move is that neither Grundy or Bustino won another race after their Ascot dust-up so allowing Enable a chance to charge her batteries might look the wisest move.
Dettori appeared emotionally and physically exhausted after sealing a thrilling triumph
Enable’s jockey Frankie Dettori certainly looked emotionally and physically drained on Saturday. His sixth King George success was his ninth group one win of the season. Dettori needs one more to make 2019 his best season for top level wins since 2007 when he won 11.
Dettori has three more excellent group one chances this week at Glorious Goodwood with Stravinsky in Tuesday’s Goodwood Cup, Too Darn Hot in Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes and Mehdaayih in Thursday’s Nassau Stakes.
If they all go in there will be speculation whether the 48-year-old Italian can get near his tally of 16 group-one successes in 2001.
Meanwhile, another great mare took centre stage when Karl Burke-trained Laurens galloped her rivals into the ground in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville under jockey PJ McDonald.
After two defeats this season, owner John Dance had apparently been questioning the wisdom of keeping four-year-old Laurens in training but she now has six group one wins on her record with the chances of more to come.
Laurens dominated her rivals to storm to victory in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville
Roaring Lion, who won four group one races for Gosden including the International Stakes, has undergone an emergency colic operation while carrying out stallion duties in New Zealand.