Enable powers to Ascot glory
Dual Oaks heroine Enable upstaged the colts and older horses with a brilliant performance to win the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Taken into the lead two furlongs out by Frankie Dettori – who had wasted down to do the weight of 8st 7lb on the John Gosden-trained filly – the 5-4 favourite smashed the opposition in real style.
Sir Michael Stoute's Eclipse victor Ulysses did his best to close as the rain poured down, but Enable was far too strong in the Qipco-sponsored mile-and-a-half showpiece, scoring by four and a half lengths. Idaho was third for Aidan O'Brien.
Dettori said: "I lost 7lb in six days, but it was worth it. She is a superstar.
"It means a lot to me, I missed the whole of Royal Ascot (with injury) and to come back to the place I love so much, it's great.
"She's as good as I've ridden, to win the King George by four lengths – she is the real deal and I love her so much.
"I'll have a big dinner tonight, that's for sure!"
Gosden said: "The facts show she can do it on any ground.
"Frankie was bold. She breaks well and is very business like.
"It wasn't the plan to be that close, but she was getting weight from the older horses.
"I thought Ulysses made a brave run at her and I thought Maverick Wave did a beautiful job pacemaking. All in all she's as good a filly as I've ever trained – Taghrooda was brilliant to win this and she's following Dahlia and Pawneese.
"I've always planned the Yorkshire Oaks, then pause, stop and think – no trials and then possibly the one in Paris (Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe) ."
He added: "Frankie has worked hard, the hunger is still there which is wonderful at his age."
Dettori went on: "Now she's proved she can match up with older horses and she goes on any ground. I haven't had a feel like that since Golden Horn. She's very good."
Referring to his injury lay-off, he said: "The doctor said three months and I came back in five weeks, that's the key – you need something to push you, she's worth it and full credit to everyone who has looked after me. But all the credit goes to Enable."
Gosden said he had always felt Enable's best trip would be a mile and a half, and had been far from disappointed when she was beaten by smart stablemate Shutter Speed earlier in the season.
He explained: "We always loved her and felt that would be her best trip, which it has been. The other filly (Shutter Speed) is a mile, mile and a quarter filly.
"In fairness Shutter Speed had the run of the race that day and Enable did get slightly caught in a pocket, but she finished very strongly and was just learning. It was her first run on turf.
"I envisaged her being a nice horse – did I think she would win two Oaks and a King George? Probably not, because no trainer believes that, otherwise we'd make a fool of ourselves.
"I think the Arc is a natural progression. If she's in good order we'll go for the Yorkshire Oaks, then we'll take a nice pause.
"No preps or things, maybe a racecourse gallop and then the Arc."
Stoute said of the gallant Ulysses: "I am delighted with him. We like him on better ground, but we were beaten by a very good filly.
"He is very versatile, really. He gets a mile and a half no problem and we have to be very pleased.
"We will have to do a bit of thinking now. We can do 10 (furlongs), we can do 12 and we don't have to worry about soft ground, although he will be better on a faster surface.
"We have choices. I will look at him and see how he takes it."
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