Enable and Magical to thrill in Yorkshire Oaks clash
Pundits expect the dual Arc De Triomphe winner to maintain her unbeaten run this season unless Magical’s trainers change tactics
Enable — the queen of European racing — will draw a bumper crowd to York on Thursday where she takes on just three rivals in the grade 1 Yorkshire Oaks.
Fittingly, the second day of the Knavesmire meeting is “ladies day” and most pundits expect the dual Arc De Triomphe winner to maintain her unbeaten run this season. Bookmakers quote John Gosden’s filly at 2-7 easing slightly from her price of 1-5 on Monday.
So is there a possibility of Enable tasting defeat? Yes, says the UK’s Sporting Life website, but only if there is a change of tactics by the Aidan O’Brien camp regarding 7-2 second favourite Magical.
The website stated: “The Magical team have to try something different and a more aggressive ride could be one way of going about it. Perhaps that will help her get in front of Enable as we get towards the home straight. We haven’t seen Magical head Enable yet, but getting first run on her could offer the favourite a new challenge.
“Also, the break since the Coral-Eclipse might well help Magical reverse the form given Enable has had that famous King George dust-up with Crystal Ocean. While that was happening the Ballydoyle filly had her feet up.”
The winner’s purse on Thursday is £241,000 and the race is due off at 4.35pm SA time.
Local racing on Thursday is at the Vaal and trainer Ashley Fortune and apprentice Tejash Juglall, who sprang a surprise with Black Tie at Turffontein on Tuesday, will be looking to the filly Before The Dawn to make a winning handicap debut in the eighth race.
There was lots to like about the Oratorio filly’s recent three lengths maiden win and the only worry is that she is taking on her elders on Thursday afternoon.
The pick of Before The Dawn’s rivals could be five-year-old Queen Of War, who has finished runner-up in two of her last three starts. Phillydelphia and Claremorris also rate chances in this 1,000m sprint.
Ryan Munger, eighth in last season’s jockey log with 127 winners, will be looking to better that total in the new campaign and he should go close on Stephen Moffatt’s runner, Smiley River, in the first leg of the jackpot.
A daughter of successful sire Pomodiro, Smiley River started a 55-1 outsider on her first run but finished a creditable fourth behind Princess Nicole.
The Azzie stable is represented by Readysetglo who is a year older than Smiley River and has two recent seconds to her name. The grey daughter of Traffic Guard warrants inclusion in all exotic bets.
Muzi Yeni partners Anagram for the Lucky Houdalakis stable in this race and the filly bred by the Wilgerbosdrift/ Mauritzfontein operation, has scope for improvement after just three runs.
Aussie-bred four year-old Waqaas makes plenty of appeal in the sixth race as the gelding hasn’t been far away in his last five outings. He is reunited with jockey Diego De Gouveia who has ridden him three times before.
Without question, the bet of the day is Perfect Light, who looks to have been let in on a lenient mark in the seventh race.
1st Race: (6) Therecanbeonlyone (1) Laconia (2) Shezahotti (4) One Dollar Massage
2nd Race: (5) Empress Rock (4) Passion Peach (1) Seneca Falls (2) Serendipity
3rd Race: (4) Brightnumberten (3) Artemisia (1) Golden Lion (6) Pidgeon Rock
4th Race: (4) Waltzing Al (6) Earth Shaker (1) Tiki Taka (5) Stop For Nothing
5th Race: (10) Smiley River (1) Readysetglo (4) Anagram (6) Luscious Locks
6th Race: (3) Waqaas (7) Revelation (8) Grindelwald (10) Ryder
7th Race: (6) Perfect Light (1) Destinys Game (2) Tombola (3) Angelic Appeal
8th Race: (3) Before The Dawn (5) Queen Of War (7) Phillydelphia (6) Claremorris
9th Race: (8) Touch Of Fate (2) Sunburst (1) Pure Wisdom (7) Anatolio