York is the next stop for Enable as she prepares for Paris in October
Duel with Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old filly Love seems on the cards
York racecourse — known as the Knavesmire where outlaw Dick Turpin was hanged in 1739 — is the next stop for star racemare Enable after her third King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory at Ascot at the weekend.
This will be Enable’s final appearance in the UK before she heads to France to try to win a record third Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp on October 4.
At Ascot, trainer John Gosden told reporters that Enable would run in either the Juddmonte International or Yorkshire Oaks. The four-day meeting kicks off on August 19.
“With Enable, it will be a ground decision which race she goes for. If they get the rain and if the ground is soft, which it certainly can be at York, I would happily run in the Juddmonte. If the ground is quick, I would prefer to go a mile and a half [Yorkshire Oaks],” said Gosden.
Reflecting on the King George, Gosden said: “She was quite imperious today — the race went perfectly. We were a little concerned the ground is pretty quick here and I’m always concerned when you get rain on quick ground that something might lose its hind legs on the bend, but luckily that didn’t happen.
“I find the responsibility quite enormous and it weighs heavily, but what a pleasure to be around a racemare like her.”
Frankie Dettori enthused: “It’s never been done before, three King Georges, and I’ve a bit of a lump in my throat. I’ve only got her for two more months and I’m a bit emotional.
“OK, it was only a three-runner King George but Japan is a top horse. But when I looked over my shoulder two furlongs out I was surprised he was so far back and off the bridle.
“We came so close in the Arc last year and, with this kind of performance, we’re still in with a shot in October.
“Enable touches my heart; I love her so much. She’s taken me to emotional feelings and heights other horses haven’t. I’m trying to enjoy her as much as all of us.”
Gosden is well aware that Aidan O’Brien’s filly Love will be a tough rival if the Oaks winner also heads for York. “She is a three-year-old and would get the weight there.”
Bookmaker reaction to Enable’s Ascot win was to trim her Arc odds to 3-1 from 7-2. Both Betfair and Paddy Power quote the two star females as co-favourites at 3-1.
The big question regarding the York meeting is whether racing fans will be allowed to attend. It is a possibility, because permission has been granted for 5,000 people to attend next Saturday’s meeting at Goodwood.
A York spokesperson said: “As government continues to ease lockdown restrictions, there remains the possibility the situation will change before the start of our meeting on August 19.”