Brilliant Enable takes Coral-Eclipse on her seasonal bow

John Gosden’s superstar mare has too much for Aidan O’Brien’s Magical at Sandown

Frankie Dettori and Enable took the Eclipse at Sandown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Frankie Dettori and Enable took the Eclipse at Sandown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

 

Enable showed her brilliance as she made a superb seasonal debut in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

The John Gosden-trained mare became only the third of her sex to win the mile-and-a-quarter showpiece, after Pebbles (1985) and Kooyonga (1992) — and did it in style as she registered her eighth Group One triumph.

Frankie Dettori had the 4-6 favourite in the ideal pitch in second place behind the Aidan-O’Brien-trained Hunting Horn, before asking the dual Prix de ‘Arc de Triomphe heroine to go and win her race.

Though it was her first start since the Breeders’ Cup, she had the class to overcome any race-rustiness and defeat her old rival Magical, from the O’Brien team, by three-quarters of a length. Regal Reality was two lengths back in third.

Gosden, winning the race for the fourth time, said: “It’s been a long preparation, she’s only started coming to herself the last two weeks and quite frankly she’s come here at 85 per cent (fit), maybe 90.

“The last furlong I was concerned and I told Frankie if she gets tired you look after her. This is not a prep, it’s an Eclipse, but it’s a prep for the rest of the year.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with her.

“Frankie wanted to be where he was and she is an exceptional athlete — to come from an eight-month lay-off to win an Eclipse is not an easy thing.

“We didn’t go for racecourse gallops. We trained her at home and she’s done it all herself.

Frankie Dettori and Enable saw off Aidan O’Brien’s Magical at Sandown. Photograph: Julian Herbert/PA
Frankie Dettori and Enable saw off Aidan O’Brien’s Magical at Sandown. Photograph: Julian Herbert/PA

“The King George next is the plan.”

A jubilant Dettori, who was once again in flying dismount form, said: “Drawn eight I had the best spot and I didn’t have to panic and it went exactly how I thought it would.

“She is uncomplicated, as you know. It was actually funny — as we turned for home she grabbed the bit and wanted to go, but I said, ‘wait a little bit, let’s just get to the two (furlong pole) first’.

“She quickened and put the race to bed. She was entitled to get a little bit tired near the end. What a great filly. All of us put so much work into it and she has slowly come these last 10 days. She has been flying up the gallops.

“In the back of our mind we were very confident, but the race will bring her on.

I’m as ecstatic as I was when I won my first race on her. She is a superstar and she is unbelievable now with the Eclipse on top.

“I think I was the last one off the bridle and she has so many gears and has got that unbelievable will to win. She has got size and scope, and she’s got the stride.

“You wouldn’t get this reception in a football game. I can’t hear myself talk at the moment. It’s amazing.

“She’s special and she touches me. When she comes racing the lights come on.

“I love her so much. She’s the queen of racing.”

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