Enable looks set to miss the chance to win a historic third Yorkshire Oaks, as connections favour a trip to Kempton for their wondermare.
Change of direction
Originally looking set to clash with one of the other Arc favourites, Love, on the Knavesmire, she will instead head to Kempton for the Group 3 September Stakes on September 5th. It also means that Enable will miss the chance to become the first horse to win the Yorkshire Oaks three times.
John Gosden’s star mare returned this season with a second-place in the Coral-Eclipse but quickly bounced back to her superlative best to record a record-breaking third win in the King George at Ascot.
Explaining the decision, Teddy Grimthorpe said: “There’s lots of reasons. We’re looking at the Arc as the main objective and she’s six years old now, we know she loves the Knavesmire but she’s done well from the September Stakes as well and we thought that would be a way of getting her to the Arc in the best possible shape.”
A familiar route
This isn’t the first time that Enable has used Kempton, and namely the September Stakes, as a preparation for the Arc. For her first tilt at the historic contest in 2017, she had a long preparation, with her final run coming in the Yorkshire Oaks. Twelve months later, it would be Kempton that did the honours. She defeated none other than Crystal Ocean in convincing fashion despite having to set her own fractions.
That would be her only run prior to the Arc in 2018, but it didn’t stop her from repelling a late surge from Sea Of Class to claim a second victory in the contest. 2019 saw her return to the Knavesmire route, as she defeated Magical prior to a gutwrenching defeat to a fast-finishing Waldgeist in awful conditions.
2020 has been an unconventional year, but she’s still been able to get in a strong and familiar preparation. She was never going to excel on return at Sandown, especially over ten furlongs. As we all know, she proved the doubters wrong just twenty days later, as she used the King George as an exercise gallop.
A third Arc?
Enable has faced some incredible challenges in her three Arc bids, but this is likely her toughest to date. Love, who has impressed with two Classic demolitions in 2020, is a completely unexposed commodity. She was racing over twelve furlongs for the first time when pulverising the Oaks field at Epsom and there is no telling just how good she could be.
There is very little to separate Love and Enable in the antepost market, with the pair being a general 3/1. Ghaiyyath will be waiting in the wings if either slips up, with Stradivarius potentially adding another variable into an already incredible field.