Gutsy Ghaiyyath Eclipses Enable to land Sandown feature


Enable was rightly the talking horse heading into the Eclipse, but she was unable to make a winning return in the Sandown Group 1 as trailblazer Ghaiyyath failed to see another rival to land the prize.

Classy Buick Shines Bright

In truth, a lot of the plaudits have to go to William Buick, who provided Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old with the perfect ride. Race fit from a dominant victory at Newmarket in June, there were questions as to whether this test would come too soon for the tearaway front-runner.

Those doubts were silenced in empathic fashion, as Buick fired him out of the gates and was never in any real danger. He was pushed along at the three-furlong pole and although Japan and Enable did make some gains at that stage, he found plenty for pressure and the closers made no further progress in the final two furlongs.

It was a gutsy performance from a horse whose career has been very up and down. He’s always produced his best efforts fresh, but this run seemingly suggested that he was less reliant on needing such a gap between his races. It would fantastic if that were the case, as we may get round two in the King George at Ascot as a result.

Enable Left Flat-Footed

John Gosden was always honest with the public, saying that Enable was likely to need this run given her advancing years. Frankie Dettori never really looked happy on the wondermare, nudging along at the three-furlong pole and getting a limited response from a horse who is known for her sharp turn of foot.

She made slow progress when ridden firmly by Dettori, getting to Japan’s quarters but ultimately never looking a danger to the Godolphin-clad winner. Granted, she should come on plenty for that effort, but there’s a case to be made that even if she was at 100%, she may not have been able to head off Ghaiyyath in the closing stages over the ten-furlong distance.

Connections Can Be Optimistic

Ultimately, the Eclipse was never going to be a priority and is a stepping stone for bigger targets later in the season thanks to an interrupted preparation. Ten furlongs is hardly her best distance and she’ll shine brightest when she’s back up in trip for the likes of the King George at Ascot and her main goal, the Arc.

She’s readily available at 7/4 for the big race at Ascot, while she’s the second favourite for the Arc, splitting impressive Oaks winner Love and today’s conqueror Ghaiyyath.

Bookmakers have drastically cut Ghaiyyath to a general 5/2 for the King George, though that contest may come too soon for Appleby’s charge with the Arc not long after that either. It’s possible that we won’t see him again until the Arc in October, where he’ll be hoping to wipe the memory of 2019’s heavy defeat.

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