The wait is almost over. John Gosden’s Enable, last year’s outstanding middle-distance performer, is finally set to return to action following a frustrating 11-month absence with Saturday’s Group 3 188Bet September Stakes at Kempton (2.05) the scene of her first start of the campaign.
A clash with the high-class colt Crystal Ocean, winner of this term’s Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes and runner-up in the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July, should really test the daughter of Nathaniel, who won last year’s ‘King George’ as well as the English, Irish, and Yorkshire Oaks, and of course, that stunning success at the end of last term in Europe’s premier middle distance contest, the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the target once again for the Khalid Abdullah-owned star, as well as for her main rival on Saturday.
Frankie Dettori, who partnered the four-year-old to all six successes in 2017, is back on board the star filly, but Ryan Moore, who usually teams up with Crystal Ocean is in action at Haydock tomorrow, so David Probert gets a huge chance to shine on the colt officially rated 1lb superior to Enable. However, with her filly’s allowance, and having no seasonal penalties to carry, Gosden filly receives a whopping 8lb so has plenty in her favour, but she will still need to be pretty sharp if she is to see of the race-fit Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt.
“It’s a fantastic ride to pick up, and I can’t thank him [Sir Michael] enough for giving me the opportunity,” enthused Probert. “I kind of knew I was in line for the ride, but it wasn’t until Thursday morning that it was confirmed and obviously I was delighted.”
“Crystal Ocean is a very nice horse – a top-level performer. He ran a very good race in the King George [when runner-up to Poet’s Word] and has been running consistently well all year. We’re taking on the filly, who is getting 8lb, but he has got to have a big chance.”
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.