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Tough field threatens Enable's place in history

 

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Milestone man: Frankie Dettori will lead landmark charge

Milestone man: Frankie Dettori will lead landmark charge

Milestone man: Frankie Dettori will lead landmark charge

Enable will face a maximum of seven rivals when she bids to become the first three-time winner of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

John Gosden's brilliant mare was just denied in her bid for an historic third consecutive victory in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at the end of last season, filling the runner-up spot behind Waldgeist to end her sequence of 12 straight victories.

Less than a fortnight later, Enable's owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah delighted racing fans by confirming his charge would stay in training as a six-year-old - with a return to Paris in the autumn top of the agenda.

The daughter of Nathaniel had to make do with the runner-up spot behind Ghaiyyath when bidding for back-to-back victories in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on her return to action earlier in the month.

However, Enable will be the hot favourite to make history under Frankie Dettori this weekend, having blown her rivals away as a three-year-old in 2017 and coming out on top in an epic duel with Crystal Ocean in last year's renewal.

Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: "We're very happy with Enable. Everything has been straightforward since the Eclipse and we think she's come on for that run.

"We're looking forward to Saturday."

Gosden has also entered his Hardwicke Stakes heroine Fanny Logan, while the other six contenders are all trained by Aidan O'Brien, with both trainers bidding to claim the prestigious prize for a fifth time.

Reacting to the entries, Grimthorpe added: "It is what it is. These big races are not supposed to be easy to win.

"It's not going to be a very big field, obviously, but there are only so many horses at that level.

"It's a shame there's no three-year-old in the race, but we're just concentrating on our ourselves and Enable seems in good shape."

The two chief hopes for Ballydoyle appear to be Magical and Japan.

Magical was last seen claiming her fifth victory at Group One level in the Pretty Polly Stakes, but has proved no match for Enable on a number of occasions in the past.

Meanwhile, Dubious Affair ensured trainer Charlie Fellowes enjoyed a day to savour both at home and abroad with a tenacious success in the British Stallion Studs EBF/bet365 Fillies' Handicap at Newbury.

Having struck at Chantilly with Onassis in the Listed Prix de Bagatelle, the Newmarket handler celebrated further glory after the Frankel filly defied a 6lb rise for her last time out victory at Doncaster to complete a four-timer.

Demonstrating that stamina is very much her forte, the 9-2 shot wore down Kepala before going on to score by a short-head.

Belfast Telegraph