Dubai: Frankie Dettori described Enable as his “favourite girl’ after riding John Gosden’s wonder mare into the history books as the first horse to win three runnings of the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, one of Britain’s most prestigious races, at Ascot on Saturday evening.
Only three runners faced the starter at the gates for the 2,400 metre contest, with Irish raiders Japan and Sovereign being the only rivals who dared to test Enable’s credentials as one of the greatest middle-distances horses in Europe, if not the world.
But once the three-horse field turned for home with William Buick and Sovereign, the 2019 Irish Derby hero, at the head of proceedings it was clear that Enable was moving smoothest of the group powered by her extraordinary gears.
As Buick asked Sovereign for her effort, Dettori shook his reins at Enable, a dual winner of the King George and Prix de l’Arc d’Triomphe, and the response was electrifying.
The six-year-old daughter of Nathaniel simply devoured the rain-damped ground at Ascot at stretched out in majestic fashion to win as she liked, leaving Sovereign five-and-a-half lengths back as Japan, who finished behind the winner in last year’s Arc and the Eclipse more recently, a distant 11 lengths further back.
It was an incredible 11th Group 1 victory for Enable and set her up perfectly to bid for a third Arc trophy following wins in 2017 and 2018.
Dettori, who joined Lester Piggot as only jockeys to win the King George on seven occasions, told Racing TV, UK: “She’s unbelievable. John has done an unbelievable job to keep her going. Three King George’s has never been done before, and now we’ll try the impossible and go for three Arcs.
“It’s not surprising to see how good she is. I love her so much. My favourite girl.”
Gosden added: “She’s really trained beautifully for this race and is back in top order, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve been thrilled with her at home. I was expecting to see that but life can be full of disappointment.
“I remember great horses like Swain and Dahlia, those who won it twice, so to come back from injury and win it three times and do it as a three, five and six-year-old, she’s some race mare.”
Enable’s 11 Group 1 wins
2020 King George
2019 Yorkshire Oaks
2019 King George
2019 Eclipse Stakes
2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf
2018 Prix de l’Arc d’Triomphe
2017 Prix de l’Arc d’Triomphe
2017 Yorkshire Oaks
2017 King George
2017 Irish Oaks
2017 Epsom Oaks