Enable makes it a perfect ten with Coral-Eclipse Stakes victory at Sandown
Enable made it a 10th consecutive victory and an eighth Group One success by winning the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park racecourse on Saturday.
On her seasonal return, the race favourite, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori won by three-quarters of a length from Magical, with Regal Reality third.
Enable had previously recorded nine straight wins at nine different courses in four different countries, and she looked in good condition in her first race since winning at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in November.
Dettori tracked the trailblazing Hunting Horn throughout the contest and his partner was still on the bridle two furlongs out. She quickened to the front and had the reserves up the hill to hold off old rival Magical by three-quarters of a length. Regal Reality was a further two lengths in third.
Victory in the Coral-Eclipse aboard Enable also capped an amazing 37-day run for Dettori as in that time he has collected six Group 1 victories. After the defeat of old rival Magical that was more conclusive than the margin suggested, Dettori declared Enable the best horse he has ridden by saying, “She is the queen of racing. I would give her 8.5 out of 10 today, with plenty more to come. She is amazing – I love her.”
Gosden confirmed the target is a record third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October and indicated that the five-year-old Enable is next likely to run in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot later this month.
“She was only about 85% or 90%,” said the Newmarket trainer. “To come from an eight-month lay-off and win an Eclipse is quite an ask. She is an exceptional athlete.”
Dettori’s victory was the second of a hat-trick of victories on Saturday’s card at Sandown. The first came in the second race of the day, the Coral Challenge Handicap, which saw the Italian jockey steer the William Haggas-trained Mojito to a length and a quarter victory. David O’Meara’s Escobar, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, was second with Petrus under Oisin Murphy a further half a length back in third.
The hat-trick was complete in the penultimate race of the day, Coral Marathon (Registered As The Esher Stakes) which saw Falcon Eight live up to favouritism albeit only winning a head from Sir Michael Stoute’s Mekong, ridden by Ryan Moore. Cleonte was a distant four and a half lengths back in third.
William Haggas did complete a double of victories which came in the Coral Distaff as Murphy guided Hidden Message to a three-quarter length success from Encapsulation in second and Muchly in third.