Enable Return Among Sunday Highlights

Enable on Warren Hill on Saturday morning | Emma Berry

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By 3.35pm on Sunday, the Derby and Oaks will already be old news and the dust will be settling after Chantilly's early-afternoon prestige races. As if all the Classics that played out over the longest weekend were mere support acts, Juddmonte's sovereign Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) is back to take up most of the headline inches in a renewal of Sandown's G1 Coral-Eclipse which rates as one of the finest in its recent history. No horse in training has the same draw as the 6-year-old and although the Classic generation are excluded this year, given that we are talking also about Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), Japan (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), Deirdre (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) and Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) it is debatable whether any would have dared turn up at all.

In theory, tactics should be straightforward if past precedent is anything to go by with Ghaiyyath almost certain to go forward from stall six. His emphatic G1 Coronation Cup success was affirmation that he is a serious racehorse which he had already suggested when registering a 14-length win in the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden in September. John Gosden has been at pains to stress that the 2020 version of Enable may not be as dynamic as the prior incarnations, but with Ghaiyyath to aim at she should at least have the ideal bullseye. If successful, she will be the sixth dual winner of this and the first since Halling to do so in 1995 and 1996.

Teddy Grimthorpe said of Enable, “It's no secret her main target this season is the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe again, she came so close last year. Everything she does before that will be building up to Paris. John has made no secret that the older she gets, it just takes that little bit longer to get her fit, there's no question about that. We're looking forward to seeing her again.”

Charlie Appleby said of Ghaiyyath, “He is in great form and his preparation has gone well. Dropping back to 10 furlongs doesn't worry me. In the past we have been concerned, as we have all seen how those big performances take it out of him. Winning by these big margins looks comfortable, but in the past those performances have taken their toll. This year we have seen a difference and we saw that at the start of the year when he won well in Dubai. The most encouraging part of that performance and what makes it exciting is post-race he has held his condition well and visually he has bounced back. He took the Coronation Cup really well. It was always the plan afterwards to head for the Eclipse. People mentioned the Prince of Wales's S., but we wanted to give him that gap and the Eclipse fits in well.

“With no 3-year-olds in the race it changes the dynamics a bit, but a good field has still been pulled together. At the end of the day we have all got Enable to beat. I know she is six and John Gosden has said she has taken a bit longer to come to hand, but she is such a classy animal. However, we are going there ourselves with a horse that we have always held in high regard and is going there on the back of a nice seasonal debut.”

Coolmore and Masaaki Matsushima's Japan (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) represents Ballydoyle and should strip fitter and sharper for his reintroduction when fourth in the June 17 G1 Prince of Wales's S. at Royal Ascot. Tardy out of the gates there, last year's G1 Juddmonte International winner will have to break on terms to  have any chance this time as the field play catch-up to Godolphin's trailblazer. “What happened to Japan at Ascot was Ryan was waiting on the stalls to open and when the starter shouted 'hoods off' he jumped and hit the stalls, so when the stalls did open he was on the back foot and lost a little bit of ground,” Aidan O'Brien explained. “Ryan then let him go forward but he did that when the pace was strong, it was his first run and the combination of all that he got a little bit tired in the last furlong, but Ryan was very happy with him.”

O'Brien also saddles Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who is a potentially crucial second string with her early pace potentially a fly in the ointment for Ghaiyyath. She comes into this on the back of an impressive success over a mile in the G2 Lanwades Stud S. at The Curragh on June 13. “The plan was always to come here if Japan was fine and we think he'll come forward again, so we're looking forward to it. In an ideal world you might want a little more time, but it's not an ideal world. Charlie's horse is there who could make the running and we've got the filly [Magic Wand] in there also, so it's good to be able to take part in it. She is in good form, we need to keep finding her races to keep her ticking along and then when something really suits her she can run a very good race. She's very well, very happy to go forward, but in this race there should be plenty of pace.”

Another who will benefit from a strong pace is last year's G1 Nassau S. heroine and G1 Champion S.  third Deirdre (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}), who was upset in the Feb. 29 Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Cup over 10 1/2 furlongs at Riyadh. Oisin Murphy will know where to place her and it is just a case of how much ground she can make up in the home straight. “Deirdre's been working really well and that continued this week as she flew up the Al Bahathri again,” he explained. “She's in a great routine at present and we're very happy with her. Obviously it's a hugely competitive race with Enable and Ghaiyyath in there. It's a brilliant race, it doesn't get much better really, but she's in grand form and I'm expecting her to run well.”

Earlier in the day at Chantilly, 'TDN Rising Star' Victor Ludorum (GB) bids to emulate his recently-deceased sire Shamardal by completing the G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains-G1 Prix du Jockey Club double. Drawn in one against the rail, the bay–who also captured the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere–is expected to appreciate the step up from a mile, having finished off strongly when annexing the Poulains over Deauville's straight track on June 1. Intriguingly, Shamardal's Andre Fabre-trained son Lope de Vega (Ire) was one of a trio to complete the same Classic double in 2010 and it may be that the stars have aligned for Godolphin's homebred. “Victor Ludorum is in good form and I am very happy with his level of condition,” commented Fabre, who is looking for a fifth renewal. “I am confident the distance will not pose a problem. This race has long been the objective.”

Fabre also saddles another 'TDN Rising Star' in Ocean Atlantique (American Pharoah), but Coolmore's impressive May 31 Listed Prix de Suresnes winner has a wide draw to hamper his prospects. He also has to reverse form with the Wertheimers' Pao Alto (Fr), the son of the 2013 Jockey Club hero Intello (Ger) who has been freshened up since their encounter in ParisLongchamp's G3 Prix la Force. Successful by 1 1/2 lengths in that May 14 nine-furlong trial, Pao Alto also holds the third-placed Chachnak (Fr) (Kingman {GB}) who has subsequently won the G3 Prix de Guiche also over that trip here on June 10.

In the first truly post-lockdown trans-European encounter at the top level, John Gosden saddles Prince Faisal's impressive June 6 Listed Newmarket S. winner Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}), while Aidan O'Brien's duo are headed by Saturday's G1 Irish Derby fourth Order of Australia (Ire) (Australia {GB}). Seamie Heffernan said of him, “The trip will help, as will nicer ground.”

Jean-Claude Rouget is looking for a fourth renewal and his strongest chance appears to be Claudio Marzocco's unbeaten Port Guillaume (Fr) by the 2009 Jockey Club hero Le Havre (Ire). He beat the re-opposing Gold Trip (Fr) (Outstrip {GB}) in a conditions event over this trip at Saint-Cloud on May 12 and the latter is one of three runners from the Fabrice Chappet yard. After his reversal at Saint-Cloud, Gold Trip took a weak renewal of the 11-furlong G2 Prix Greffulhe at Lyon-Parilly on June 6 and will have to improve to bring owner Jean-Louis Bouchard a fourth Jockey Club. His three others, Celtic Arms (Fr), Ragmar (Fr) and Blue Canari (Fr), came between 1994 and 2004 in its former guise as a mile-and-a-half Derby equivalent. “Gold Trip won the Greffulhe so easily. The opposition is stronger here, but we don't know yet how good he is,” Chappet said.

In the G1 Prix de Diane Longines, the Niarchos Family are omnipresent again with the impressive G1 Coronation S. heroine Alpine Star (Ire) (Sea the Moon {Ger}) looking to capture a fifth edition for her owner-breeders since Northern Trick started the ball rolling in 1984. A granddaughter of the 1994 Diane heroine East of the Moon (Private Account), the half-sister to Alpha Centauri (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) boasts the best form among her age and sex and raced as if she needs this 10 1/2-furlong trip when putting Sharing (Speightstown) and Quadrilateral (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in their place at Royal Ascot June 20. “We want to look after Alpine Star, she prefers soft ground even though she's proven she will adapt to anything,” Kate Harrington said.

Michael Tabor's June 13 G1 Irish 1000 Guineas first and second Peaceful (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Fancy Blue  (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) add significant weight to the Irish challenge, with the former representing Aidan O'Brien who is yet to win this Classic. Seamie Heffernan has never made any secret of his regard for Peaceful and said, “All I need is a bit of luck. I like this one–she never disappoints me.” Donnacha O'Brien is responsible for Fancy Blue, who caught the eye coming from far back in that Curragh Classic and he said, “She is in very good form and her work has been really good. I have a fantastic rider [Pierre-Charles Boudot] on board and hopefully she'll run a big race. She is a possible for the Irish Oaks down the line and we'll know more after the weekend, but her pedigree is all stamina and this step up in trip will suit her. She did well to make up ground in the Irish Guineas and it was a very promising run. It's a very good race with Alpine Star in there and a few unexposed French fillies, but we're very happy with our filly.”

Fabrice Chappet again has three engaged, with the pick perhaps being Speak of the Devil (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) who would have beaten Dream and Do (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}) in another stride in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Deauville on June 1. Antoine Gilibert's Mageva (GB) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) was two lengths back in third on that occasion, while Lael Stable's May 14 G3 Prix Vanteaux-winning acquisition Magic Attitude (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) was five-lengths second to Tawkeel (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the 10-furlong G1 Prix Saint Alary here on June 14. “Speak of the Devil was having only her third career start when second in the Pouliches–the plan had been to have another race before that, but the lockdown meant that wasn't possible,” Chappet explained. “The question for her is one of stamina. Her dam is by Indian Rocket, who passes on a lot of speed. Mageva ran in the Pouliches like a filly who could run over further. She was another to give a remarkable performance in Deauville. Neither filly has run at Chantilly before, but they've both worked on the racetrack. Magic Attitude ran a bit free in the Prix Saint-Alary. We will ride her more quietly on Sunday. All three fillies deserve to take part in the Diane.”

In a race that arguably has more depth than the G1 Epsom Oaks, another dimension is added by the presence of Alain Jathiere and Ecurie du Parc Monceau's Miss Extra (Fr) (Masterstroke) who steps up from a mile having captured the June 19 G2 Prix de Sandringham here. Trained in partnership by Pia and Joakim Brandt, the supplementary entry originally ran in the colours of her breeder Sophie Boulin Redouly, a vet and author of crime novels, and is now part-owned by Philippe Lazare, the former CEO of Ingenico. The latter said, “Everyone dreams of running in the big races and the Diane is one of them. I am in partnership with an excellent owner in Alain Jathiere and Miss Extra has improved a lot and comes into the race off three wins. She's a good filly and is also with a good trainer. Her pedigree is interesting, with a speedy female family and a sire who brings stamina.”

At Haydock, soft ground is the order of the day and that will play into the hands of the Waverley Racing-owned and Ralph Beckett-trained daughters of Lope de Vega (Ire), Manuela de Vega (Ire) and Antonia de Vega (Ire), in the feature G2 bet365 Lancashire Oaks. Ridden with supreme confidence by Rob Hornby when making all from the subsequent G2 Hardwicke S. scorer Fanny Logan (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) in the course-and-distance G3 Pinnacle S. on June 7, Manuela de Vega is again partnered by that rider with Harry Bentley on Antonia de Vega. The latter has captured the G3 Prestige S., Listed Abingdon S. and Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies' S. giving the impression there is something bigger in her locker. “I hope they get more rain, as the softer the better,” Bentley said on Friday. “She really handles it–it looks a strong renewal, but she suits a galloping track and I'm looking forward to it.”

Another 4-year-old of note in the Lancashire Oaks is Anthony Oppenheimer's returning G2 Prix de Pomone scorer Dame Malliot (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}), who showed more than a glimpse in 2019 that she could be out of the top drawer. The 3-year-old challenge comes in the form of Cheveley Park Stud's 'TDN Rising Star' Cabaletta (GB) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}), who is a daughter of Allegretto (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) who captured this at the same age in 2006. Having beaten Frankly Darling (GB) (Frankel {GB}) on her sole 2-year-old start over a mile at Yarmouth in October, the Roger Varian-trained homebred was runner-up to the potentially high-class Franconia (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in Newbury's Listed Abingdon Fillies' S. over a mile and a quarter on June 13. She will relish this step up in trip and can call on a sizeable 12-pound weight-for-age pull with her elders.

Also on Sunday is Sandown's G3 Coral Charge, where the 3-year-old sprinters look to dominate their elders courtesy of Godolphin's impressive June 13 Listed Scurry S. winner Lazuli (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and last year's G3 Molecomb S. winner Liberty Beach (GB) (Cable Bay {Ire}). Lazuli is highly-regarded by Charlie Appleby and he said, “He has a nice draw, which can be very important at Sandown, and has come out of his last race well. This is his first run against older opposition, but he goes there in good order with a good course-and-distance win under his belt.” Liberty Beach, who was third in the G1 King's Stand S. at Royal Ascot on June 16, races at a consistent high level and won over this course and distance in last year's Listed Dragon S.

Godolphin are also represented on the Sandown undercard by the 2018 G1 Melbourne Cup hero Cross Counter (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the two-mile G3 Coral Henry II S. He drops in class, having been third in the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on June 18 and Charlie Appleby said he believes it could be an ideal confidence boost. “Dropping back to two miles on a sounder surface is going to suit Cross Counter. We feel that he has definitely come forward for his run in the Gold Cup and this looks a nice opportunity to hopefully get his head back in front.” He encounters a potentially classy stayer in Team Valor and Gary Barber's Jockey Club Derby Invitational winner Spanish Mission (Noble Mission {GB}), but he was disappointing when sixth in the Feb. 27 G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy over 14 furlongs at Meydan.

Significant racing is not just confined to just England and France, with Cork taking over this year's running of the G3 Marble Hill S. normally staged at The Curragh. Ballydoyle's son of Together Forever (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Military Style (War Front), tackles three rivals having opened his account over this six-furlong trip at Naas on June 20. In the G3 Munster Oaks, last year's G1 Irish St Leger heroine Search For a Song (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) has to give weight to all 10 rivals sporting a first-time hood having disappointed when sixth on her seasonal bow in the G2 Mooresbridge S. over an inadequate 10-furlong trip at The Curragh on June 12. At Fairyhouse, Sunday's G2 Greenlands S. winner Speak In Colours (GB) (Excelebration {Ire}) is also shouldered with a penalty turned out quickly in the seven-furlong G3 Ballycorus S.

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