Enable Digs Deep to Defend her King George Crown

Mark Smith - Sunday July 28

Aussies that stayed up until the wee small hours to watch the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot were treated to a race for the ages with Enable and old foe Crystal Ocean staging a battle royale.

Once again it was the majestic Enable who dug deep to defend her title, which came much easier twelve months earlier when thumping Ulysses by four and a half lengths.

From a wide gate Frankie Dettori needed to go back to find some cover on Enable but by the time they wheeled in to the home straight Enable had found the back of Crystal Ocean. She looked likely to breeze right by him however Crystal Ocean under James Doyle was in for the fight. To the cheers of the packed crowd, the pair went head to head and it was only in the final few metres that the great daughter of Nathaniel exerted her superiority to win by a neck.

While the superlatives flowed for the first pair, poor old Waldgeist (Galileo) barely rated a mention after his gallant third, just one and three-quarter lengths adrift of Crystal Ocean (Sea The Stars).

Winning the race for the fourth time John Gosden said Enable had to overcome some difficulties in the run.

"She's everything you ever want. The draw rather affected her, she was suddenly very wide, so Frankie dropped back further than he wanted," Gosden told Sporting Life.

"She's a brave and wonderful filly, and what a great battle with Crystal Ocean.

"It's what you wanted to see.

"I think she possibly carried him (Dettori) into the race a little too easily, and I thought he'd hit the front a long way out, but he felt he had to go then.

"Crystal Ocean showed all the courage in the world, and the first two are wonderful - they put up a great King George.

"We'll let he come along in the next days and make a decision where we go with her. She is slightly pencilled in to go to York, she's in the Yorkshire Oaks and the Juddmonte International.

"That's still a nice six weeks off the Arc."

Frankie Dettori admitted he felt the pressure before the race.

"Not only is she a super mare, she showed what a courageous will to win she has. I don't want too many races like that, as I'm absolutely exhausted," he said.

"In all my career it is probably the hardest and most hard-fought race I've ever had. It was two great champions. Give credit to Crystal Ocean, he put it out there for me and it was an amazing race.

"From the outset I knew Crystal Ocean was the one to beat, as he is very strong here. Boudot (Pierre-Charles, on Waldgeist) had the spot I wanted, so I had to make a three-wide move round the turn and James was sitting quite good.

"I jumped on him and just put my head in front and I thought I would see it out, but in fairness he served it up to me and we had a really titanic battle, and I was always having the edge, like in the Breeders' Cup with Magical.

"We are on the road to Longchamp now."

A homebred for Khalid Abdulla's Juddmonte Farms, Enable has now won 12 of her 13 starts highlighted by the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (twice), Ascot King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (twice), Breeders' Cup Turf, Coral Eclipse Stakes, The Oaks, Irish Oaks, and Yorkshire Oaks.

Inbred 3x2 to Sadler's Wells, Enable is one of five winners from as many to race out of the stakes-winning Sadler's Wells mare Concentric who is sister to Group II winner and French Oaks runner-up Dance Routine (dam of 5-time Gr 1 winner Flintshire and stakes-winner Dance Moves), Light Ballet (dam of stakes-winner Penchee), and a three-quarter-sister to Gr II winner and Gr 1-placed Daring Miss (dam of stakes-winner Destruct), Gr III winner Apsis, Engraving (dam of stakes-winner Virtual Game), and a half-sister to stakes-winner Space Quest (dam of stakes-winner Kocab).


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