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Juddmonte International high on Enable’s agenda

23 Jan 2018

Drop back to ten furlongs on cards for filly who carried all before her in 2017

Enable won the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York last year. This time the Juddmonte International could be her target at the meeting. Picture:

A drop back to ten furlongs for the Juddmonte International at York is likely to be “high on the agenda” for Enable this year.

The four-year-old filly, trained by John Gosden, shone in the Champions Series last year when she won the Investec Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) and Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

She also won the Irish Oaks plus the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe glory at Chantilly in October, and was acclaimed as Cartier’s Horse Of The Year.

Each of those victories came over 12 furlongs but with owner Khalid Abdullah sponsoring the International through his breeding operation, connections are tempted to drop back in trip in an attempt to win their own race.

“I think the Juddmonte and the Arc will be high on the agenda and we will see how we go from there,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Abdullah. “She takes her races very well and that is a good thing.

“She will have to carry a penalty in anything else bar a Group One but that’s not necessarily the issue – the issue is trying to get the right course for her and if that makes sense, carrying a penalty is one of those things.

“The Group One programme is wide and varied enough and there are plenty of opportunities for her over a mile and a half and a mile and a quarter.

“She stayed with John Gosden over the winter and she came back from the Arc in good form and bouncing. There was not a lot to be gained by sticking her out in a field in November.

“Some (horses) feel the benefit of a break and getting their head down. In her case, she needed to be kept going and there was no great benefit in changing that routine.

“We could look at starting her in the Middleton and go on to the Coronation Cup, but no plans have been made yet. We are just going to try to make her the best she can be this season.

“It will be interesting to try a mile and a quarter, but it’s not essential.”