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Enable faces tall order in King George, says John Gosden

22 Jul 2019

The trainer gave the latest news on Enable, Stradivarius and Too Darn Hot among others on Monday.

Dettori and Enable rule in the Coral-Eclipse. Picture: Racingfotos.com

John Gosden spoke about several of his stable stars at a press morning ahead of Saturday’s QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and next week’s Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Enable, Stradivarius and Too Darn Hot are all hot favourites for their respective races, while Mehdaayih is also likely to have plenty of supporters in the Qatar Nassau Stakes.

He also volunteered that he thought the QIPCO Champion Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 19 could be “right up the alley” of St James’s Palace Stakes runner-up King Of Comedy and that he is hoping to have Calyx back from a pastern injury in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint on the same day.

Here’s what else Gosden had to say:

ENABLE

Race: QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

“At Sandown [when winning the Coral-Eclipse] I thought she ran a lovely race. Frankie (Dettori) popped himself in the correct position, and she probably won with a little bit in hand.

“We’ve been pleased with her since then, and she has just done routine work. She seems happy and well for what is a tall order

“I see the betting industry has put her at a price [4/6] at which they don’t want anyone to be backing her. I’m sure the pricing of her is not realistic of her chances but of them trying to protect themselves, I suppose, if she does win.

“She won it as a three-year-old filly getting the weight, just as Taghrooda did. It is a little different when you are older and suddenly you have the Derby winner coming at you getting the weight and you have a wonderful old horse, Crystal Ocean, who ran a blinder in it last year and won the Prince of Wales’s, so this is no penalty kick.

“She will have come on for it (Sandown) and she is up for it, but I don’t think it is the formality that is being indicated. It’s a big ask, but she is proud and happy in herself.”

TOO DARN HOT

Race: Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood

“The Sussex Stakes is a lovely race.  It is not the mile of Ascot or the Curragh. It is a quick mile and you need agility and to that extent it is the kind of mile he might appreciate

“I think he showed what he was good at last time, as he is a very quick horse. We stupidly tried to stretch him out off a severely-interrupted preparation and missing the Guineas. I think we have got him back in the right place now.

“I was most impressed how he hit the line over seven. His best trip is probably seven or an easy mile.

“He has got an entry in the Haydock Sprint Cup and he might get one in the six-furlong sprint [on QIPCO British Champions Day] at Ascot at the end of year.”

STRADIVARIUS

Race: Qatar Goodwood Cup

“He is in great form. He worked on Saturday. He did his usual thing, went a length clear and said, ‘that’s enough, I’ve done my bit’.

“We are very happy with him going to the Goodwood Cup. These horses can reach their zenith at five – I know they have to give the weight, but so they should, so to that extent we are very happy we can try to win the Goodwood Cup again.”

MEHDAAYIH

Race: Qatar Nassau Stakes

“We are looking at the Nassau Stakes. She won the Malleret and was unlucky in the Oaks. She quickened very well in France off a slow pace. We think it will be a proper race to run her in at Goodwood.”