Enable on Course to Make History in King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes and Gain Automatic Berth into Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND (July 24, 2020) – Enable (GB) winner of the 2018 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), will face three rivals Saturday when she bids to make history and become the first three-time winner of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) at Ascot. The winner will earn an automatic berth into the US$6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
Prince Khalid Abdullah’s brilliant 6-year-old mare put in a strong performance on her seasonal reappearance, finishing second behind Ghaiyyath (IRE) in the Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown. Her trainer John Gosden believes his stable star has improved from that run and is hopeful for a big performance against a strong Ballydoyle trio, trained by Aidan O’Brien.
John Gosden said, “We were absolutely delighted the way she finished the race [Coral-Eclipse]. There is no doubt within the last furlong she tired. She was second and that was very much the result I was hoping for.
“She has trained very well since then, that race has brought her on to where we wanted. I’ve been happy with her work, as has (jockey) Frankie (Dettori), and we go to the King George full of hope.”
Enable won the King George last year, when edging out Crystal Ocean (GB) by a neck in a thrilling renewal. This year she will face a trio of O’Brien colts, led by last year’s Juddmonte International (G1) winner Japan (GB), alongside 2019 Epsom Derby (G1) and Irish Derby (G1) winners, Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) and Sovereign (IRE), respectively.
Gosden said he will leave race tactic decisions to Dettori, who is set to partner the mare for the 15th consecutive time, adding, “I can see the logic that there was not going to be a lot of runners. We are dealing with a little bit of a dearth of 1 ½ mile horses and what has happened with the season due to COVID-19.
“I’ll leave that to the jockey. You don’t go in with any preconception, you just see how the race rides.”
Now in her fifth season of training, Enable’s main target remains winning her third Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Paris Longchamp in October. She finished second last year behind Waldgeist (GB), after winning the race in 2017 and 2018.
“The Arc is the great pièce de résistance at the end of the year. Everybody looks towards it. Our season started again at Sandown – we could have started earlier, but we didn’t want to. It is about building up towards the Arc, but they are very important races along the road.”
While a decision on the running in this year’s Breeders’ Cup is yet to be made, Gosden said, “We would have to speak to Prince Khalid about that. He is the one who made the decision to keep her in training. He enjoys seeing her race so we will have to see.”
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races, whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course, in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 6-7.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will be run at 1 ½ miles over the Keeneland turf course. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must already be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program or it must be nominated by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 26 to receive the rewards.
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features a total of $35 million in purses and awards. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.
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