Any doubts about Enable’s abilities since turning six were put to bed on Saturday when she dispatched her two rivals with ease to record a historic third success in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
The daughter of Nathaniel was entitled to have improved greatly from her seasonal reappearance in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, when she chased home Ghaiyyath earlier this month.
With Anthony Van Dyck pulled out of the race late on Friday evening, it left Aidan O’Brien’s duo, 2019 Irish Derby hero Sovereign and dual Group 1 winner Japan, to face Khalid Abdullah’s superstar.
As expected, Sovereign lead from the outset and as William Buick asked his charge to kick on turning for home, Enable made rapid progress to race upsides the leader two furlongs from home.
In a sign of how well jockey Frankie Dettori was travelling on the mare, he pulled down one pair of googles before glancing to his left, where he saw Japan was already struggling.
Asking his mount to put the race to bed, Enable duly hit top gear and by the time the pair crossed the line, they were five and a half lengths clear of Sovereign, with 11 lengths back to Japan in third.
Dettori said: “She is unbelievable – John has done a great job to keep her going. Three King Georges has never been done before and now we have to try the impossible and go for three Arcs. What a horse, what can you say? It’s no burden to say I love her so much. My favourite girl!
“I spoke to John at length this morning and said I am not going to break her stride. Obviously, Japan is the horse to beat but, if he wants to follow me, I have no problem with her because she is very versatile. She is amazing and made it look so easy; she is six, so she is no spring chicken!”
Enable’s trainer John Gosden added: “Enable has really, really trained beautifully for this race. I made it very clear to everyone that she wasn’t tuned properly for a mile and a quarter [in the Eclipse] at that pace, but the race put her right. I told Frankie to ride her with a lot of confidence and travel for as long as he could.
“She is back in top order, no doubt about that. We have been thrilled with her at home. I was expecting to see that, but life can be full of disappointments.
“Prince Khalid is a magnificent owner and a passionate horseman. He knows his pedigrees and it was his decision and his decision alone to keep her in training.
“I am lucky to have trained for him for nearly 40 years, he totally understands his horses, knows his pedigrees inside out and he clearly felt this was a filly who could do it again, it [the Arc] just slipped through our hands last year. The winner beat us fair and square and he, being the sportsman he is and the great breeder he is, since this is a filly, said, ‘Let’s go again’.
“It means a lot [to win today], it hasn’t been easy getting us to this point. We wanted to go to Ascot and decided no, let’s go when we know there might be racing in July, so we got the two runs in July.
“For all the staff at home who look after her beautifully, Debbie and Chloe in the barns where they are and all the assistant head people; we love being around her, we are lucky to be around her.
“I find the responsibility quite enormous and it weighs heavy, but what a pleasure to be around a racemare like that.”