Outstanding mare Enable will face six rivals when she makes her first start of the season in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Sunday.
Followers of the superstar had their hearts broken when Waldgeist got the better of her in October’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, a race she was bidding to win for a record third time.
Her opponents include last month’s runaway Coronation Cup hero Ghaiyyath, the Group 1-winning Japan, Japanese raider Deirdre and Regal Reality. The field is completed by Bangkok and Magic Wand.
Ghaiyyath’s trainer Charlie Appleby told British Champions Series: “I think we can quite confidently state that it’s the race of the season so far. You’ve got two of the highest-rated horses in the world and the others are certainly no mugs. It’s going to be a great race and it’s no wonder everyone is looking forward to it.
“Enable’s the most wonderful racemare and we’ve all got her to beat. I’m sure John [Gosden] has an autumn campaign very much as his goal but we are always going to treat her with the utmost respect.
“The plan has always been to head straight to the Eclipse after the Coronation Cup and we are comfortable dropping back to ten furlongs with him.
“Everyone has seen what he can do in the past, but it’s been in Germany, France and Dubai, whereas last time it was the first occasion in England he’s put up a performance like that. I think everybody sat back and said ‘wow, he’s a serious racehorse’.”
Classics return to Chantilly
In France on Sunday, the Andre Fabre-trained Victor Ludorum will look to follow up his success in last month’s French 2,000 Guineas when he contests the Prix du Jockey Club.
The Godolphin homebred, who is by the late Darley stallion Shamardal, will face 15 rivals including his very own stablemate, the Coolmore-owned Ocean Atlantique.
Also on Chantilly’s card is the Prix de Diane and this looks set to produce an exciting match-up between Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Peaceful and impressive Coronation Stakes scorer Alpine Star.