Enable Wins King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes


Enable won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes at Ascot for a third time on Saturday.? (Photo credit: Ascot Racecourse).

Under rainy skies, Prince Khalid Abdullah’s 6-year-old mare Enable (GB), ridden by Frankie Dettori, overpowered Sovereign (IRE) and Japan (GB) en route to a record third win in Saturday’s 1 ½-mile King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) at Ascot. The 5 ½-length victory earned Enable a guaranteed starting position into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.

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 Enable 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.

Enable becomes the fourth horse this year to gain a “Win and You’re In” berth for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. She joins Nao Da Mais (BRZ), who won the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini (G1) in Argentina, Lord North (IRE), who captured the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and Chrono Genesis (JPN), who took the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) in Japan.

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Enable, the 2018 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and a two-time champion of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), trained by John Gosden, improved her record to 14 wins in 17 starts. She captured the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2017 and in 2019.

Dettori also tied Lester Piggott with a record seven wins in the King George VI.

King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes Replay

Making her second start of the year since her defeat to Ghaiyyath (IRE) in the Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown on July 5, Enable faced just two Aidan O’Brien-trained rivals in Japan, last year’s Juddmonte International (G1) winner, and Sovereign, the 2019 Irish Derby (G1) winner. A third Ballydoyle runner, 2019 Investec Derby (G1) winner Anthony Van Dyck (IRE), was scratched earlier this morning.

Sent off as the 4-9 favorite, Enable raced in second behind Sovereign, who extended to a six-length in the early going. On the turn for home, Dettori began to urge Enable. Closing the gap into the final furlong, Dettori peered over his left shoulder at Japan, who was not responding to encouragement from jockey Ryan Moore. Enable then swept past Sovereign to a commanding victory.

“Enable has really, really trained beautifully for this race,” said Gosden. “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 a long as he could, and she did.

“She is back in top order, no doubt about that. We have been thrilled with her at home. I never expect things like that but I was expecting to see that, but life can be full of disappointments.”

“Obviously, we knew Sovereign was going to make the running and it was a bit of a cat and mouse situation with me and Ryan for the first couple of furlongs,” said Dettori. “He was happy to let me go, so I followed the pacemaker and, in fairness, it was a very even gallop. I was trying to time it so I did not hit the front too early and I couldn’t hear a lot, so I looked around and I saw Ryan in trouble. Then it was a matter of hoping that, if I pressed the button, she would pick up and she did.”

In winning her 11th Group 1 race, Enable covered the 1 ½ miles in 2:28.92 over a course listed as good to firm.


NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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