Enable is on course to make her much-awaited 2019 return in the £750,000 Gr1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park on Saturday, 6 July, after 13 contenders were left in the 10-furlong highlight at Monday’s confirmation stage.
The Gr1 Coral-Eclipse is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series and the centrepiece of Sandown Park’s two-day Coral Summer Festival, which gets underway with Ladies’ Day on Friday, July 5, and offers the first opportunity of the season for the Classic generation to take on older horses at G1 level.
Dual Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable has not raced since extending her unbeaten run to nine races in the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, USA, in November.
Her trainer John Gosden is no stranger to winning the Gr1 Coral-Eclipse with a horse having a first start of the year, having achieved the feat with Enable’s sire Nathaniel in 2012. The Newmarket handler has since triumphed in the Coral-Eclipse with champion three-year-old colts Golden Horn (2015) and Roaring Lion (2018).
Enable’s in-form jockey Frankie Dettori discussed the five-year-old mare’s preparation in an interview with Sandown Park.
Ireland’s 21-time champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien has five contenders, who are headed by four-year-old filly Magical and recent G1 St James’s Palace Stakes victor Circus Maximus, one of two three-year-olds among the confirmations alongside G2 Dante Stakes victor Telecaster (Hughie Morrison).
Magical, second to Enable at Churchill Downs, completed an early season three-timer in the Gr1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 26, before a creditable second in the Gr1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19.
O’Brien’s team also includes Magic Wand and Hunting Horn, both successful at Royal Ascot in 2018, and last year’s G1 Irish St Leger victor Flag Of Honour.
Newmarket trainer Sir Michael Stoute is doubly represented as he chases a record-breaking seventh Coral-Eclipse. The Freemason Lodge handler has left in Mustashry, victorious in Newbury’s G1 Lockinge Stakes on his penultimate start, and progressive four-year-old Regal Reality, an easy winner of the G3 Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes over the course and distance on May 23.
The acceptors also include Zabeel Prince (Roger Varian), who registered a first G1 success in the nine-furlong Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp, France, in May, and impressive Listed Wolferton Stakes victor Addeybb (William Haggas).
Danceteria (David Menuisier) finished third behind Regal Reality in the G3 Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes and the four-year-old has since landed the G3 La Coupe in good style at Longchamp on June 10.
Trainer David Menuisier said today: “Danceteria has been absolutely fine since his win in the La Coupe and the Coral-Eclipse is the plan, all being well between now and the weekend.
“There is no point worrying too much about the opposition. Our horse is going the right way, having won a Listed race and G3 this season, and deserves to take his chance at a higher level.
“There are not that many Gr2 options and from my point of view it is a no-brainer to have a go at a race like this.
“After the Eclipse, there is a Gr1 in Germany at the end of July which we will look at. Then we will probably give him a break in preparation for travelling to Australia in the autumn.”
Knight To Behold (Harry Dunlop), winner of the Gr2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville in August, completes the confirmations.
Coral’s David Stevens commented: “Although Enable could be facing opposition including Group One winners Magical, Circus Maximus and Mustashry, as well as the Dante winner Telecaster and the course and distance winner Regal Reality, the dual-Arc heroine is still a warm favourite to make a winning return to action this weekend, such is the respect we have for her.”