Enable Dominates King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot for Automatic Berth into Longines Breeders' Cup Turf
ASCOT, BERSHIRE, U.K. – Despite pre-race concerns from trainer John Gosden over wet course conditions at Ascot, Prince Khalid Adbullah’s 3-year-old filly Enable (GB) dominated a stellar field to win Saturday’s 1½ mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) by 4½-lengths under jockey Frankie Dettori and gained an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf 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 will be held for the first time at the Del Mar race track near San Diego, California, on November 3-4.
Saturday’s race was the first of 18 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races to be run in Europe this year.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Enable to start in the 1½ mile Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Enable, a 3-year-old filly by Nathaniel (IRE), won her fifth race in six starts, came into Saturday’s race off brilliant back-to-back scores in the Investec Oaks (G1), by 5 lengths at Epsom on June 2, and followed up that victory with a 5½- length win in the Irish Oaks (G1) at the Curragh.
Sent off as the 5-4 favorite today in the 10-horse field, Enable broke well from the outside post position and just to the inside of defending champion and last year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Highland Reel while pacesetter Maverick Wave led the field through the top of the stretch. With two furlongs remaining on the turn for home, Dettori set Enable down for the drive and she responded magnificently, passing the pacesetter along the inside and rolled to victory over Ulysses (IRE) with Idaho (IRE) finishing third, followed by Highland Reel. Benbatl (GB) finished fifth and was followed in order by Desert Encounter (IRE), My Dreamboat (IRE), Maverick Wave, Jack Hobbs (GB) and Sixties Song (ARG). Enable completed the 1 ½ miles in 2:36.22 over a course listed as good to soft.
The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the fourth Breeders’ Cup Challenge race in the Longines Turf Division this year. Satono Crown (JPN) was the most recent qualifier, winning the Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin in June. The 8-year-old Ordak Dan (ARG) was the first to qualify when he won the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo (G1) at San Isidro in Buenos Aires on May 25. The 3-year-old Voador Magee (BRZ) earned a Turf bid by capturing the Grande Premio Brasil (G1) at Hipodromo Gavea in Rio de Janeiro on June 11.
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