Prince Khalid Abdullah's super mare Enable (GB) and Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's multiple Group 1- winning filly Magical (IRE) are slated to renew their rivalry on Thursday at York in the 1 ½-mile Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) during the York Ebor Festival. The Yorkshire Oaks winner will receive an automatic berth into the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) through the International Breeders' Cup Challenge.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of 86 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 at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, California, Nov 1-2.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks to start in the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, which will be run at 1 1/4 miles at Santa Anita. Breeders' Cup also will provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Thursday's field will be comprised of just four runners, two each trained by John Gosden and Aidan O'Brien. Enable, 12 of 13 lifetime, is the two-time Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) winner and last year became the first horse to win both the Arc and the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) in the same year, defeating Magical in a thrilling stretch drive at Churchill Downs.
The 5-year-old Enable, trained by Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, has 11 consecutive wins, including both her starts this year. She returned to the races after more than eight months to win the 1 ¼-mile Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown on July 6 by three-quarters of a length over Magical. A bay daughter of Nathaniel (IRE) out of Concentric (GB) by Sadler's Wells, Enable next defeated the 5-year-old horse Crystal Ocean in an epic renewal of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) at Ascot on July 27, with the two dueling side by side in the final furlong, and the mare prevailing by a neck as the 8-15 favorite.
Gosden also has entered Andrew Lloyd-Webber's 4-year-old Lah Ti Dar (GB), a daughter of Dubawi (IRE), who was defeated by just a quarter-of a length while finishing third in the 1 ½- mile Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) to stablemate Coronet (GB) in her last start on June 30. La Ti Dar, ridden by William Buick, has a victory at York this year, capturing the Group 2 Dubai Middleton Fillies' Stakes on May 16 at 1 9/16 miles.
Magical, a bay daughter of Galileo (IRE) out of the Pivotal (GB) mare Halfway to Heaven (IRE), has taken three of five starts this year. She was victorious in her first three races in Ireland, taking the 1 ¼-mile Alleged Stakes (G3) at Naas on April 13, and followed that score with a Group 2 triumph in the EBF Moorbridge Stakes at the Curragh on May 6. She then romped home by seven lengths in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1), also at the Curragh, on May. 26. Magical will be ridden by Ryan Moore.
Magical suffered her first defeat of the year when she finished second to Crystal Ocean in the “Win and You're In” Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, losing by 1 ¾ lengths.
O'Brien will also start another daughter of Galileo in South Sea Pearl (IRE), a 3-year-old bay filly who has two wins in seven starts this year, including the listed Vinnie Roe Stakes at Leopardstown on July 25 at 1 5/8 miles. Ridden by Seamie Heffernan, South Sea Pearl finished third in the Group 2 Qatar Lilly Langtree at Goodwood on Aug. 3, and just last Sunday, finished eighth in the about 1 ½-mile Darley Prix de Pomone (G2) at Deauville.
The Darley Yorkshire Oaks is the fourth “Win and You're In” qualifier for the Filly & Mare Turf this year. The first three to gain automatic berths are: Oh Susanna (AUS), who won the Cartier Paddock Stakes (G1) at Kenilworth in South Africa on Jan. 5; Gracia Divina (PER), winner of the Gran Premio Pamplona (G1) at Monterrico in Peru on June 30 and defending Maker's Mark Filly & Mare Turf winner Sistercharlie (IRE), who captured the Beverly D. (G1) at Arlington on Aug. 10.
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