Enable is on course to make her much-awaited 2019 return in the G1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park this Saturday, July 6, after 13 contenders were left in the 10-furlong highlight at Monday's confirmation stage.
The G1 Coral-Eclipse is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series and the centerpiece 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 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable has not raced since extending her unbeaten run to nine races in the G1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, USA, in November.
Her trainer John Gosden is no stranger to winning the G1 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 G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 26, before a creditable second in the G1 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 G2 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 G1 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 G2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville in August, completes the confirmations.
Coral-Eclipse – Coral betting: 6/5 Enable, 9/2 Magical, 5/1 Regal Reality, 6/1 Circus Maximus, 10/1 Telecaster, 14/1 Mustashry, 16/1 Zabeel Prince, 25/1 Addeybb, 33/1 Danceteria, 40/1 Flag Of Honour, Magic Wand, 50/1 Hunting Horn, 66/1 Knight To Behold
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.”
Saturday's card also includes the £70,000 G3 Coral Charge (1.50pm, 13 entries) over five furlongs, won by crack sprinter Battaash in 2017, and the very competitive £75,000 Coral Challenge Handicap (2.25pm, 19 entries) over a mile.
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