By Geoffrey Riddle
Enable confirmed she is one of the brightest talents the sport has seen in many years when she powered to a bloodless victory in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York on Thursday.
Ridden to perfection by Frankie Dettori, Enable put five lengths on Ribblesdale Stakes winner and stable companion Coronet after the Italian rider had measured the fractions perfectly out in front. He did not even use the whip. Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Queen’s Trust was three-quarters of a length behind in third.
It was Enable’s fourth consecutive success at Group One level, and her aggregate winning margin at the top table now stands at 20 lengths. She has now won on all-weather, good to firm, and good to soft and from distances from a mile to 12 furlongs. The idiosyncractic Epsom, the tight turns of Chester and the wide expanses of Newbury and York all seem alike to her.
Connections could scarcely hide their admiration for the daughter of King George and Eclipse winner Nathaniel afterwards.
John Gosden has had a plethora of champions go through his Newmarket stables in recent times, no more so than Golden Horn, the 2015 Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner.
It seems the two are on the same pedestal now.
“She could look him in the eye – I don’t know who would win,” Gosden told Racing UK.
"We had a lot to lose coming here - you all remember a horse called Taghrooda - but we let her use her stride and she has gone and won by five lengths and she can't do any more.
"She is the best mile and half filly I have ever trained. The Fugue was the best mile and a quarter filly, Royal Heroine was the best filly miler, and Kingman the best miler. You are lucky if you have champions like that."
Gosden confirmed that Enable will head straight to Chantilly on October 1 for the Arc, where she is now no better than Evens to keep her hot streak going.
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, was also struggling to name a better filly who had carried the famous green, pink and white silks.
“I always quote Andre Fabre on this one in that we don’t rate our friends,” he said.Frankie Dettori was winning his third Darley Yorkshire Oaks after Only Royale in 1994 and Blue Bunting in 2011 (PA)
"She is right up there. She is very special. To do what she has done this summer is thrilling.”
Enable sweated up beforehand in the pre-parade ring but there certainly was not an anxious moment during any point of the 2 minutes 35.79 seconds it took her to cover the 12 furlongs.
Quickly out of the stalls, the 1-4 favourite was soon into an early lead she was to maintain all the way to the line.
Winding the tempo up early on down the home straight, Enable continued to lengthen in impressive fashion, as each of her rivals began to feel the pinch.
Pressing on relentlessly, the market leader crossed the line clear to add to her wins in the English and Irish Oaks and last time out in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Dettori has been aboard some of the greatest fillies there has been in Europe over the past 25 years. The gutsy Ouija Board, the brilliant dual Arc winner Treve, Oaks and Irish Derby winner Balanchine, the sprinter Lochsong, and Cape Verdi, who was considered good enough to run in the Derby.
How does Enable compare?
“She got a bit lonely up front and she started to labour, but I felt she had some left in the tank,” he said.
“If you try to keep up with her she’ll break your lungs. When something comes to her she gets competitive and gets going. Today was like a gallop and she won by five.
“She has got to win an Arc to be the best I have ridden. Four Group Ones by five lengths though - it doesn’t get much better than this.”