07/27/2017 10:46AM

Enable tries older males in King George


Enable, the winner of the English Oaks and Irish Oaks in recent starts, will be favored Saturday to become the third female in the last six years to win the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot Racecourse in England.

As of Thursday, Enable was 5-4 with British bookmakers to win the $1,508,340 race at 1 1/2 miles on turf. The winner receives a fees-paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar on Nov. 4.

Enable will be ridden by Frankie Dettori and will carry 119 pounds. Dettori told the British press that the weight is at the low end of his range but is an assignment he would strive to achieve.

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Owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by John Gosden, Enable has won 4 of 5 starts. She is proven at the King George distance, with wins at 1 1/2 miles in the English Oaks at Epsom on June 2 and the Irish Oaks at The Curragh on July 15.

Earlier this year, Enable was third in an allowance race at Newbury in April and won the minor Cheshire Oaks on May 10.

“Her races have been well spread so far,” Gosden said in a statement released by Ascot this week.

“Newbury to the Cheshire Oaks was about three weeks, then from the Cheshire Oaks to the [English] Oaks was a month. Then, six weeks to the Irish Oaks. So, she’s been well spaced, and she’s done well physically.”

Gosden was the last trainer to win the King George with a filly, doing so with the 3-year-old Taghrooda in 2014. The German-bred filly Danedream won the 2012 King George as a 4-year-old.

Gosden won the 2011 King George with Nathaniel, the sire of Enable.

Enable’s main rivals are three of the leading older males in Dubai and England this year – Highland Reel, Jack Hobbs, and Ulysses.

Highland Reel, who won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita last November, won the 2016 King George. Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Highland Reel was brilliant in June, winning the Group 1 Coronation Cup at 1 1/2 miles at Epsom on June 2 and the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at 1 1/4 miles at Royal Ascot on June 21.

Jack Hobbs, trained by Gosden, won the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic in March but was last of eight in the Prince of Wales’s.

Ulysses, fourth in the 2016 BC Turf, was third in the Prince of Wales’s and won his first Group 1 in the Eclipse Stakes at 1 1/4 miles at Sandown Park on July 8, edging Barney Roy by a nose.