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Homeracing

Enable preps for Arc in Yorkshire Oaks, “Win & You’re In” for BC Filly & Mare Turf

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

August 22nd, 2017

Ebor Festival preview continued from Part I on Juddmonte International

Although Thursday’s Yorkshire Oaks (G1) is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In,” it’s unclear how much of an impact the 1 1/2-mile affair will have as the Filly & Mare Turf (G1) is trimmed to 1 1/8 miles at Del Mar this year. That said, reigning Filly & Mare Turf star Queen’s Trust is taking on red-hot Enable at York.

Enable, the clear antepost favorite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), is understandably a prohibitive odds-on choice to continue her winning streak here. The Juddmonte homebred hasn’t simply turned a unique treble in the Oaks (G1) at Epsom, Irish Oaks (G1), and King George versus older males – she’s smashed them to pieces in succession. Unless the Gosden filly has gone retrograde in the past month, she ought to make it five in a row, especially with the nine-pound pull from her elders.

Queen’s Trust, third in last year’s Yorkshire Oaks, has been compromised by rain-softened ground in two of her three outings this season. The one time she encountered a quick surface, the Stoute filly was a strong fourth to Highland Reel in the Prince of Wales’s. Yet the question remains if she’s just not better suited to 1 1/4 miles.

The same question can be posed to Nezwaah, who enters off a new career high for Roger Varian in the Pretty Polly (G1). At least the daughter of Dubawi has yet to try 1 1/2 miles, and pedigree indicates she should love it. Whether that’s enough to contain Enable is a different matter.

Final declarations will be revealed Tuesday, but as of now, Gosden is triple-handed with Ribblesdale (G2) victress Coronet and British Champions Fillies & Mares (G1) winner Journey backing up Enable. Both were last seen at the Curragh, Coronet finishing fourth to her illustrious stablemate in the Irish Oaks and Journey a poor 10th behind Nezwaah when shortening up for the Pretty Polly.

O’Brien’s only candidate, Alluringly, has been put in her place by Enable three times so far. Turret Rocks hasn’t progressed as hoped for Jim Bolger, while Abingdon faces a class test in her Group 1 debut for Stoute. So would Godolphin’s Natural Scenery, unless trainer Saeed bin Suroor opts for the Galtres one race later. (And she’s in Saturday’s Ebor too.)

Speaking of the Galtres, Frankel and Midday’s daughter, Mori, drops in class after her close call versus Coronet in the Ribblesdale.

U.S. racing fans have an extra reason to tune in earlier Thursday for the Lowther (G2), as Wesley Ward’s Happy Like a Fool tries six furlongs for the first time. Runner-up as the favorite in the five-furlong Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot, she was scratched from the Molecomb (G3) due to the bog at Glorious Goodwood. Ward mulled the Prix Morny (G1) as well, but supplemented Happy Like a Fool for York. Her rivals include Madeline, a convincing winner of the Rose Bowl at Newbury; Mark Johnston’s Goodwood debut romper Threading; and an O’Brien deputation likely to feature Actress, who beat the boys in the Anglesey (G3) prior to a third in the Phoenix (G1), and Butterscotch, second to high-flying stablemate Clemmie in the Grangecon Stud (G3).

Enable photo courtesy of Ascot via Twitter

Continued in Part III on Nunthorpe...

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