ENABLE’S crown is back in its place as she landed a record-breaking third King George at Ascot.
‘The Queen’ had been beaten on her past two starts, and her reign at the top of the sport had started to slip.
But she was back to her imperious best in the driving rain with Frankie Dettori merely a passenger, as she cruised home by five lengths from the Aidan O’Brien challenge of Sovereign and Japan.
With only three runners, it was always going to be a tactical cat and mouse affair. But Enable sat pretty in second throughout and ran down Sovereign with ease in the straight.
A Juddmonte International winner and an Irish Derby hero were both stuffed out of sight.
A jubilant Dettori treated the winners’ enclosure to a trademark flying dismount after shouting ‘she’s back!’ to what crowd there was.
🏆 🏆 🏆
A third King George for the brilliant Enable – take a bow
He beamed: “I’m very emotional, because I’ve only got her maybe for another two months, so every race is special – and I’m really going to enjoy this one.
“It took a long time to get her back this year, she’s getting older and she knows exactly what’s going on.
“We tried everything to get the fire back and that’s exactly why John Gosden is a brilliant trainer, he tries everything and thinks outside the box. We’ve got her back now, I love her so much.
“She’s taken me to heights I’ve never reached before. I spoil her with Polos and I’ve become best friends with her.
“It has never been done before – three King Georges – and I am over the moon. There is a bit of a knot in my throat but the fact that I have only got her for two more months makes me a bit emotional about it.”
It was Enable’s eleventh Group 1 and a seventh King George for Dettori, who equalled Lester Piggot’s long standing record in the race.
Age is clearly just a number for the pair with the l’Arc de Triomphe three-timer dream back alive after a gut-wrenching defeat in last year’s renewal.
Trainer John Gosden will now have to decide which race she takes in at York before a date with destiny again in France.
The Juddmonte International would see a rematch with Ghaiyyath, while the Yorkshire Oaks would mean a highly-anticipated clash with Oaks heroine Love.
Gosden said: “Her work had been very good leading into this, and she was quite imperious today.
“It’s a pleasure to see when Frankie’s looking round, but if you do it too much you might fall off! She won it very nicely – I think he only gave her one flick.
“I’d been very open that I let her come in her own time this year – she’s highly intelligent, she doesn’t need me to ask her too much, she brought herself here in top nick today.
“Between her training herself and Frankie training her, sometimes there’s not much room for me!
“I remember greats like Maurice Zilber, Dahlia – all those that have won it twice, but to win it three times. Enable missed running in it as a four-year-old due to injury, so she is quite some racemare.
“York has always been on the agenda – there are two races. The Juddmonte International and Yorkshire Oaks, and we’ll look at both.
“York could be really exciting, with an exceptional Oaks winner heading there as well.”