Enable to lock horns with Crystal Ocean in 11-strong King George

Frankie Dettori celebrates after riding Enable to win The King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot racecourse

Frankie Dettori celebrates after riding Enable to win The King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot racecourse

With Derby victor Anthony Van Dyck and proven top-class performer Crystal Ocean among those lying in wait, Gosden is under no illusions about the task at hand.

Enable prevailed and remains on track to aim for an unprecedented third success in Europe's richest race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, in October.

"Enable won the King George as a three-year-old filly getting weight, just as Taghrooda (2014) did".

"This is no penalty kick, absolutely not". Dettori then made rapid ground in the straight to draw alongside Crystal Ocean, a big move that left Gosden concerned that Enable was in front too early.

"Enable is up for it, but I just don't think it is the formality that is indicated (by the betting)".

"Then James was sitting pretty going really well, so I jumped on him and made a race of it, and I probably took him by surprise".

"We've had a smoother run this year".

For John Gosden, Enable's trainer, it resembled the men's final at Wimbledon, 12-all in the final set.

"She's a fearless and wonderful filly, and what a great battle with Crystal Ocean. She has maintained her enthusiasm for racing and really enjoys her work - and as long as Frankie (Dettori) stops training her and I'm allowed to train her and he rides her, we might get there!" I didn't take her away for a racecourse gallop - she did all her work in Newmarket - and I would say it wasn't until we got her on a gallop she likes, the round gallop on the Limekilns, that she showed her zest and old spark.

"Prior to then, she was the like the heavyweight boxer trying to get ready for a championship fight - he has been off a number of months and running the roads and being in the gym is tough mentally".

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"I know she has enormous determination and I knew she would fight back, but it was just a wonderful race".

"I've been lucky enough to win every race I've ridden her in, and I would love nothing more than for that to continue on Saturday. The last two weeks before Sandown, you saw all her passion coming out for racing and training".

The alternative is a trip to York's Ebor meeting next month before she returns to France, for either the Yorkshire Oaks - which she won in 2017 - or the International Stakes, which is sponsored by Juddmonte Farms, the breeding operation of her owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah.

As for the aforementioned Dettori whose career has been rekindled by his big race association with Gosden, even he is feeling the weight of public expectation.

Her two Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe victories may be the benchmark victories of her career - but few can argue her latest triumph over Crystal Ocean was her bravest, in a finish that had shades of the titanic tussle between Grundy and Bustino in the 1975 renewal.

Jockey James Doyle: "I've never experienced finishing second in a race and getting as loud a cheer as the victor".

"Crystal Ocean was there and he was annoying me until the line".

"He said, "no, let her race at five", and she is here winning an Eclipse and King George and aiming at an Arc".

On their special relationship, Dettori said: "She is a special horse, a superstar, the queen of racing!" "Maybe we go straight to the Arc, I don't know", Gosden said.

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