Enable casts a long shadow over the middle-distance division of British Flat racing. The one often eclipsed by her is fellow mare Magical.
They have met five times before, and on each occasion Enable finished ahead of the Irish raider. A record third King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory at Ascot came for her in a three-horse race.
The turnout was disappointing, but nobody should accuse Enable of being that. After all, she could only beat what was put in front of her in Berkshire.
Magical swerved a clash with her contemporary and long-time rival, preferring a defence of the Tattersalls Gold Cup on home soil in Ireland 24 hours later.
Neither mare had to get into top gear in order to gain more Group 1 glory. Magical has six wins at the highest level now, three of which have come at The Curragh.
Like with Enable in the King George, the second-favourite didn’t turn up in Ireland. Buckhurst and Japan came last in small fields of six and three respectively.
The trouble is we haven’t learned anything new about either wonder mare. Magical was supposed to be retired to the paddocks, only for a global pandemic to change Coolmore plans.
She has rewarded her owners with two more Group 1 wins as a five-year-old. Enable, meanwhile, came on for a return in the Eclipse behind Ghaiyyath with a historic victory.
Enable assured of place in history
No racehorse has ever won the King George three times until now. Granted, the field was tiny this year with virtually handed things to Enable.
Both mares were long odds-on in the betting with bookmakers and thus expected winners. Enable is an 11-time Group 1 scorer now, more than fellow Prince Kahlid Abdullah owned great Frankel.
It is easy to get blase about these achievements. Flat thoroughbreds don’t tend to have such longevity at that elite level.
Perhaps we will only truly appreciate the likes of Enable and Magical when their racing careers end. That could be in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for the former, while the latter seems highly effective over shorter.
Magical won the Champion Stakes double last autumn. She has been a cut above other mares, as evidenced by wins in open company.
As for what’s next, Enable is rated a 5/4 joint-favourite with dual Classic scorer Love to win the Yorkshire Oaks for a third time. Trainer John Gosden must decide whether to go for that again or drop back in trip at the Ebor Festival.
Connections of Magical, meanwhile, will likely keep her apart from young stable companion Love. Given Japan’s disappointing displays this season, she might be the Coolmore representative in the Juddmonte International.
O’Brien has hinted that extended test over 10 furlongs at York during the Ebor Festival could be next. Magical may also defend her Irish Champion Stakes crown.
A third Arc is the dream for Enable. She is also 3/1 joint-favourite with Love for France’s most famous race and making even more history.