Friday 22 November 2019

Classy filly to emulate father at Ascot

Enable has class to prevail for Gosden and see off O'Brien pair

On Her Toes, with Joe Fanning Up (right) on the way to winning the Valiant Stakes at Ascot yesterday. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
On Her Toes, with Joe Fanning Up (right) on the way to winning the Valiant Stakes at Ascot yesterday. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Johnny Ward

Today's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is one of those things of beauty in Group One combat where elders meet three-year-olds, girls clash with boys - and it is next to impossible to be sure what will happen.

It is a rare thing when a three-year-old filly dominates the wagering in such a race and one is apt to think of the likes of Zarkava when just a 13/8 chance in the Arc nine years ago. Three years back, the three-year-old Taghrooda routed her rivals in the King George and that race looked no worse than today's, whereas Taghrooda had looked no better than Enable.

Successful punting involves many things - one, an acceptance that what most likely wins the race is irrelevant. It is trumped by the pursuit of what offers value in it. Many will argue that Enable does not qualify as the value bet in a contest which involves a steed as granite-solid as Highland Reel, rated 123 and last year's winner.

He epitomises the qualities of Galileo: he is tough, durable and high-class, but note his record with any ease in the going: seven runs, no wins.

Giving a stone to a progressive, brilliant dual Oaks winner - which finishes races with remarkable power - may prove beyond Ryan Moore's mount.

Intriguingly, Idaho travels over with his elder brother. He is no hopeless case under Seamus Heffernan, yet his form falls a bit short of what is required. Home hopes Jack Hobbs and Ulysses are not out of it, and it is hard to forget how strongly the last-named travelled at Royal Ascot.

Dahlia was one of only two to win this race twice, initially - no less - as a three-year-old filly, while the selection's stallion Nathaniel was the victor in 2011.

ITV is the place to be, and the standard set by Nyaleti in the Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes is convincing. Her last two runs saw her beat everyone bar September (Royal Ascot) and Clemmie (Newmarket) - the main two fancies for the 2018 Guineas.

What can motor to glory in the Porsche Handicap? Century Dream deserves favouritism under Ryan Moore. He won with more in hand than three parts of a length at Ayr, yet Simon Crisford's colt has only gone up 5lb.

Ascot patrons warm up for the big one with the Gigaset International Stakes. Makzeem, now 3lb better off than he was at Newmarket when touched off last time, has a fair shout for Roger Charlton, with the ground to suit.

At York, Right Touch should appreciate the bigger field in the Win £100K For Free At Now Handicap.

Corkman David O'Meara's Move In Time takes the eye in the Sky Bet Dash Handicap, while Ken Condon's raider Success Days could make all in the York Stakes but Hathal is preferred.

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