Enable's York romp puts her in prime position for Arc tilt
The ever-dazzling Enable notched her fourth straight Group One success and took another step towards becoming the horse of 2017 with what was effectively a lap of honour in yesterday's Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
John Gosden's star filly led all the way to come home five lengths clear of stablemate Coronet, with Aidan O'Brien's sole runner Alluringly back in fifth, and is now even-money favourite for the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in October.
This feature at York may not go down as the King George and dual Oaks heroine's stiffest test yet, a fact reflected by her odds of 1/4, but her rivals did include two Group One winners and the only time they got anywhere close to her was in the stalls.
First out of the stalls, Frankie Dettori let her make the most of her long, raking stride. Sometimes in front Dettori will slow the pace but there was no need for that here, she was comfortable and what was second gear for her was fifth gear for her opposition.
From there on it was just a case of keeping her going - and interested. "If something had sniffed her tail she'd have taken off. Even so, she won by five lengths," said Dettori. "She's entitled to be favourite for the Arc and the good thing is we know we can make the running if necessary. If we can keep her in this shape she'll be OK."
According to Gosden, the tactics had been left to Dettori. "There was no obvious pace. He (Dettori) said she got lonely in the last part and was idling. For the last two furlongs I think she was just plain bored. She's a lovely filly and that was a great performance."
Like the first Group race for juveniles this week, which went to Wells Farhh Go, the meeting's second, the Sky Bet Lowther, also went to a Yorkshire-trained horse when Mark Johnston's filly Threading showed her sixth-length debut win at Goodwood was no fluke when beating Madeline one and three-quarter lengths.
Johnston said: "She won on the soft at Goodwood and today but Exceed And Excel's progeny invariably need fast, so I wouldn't pigeon hole her as a soft-ground horse."
At Chepstow, meanwhile, Johnny Murtagh was on the mark with one of his four raiders. Appropriately, his filly Passionatta (7/1) fought like a tiger under David Probert to land the McGregor v Mayweather Handicap over an extended five furlongs.