Gosden pleased by 'professional' Enable
Enable, John Gosden's dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine and the only even-money shot in the 14 Breeders' Cup races over tomorrow and Saturday, has assumed the starring role in Kentucky.
While her appearance on the Turf course under Frankie Dettori yesterday may not have been given quite the Hollywood reception accorded Zenyatta when she came to Churchill Downs in 2010, a healthy posse hung around for her spin.
Gosden was pleased with her and Roaring Lion which was out on the dirt earlier, also ridden by Dettori, although Oisín Murphy will ride him on Saturday.
"She was very professional," said the trainer. "It took a little longer to come out of the Arc having not gone in 100 per cent, but she travelled well and has settled in."
In Saturday's Turf she will attempt to become the first Arc winner to win a Breeders' Cup race in the same season. Eight have tried and failed including Dancing Brave and Gosden's Golden Horn, which was undone by the rain in 2015.
"Golden Horn ran a valiant race on the worst ground I'd seen," he reflected outside the quarantine barn. "I think he'd have broken that stat on decent ground. But they keep throwing it at you and maybe they will be proved right. A mile-and-a-half round three turns is a very different ball game."
On a mild morning Roaring Lion returned from going through the stalls in a muck sweat, but Gosden was unfazed.
"I'd have been disappointed if he hadn't been. It's a huge challenge for him. But when Frankie looked at him he asked if he was fit he has such a middle on him. We're watching the rain. If it was sloppy like it was for the Kentucky Derby, it would be no go."
Nearer to home, rising star Ben Coen had his allowance cut from 7lb to 5lb after steering Spiorad Saoirse to victory in the Book Your Christmas Party At Dundalk Handicap.
Coen got the Andrew Slattery-trained three-year-old home by a short head from Atlas to record his 30th career winner.