EPSOM, ENGLAND // Godolphin left Epsom empty-handed on Friday as John Gosden’s Enable and Aidan O’Brien’s Highland Reel plundered the English Oaks and Group 1 Coronation Cup respectively.
Sobetsu could finish only eighth to Enable, who set a course record time for the 2,400-metre Classic of two minutes, 34.13 seconds under Frankie Dettori.
In driving rain, that was preceded by thunder and lightning across the rolling Downs, Enable fought off English 1000 Guineas runner-up Rhododendron and Ryan Moore to win by five lengths.
It was a fourth victory in the English Classic for Dettori, who had previously won with Godolphin’s Balanchine (1994), Moonshell (1995) and Kazzia (2002) from his 21 rides. It sets up the Italian rider beautifully for Saturday’s Derby, in which he rides Cracksman, one of the favourites for the colt’s Classic.
“Ryan came very quickly and I looked at his reins and they were pretty tight and I thought, ‘Oh God, he’s got the better of me,” Dettori said of the thrilling final 500 metres. “Then we got to the two pole and I got him off the bridle and I thought I would definitely get to the line and he was not going to.
“The filly put on a very good performance. The back of my mind I knew I had a great chance. I knew Rhododendron would have a question mark over her stamina.
“I have raced in every race today and I’ve just got to go home and regroup for the big one. It’s like a player scoring a penalty and going back to the circle with a spring in their step.”
Trainer John Gosden suggested after the race that Enable, who won the Cheshire Oaks from third placed Alluringly, was of the same class of Taghrooda, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid’s 2014 Oaks winner who went on to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. It would not be a surprise to see her take on the colts in mid-summer.
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