Enable to be primed at big targets after Investec Oaks glory
John Gosden adds to British Classic collection
John Gosden is dreaming of the future with Enable after her success in the Investec Oaks last Friday.
The three-year-old daughter of Nathaniel had travelled well throughout the race before surging clear in the closing stages to beat odds-on favourite Rhododendron by five lengths.
And now Newmarket trainer Gosden is eyeing more riches with the Prince Khalid Abdullah-owned Enable.
“She is a magnificent filly,” said Gosden. “Khalid [Abdullah] has strong views as to where he likes his horses to run as he knows the race programme inside out but obviously, you have races like the Irish Oaks or go for the King George so these are all things to think about.
“We can dream of the future. I would not see the point of taking her back to mile and a quarter because there so many wonderful races at a mile and a half.
“I have got some lovely middle-distance fillies in the three-year-old crop and I thought all last year that the fillies were better than the colts.”
Enable only had one race as a two-year-old, which she won at Newcastle, and she was then third at Newbury this year before winning the Cheshire Oaks at Chester last time out.
And Gosden admitted that he was nervous of taking on Aidan O’Brien’s Rhododendron.
“The quality in the field today was so recognisable and I thought this was a top-quality Oaks,” said Gosden.
“I was absolutely terrified of Rhododendron coming into the race. With what Winter has achieved [British-Irish 1000 Guineas double] and how unlucky she was at Newmarket [QIPCO 2000 Guineas], given we were taking her on with a Listed winner, of course I was terrified.”
Gosden’s Cracksman had to settle for third in the Investec Derby, with Wings Of Eagles earning a three-quarters of a length victory.
But the handler was pleased with the performance, despite his charge being a little immature in running.
“I think Frankie [Dettori] found that the horse was still a bit immature mentally about the whole thing,” explained Gosden.
“A couple of times, Frankie had to galvanise him, particularly at the top of the hill - you could see his elbows moving a little, it was even picked up by the commentator.
“He was running a bit babyishly - maybe he could have done with that other race beforehand - but he has run a grand race, he was just caught out for experience and wasn’t beaten far.”
Gosden added: “There are obviously a solid, even bunch of colts and we’d be happy for a rematch - Cracksman is in the Irish Derby and it wouldn’t bother me going there at all, it is a nice galloping track and it would suit him.”
Another victory at the festival for Gosden was with Godolphin-owned Laugh Aloud, who ran out a five-length winner in the Group Three Princess Elizabeth Stakes.
“It was a good performance, and all being well she will go to the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge at Royal Ascot,” he added.