King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO
|Group 1, Ascot 15:40
£400,000 added, 3yo plus,
1m 3f 211y, Class 1
|Saturday 25th July 2020
1 Enable 4/9F
2 Sovereign 12/1
3 Japan 5/2
3 ran NR: Anthony Van Dyck Distances: 5½l, 11l
Time: 2m 28.92s (slow by 0.42s)
Enable became the first horse ever to win the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes three times.
The six-year-old Nathaniel
mare was previously successful in the mile and a half midsummer highlight in 2017 and 2019. Before today, shared the record of two King George successes with Dahlia (1973, 1974) and Swain (1997, 1998).
Enable's success was a record-equalling King George triumph for jockey Frankie Dettori, who now joins Lester Piggott with seven wins in the prestigious contest.
It was Sovereign
(Aidan O'Brien IRE/William Buick), the winner of last year's G1 Irish Derby
, who made the running, with Enable racing exuberantly in second.
Travelling ominously well entering the straight, Enable made smooth headway to tackle Sovereign a furlong and a half from home. She lengthened to win by an emphatic five and a half lengths. Second favourite Japan
(Aidan O'Brien IRE/Ryan Moore) was never able to get competitive and trailed home last of the three runners, a further 11 lengths adrift.
John Gosden commented: "Enable has really, really trained beautifully for this race. I made it very clear to everyone that she wasn't tuned properly for a mile and a quarter [in the Eclipse] at that pace, but the race put her right. I told Frankie to ride her with a lot of confidence and travel for a long as he could, and she did.
"She is back in top order, no doubt about that. We have been thrilled with her at home. I never expect things like that but I was expecting to see that, but life can be full of disappointments.
"I remember great friends like Maurice Zilber, Dahlia - all those great ones that have won it twice, but to win it three times. Enable missed running in it as a four-year-old due to injury, so she is quite some racemare.
"It was a small field but an elite field. These are proper Irish Derby, Juddmonte International
winners - those are top G1s and there aren't many top G1 horses around at any time. I know that this has been a difficult year but at least it was a truly elite race and it was run at a proper pace."
Frankie Dettori said: "She is unbelievable. As a six-year-old and John has done a great job to keep her going. Three King Georges has never been done before and now we have try the impossible and go for three Arcs. What a horse, what can you say? It's no burden to say I love her so much. My favourite girl!
"I spoke to John at length this morning and said I am not going to break her stride. Obviously, Japan is the horse to beat but, if he wants to follow me, I have no problem with her because she is very versatile. She is amazing and made it look so easy. She is six, so she is no spring chicken and, to put up a performance like that is great.
"She is so consistent and I love her. It is very sad that I am only going to be on her for another couple of months. She has touched my heart.
"Obviously, we knew Sovereign was going to make the running and it was a bit of a cat and mouse situation with me and Ryan for the first couple of furlongs. He was happy to let me go, so I followed the pacemaker and, in fairness, it was a very even gallop. I was trying to time it so I did not hit the front too early and I couldn't hear a lot, so I looked around and I saw Ryan in trouble. Then it was a matter of hoping that, if I pressed the button, she would pick up and she did.
"It has never been done before - three King Georges - and I am over the moon. There is a bit of a knot in my throat but the fact that I have only got her for two more months makes me a bit emotional about it.
"The hardest bit was for John and the team to get her interested in the mornings. When she comes to raceday, she comes alive. It took a lot longer this year to get her fit and today you saw the finished article. We have a massive dream to try and win a third Arc, so fingers crossed.
King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes
(Sponsored By Qipco) (British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£400,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 3f 211y, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm
POS. (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (3) Enable 6 9-4 John Gosden Frankie Dettori 4/9F
2 (4) 5½ Sovereign 4 9-7 A P O'Brien William Buick 12/1
3 (2) 11 Japan 4 9-7 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 5/2
NR 1 (1) Anthony Van Dyck 4 9-7 A P O'Brien NON RUNNER