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Cracksman clash put on hold as Enable ruled out with knee injury

Jonathan Vine 8 May 2018
Frankie Dettori and Enable cross the line upon winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2017.

The flat racing world was rocked on Monday, as the new broke of Enable’s unfortunate injury and John Gosden’s filly faces a three-month spell on the sidelines.

One of the main talking points leading into the 2018 flat racing season was the prospect of Enable and Cracksman going head to head. Both ended their three-year-old campaigns at the head of their respective divisions, with Cracksman storming to victory in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in the same month Enable cruised to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe crown at Chantilly.

After watching Cracksman destroy a competitive field in the Prix Ganay on his reappearance, Teddy Grimthorpe – racing manager to Enable’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah – claimed Enable had wintered well and the team wouldn’t shirk any future showdown’s with her stablemate. Even claiming the match-race could happen in the King George at Ascot in July.

Sadly, no sooner had the fire been lit, a shower of bad news appeared to douse the flames. Grimthorpe released a statement on Monday, revealing Enable has suffered a knee injury and was unlikely to be fully fit until the start of August.

“Enable has met with a setback in training." Grimthorpe told Press Association Sport. "She has some filling in her knee which is being fully investigated. We will treat it or deal with it as advised.”

“She had been doing fantastically well and we were looking forward to her beginning proper work this week. It was literally on Friday, when she just did a swinging canter on the Al Bahathri (gallop at Newmarket).”

"The advice that we have is, that given reasonable circumstances, she should be ready to run in August as a preparation for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.”

Enable (right) cruising to victory in the Yorkshire Oaks at York last year.

York’s meeting towards the end of August is likely to be the scene of Enable’s return from injury. While an outing in the Juddmonte International is a mouth-water prospect, Gosden may prefer an easier assignment in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, a race Enable comfortably won last year before heading straight for the Arc.

Before the news of this setback came in, Enable headed Cracksman in the betting for the Arc, which returns to Longchamp in 2018 after a couple of seasons away from the famous course. In a statement released yesterday evening, Ladbrokes have now pushed Cracksman to the top of the market for that historic Group One.

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said, “The hopes are that Enable will be back and fighting fit for the Arc, but the setback was enough to spark a flurry of bets on Cracksman coming out on top and he is now our market leader for the race.”

Along with heading the Arc betting, Cracksman has been clipped into Evens for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and is likely to carry a similar price into the King George, should he come away from Ascot with his winning streak intact. Enable can now be found at odds of 11/4 to successfully defend her Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe crown. Yet, if she can prove her fitness before returning to French soil, that price will look exceedingly long.

*Current betting markets with Ladbrokes*
Prince Of Wales Stakes (20/6/18)
Evens Cracksman, 8/1 Rhododendron, Wuheida, 9/1 Eminent, Benbatl, Poet’s Word, 10/1 Thunder Snow, 12/1 bar

Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe (7/10/18)
11/4 Cracksman, 4/1 Enable, 8/1 Saxon Warrior, 20/1 bar

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Cracksman clash put on hold as Enable ruled out with knee injury

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