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Kempton set to welcome Enable with star's September Stakes return confirmed

Jonathan Vine 30 Aug 2018
Frankie Dettori and Enable winning the Qatar Prix de lArc de Triomphe.

Clerk of the course at Kempton, Barney Clifford has spoken of his excitement after it became clear Enable would be making her return from injury in the September Stakes next weekend.

Enable ended 2017 at the top of the mile, the summit of the mountain, the best horse in all of Europe. John Gosden’s filly claimed a quartet of Oaks crowns at Chester, Epsom, the Curragh and York. Frankie Dettori was also in-toe as Enable beat the boys in the King George at Ascot, before rounding off a monumental campaign with a stunning triumph in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Heading into this season, John Gosden’s plan for Enable was clear. All paths pointed towards the defence of her Arc crown, with the Coronation Stakes at Epsom her intended starting point. However, just weeks before he planned reappearance, Enable was struck down with a knee injury and the best middle-distance horse in the world hasn’t been seen since.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Enable’s owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, has been tight-lipped about Enable possible return all summer. Yet, in an interview during last week’s Ebor Festival, Grimthorpe revealed to the press that, if she didn’t run at York, then the September Stakes at Kempton would be the scene of Enable’s reappearance.

This news must have sounded like music to the ears of Barney Clifford, clerk of the course at Kempton. Group One winners Prince Bishop and Jack Hobbs have won the September Stakes and Clifford would be delighted to see Enable, who began her racing career with a victory on an artificial surface, join that illustrious list.

"It would be fantastic if she were to run here." Clifford told the Racing Post. "I should think she’d have an enormous following."

"September Stakes day has been rebranded this year as 80s day, which is fantastic, and everything will help to bring a crowd to the track."

Frankie Dettori leaps from Enable's saddle after winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.


"It would be a fantastic option for Enable as it's been a stepping stone to some pretty renowned races worldwide. Jack Hobbs won the race a few years ago and Dubai Gold Cup winner Prince Bishop won the race twice."

"It's a Group 3, but based on some of the horses who have historically won it, you'd say it's a higher-rated contest than that."

Frankie Dettori will be as ecstatic as anyone to see Enable return and the enigmatic Italian is sure to make the trip to Kempton to ride his favourite mount. Up at Haydock on the same afternoon, George Scott’s James Garfield looks set to run in the Sprint Cup. Despite the two courses being over 200 miles apart, Dettori - a good friend of Scott’s - has said he will be make the journey up north following Enable return to take the ride on James Garfield.

Scott told the Racing Post, "Frankie is certain to be at Kempton for Enable, however we will be picking him up providing Mr Gosden doesn't need him after Enable has run."

James Garfield still has to be supplemented into the Sprint Cup, having only returned to the sprinting ranks in the Prix Maurice de Gheest last month. Last year’s Mill Reef Stakes winner impressed with a superb performance at Deauville, with Polydream the only runner good enough to pass Scott’s frontrunner, and BetVictor currently offer odds of 6/1 on James Garfield winning the Sprint Cup a week on Saturday.

Despite winning five Group Ones last season, Enable’s recent inactivity means she will have no penalty to shoulder when she makes her return in this Group Three. A small field is expected if Enable is indeed confirmed as a runner in the September Stakes, but that won’t take any gloss off the occasion and it will be wonderful to see John Gosden’s girl strut her stuff on a racetrack once again.

*Current Sprint Cup (8/9/18) betting with BetVictor*
9/4 Harry Angel, 6/1 James Garfield, 8/1 Blue Point, The Tin Man, 10/1 Tasleet, Brando, 12/1 Limato, Eqtidaar, Dreamfield 16/1 Bar

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Kempton set to welcome Enable with star's September Stakes return confirmed

Clerk of the course at Kempton, Barney Clifford has spoken of his excitement after it became clear Enable would be making her return from injury in the September Stakes on Saturday 8th September.

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