European champion Enable, slated to return in the June 1 Coronation Cup (G1) on Oaks Day at Epsom, has had her seasonal debut postponed to August after developing a knee issue.
The news came Monday in a statement from Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner/breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah:
“Enable has met with a setback in training. She has some filling in her knee which is being fully investigated.
“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.”
Grimthorpe offered additional comments to Racing Post:
“If it was a minor knock we might be saying that while she might not make the Coronation Cup she could still be back later in June, but with this we’re going to allow plenty of time for it to hopefully settle down and then aim to get her rolling in August.
“She’d 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.”
Enable was last seen capturing the Arc on October 1 at Chantilly, where the John Gosden pupil extended her winning streak to six. After dismantling fellow sophomore fillies in a trio of Oaks – her Cheshire prep, followed by the Epsom and Curragh classics – the daughter of Nathaniel proved equally devastating against older horses. She added the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth (G1) to her historic collection, beating Ulysses and Highland Reel in a strong cast, and romped over distaff elders in the Yorkshire Oaks (G1).
That feature during York’s Ebor meeting in August served as her stepping stone to the Arc. So if all goes according to plan with her recovery, she’d have a similar time frame ahead of her title defense – with the significant difference that it would mark only her second start back.
Thus hopes of a pre-Arc clash with high-flying stablemate Cracksman were dashed. Cracksman, who crushed the Champion S. (G1) at Ascot in his 2017 finale, hacked up by four lengths in his reappearance in the April 29 Prix Ganay (G1). We’ll have to hope both make it to the newly redeveloped ParisLongchamp for the October 7 Arc.
In other injury news afflicting the Coronation Cup, last year’s Irish Derby (G1) and St Leger (G1) hero Capri has been ruled out by a bruised shoulder.
Speaking to attheraces.com, trainer Aidan O’Brien described it as “a little setback” in the wake of his successful comeback in the April 13 Alleged (G3) at Naas. Since O’Brien noted he’s “just not 100 percent yet,” hopefully it’s not anything that would keep him out of action for too long.
On a happier front, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner Wuheida could be sighted in Saratoga’s Diana (G1). Trainer Charlie Appleby mentioned the July 21 feature as a possibility after the Godolphin homebred starred in her four-year-old bow in Sunday’s Dahlia (G2) at Newmarket.