International

Back

Who does Enable have to beat to win the Yorkshire Oaks?

Frankie Dettori will ride Enable for the 12th time as the pair prepare to face three rivals in Thursday's Darley Yorkshire Oaks in what will be a head-to-head clash between the powerful stables of Aidan O'Brien and John Gosden.

While the all-conquering daughter of Nathaniel will be a prohibitively-priced favourite for the 1m4f Group 1, she will certainly have to do more than simply show up on the Knavesmire if she is to collect her 12th consecutive victory.

With stablemate and Oaks winner Anapurna side-stepping the contest, chief among Enable's rivals is the consistent Aidan O'Brien-trained Magical who has twice been second to her in the last 12 months, eliciting memories of the Excelebration's thankless task of trying to better Frankel in 2011 and 2012. 

However, Magical is already a Group 1 winner in Ireland this season and was just a length and a quarter behind Crystal Ocean – the top-rated horse in the world – in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot before being touched off by Enable in the Coral-Eclipse.

Should Enable fail to put her best foot forward on Thursday, Magical could well be there to claim the spoils. 

William Derby, chief executive and clerk of the course at York, said: “The race has amazing quality with the highest-rated filly in the world in Magical taking on the highest-rated mare in Enable. 

“In 2009 we had Sea The Stars contest a four-runner renewal of the Juddmonte International and it was one of the most amazing and thrilling races we’ve staged. It’s all about the quality and shape up between the generations from our perspective.

“Enable has a huge affection with British horseracing fans and racegoers absolutely understand the qualities she offers. It might be the last time to see her in action on these shores and it looks a fascinating race.

“When you get to the very pinnacle of the pyramid there are not the same numbers but we’d much rather have the highest quality of runners.”

William Buick, who returned to Group 1 action at Deauville on Sunday following his injury-enforced absence, will ride for his old boss Gosden aboard Lah Ti Dar.

The Lloyd-Webber's filly has come up short in two starts since winning the Group 2 Middleton Fillies' Stakes at York in May. While undoubtedly talented, the daughter of Dubawi may lack the unbridled brilliance of her esteemed stablemate.  

Completing the four-runner field is South Sea Pearl, also trained by O'Brien, whose only Pattern-level success came in the Listed Vinnie Roe Stakes at Leopardstown last month.

Yet to contest a Group 1, the three-year-old will be in receipt of 9lb from her older rivals and will form part of Ballydoyle's two-pronged tactical assault on Enable.

Darley Yorkshire Oaks confirmed field 

1 Enable Frankie Dettori
2 Lah Ti Dah William Buick
3 Magical Ryan Moore
4 South Sea Pearl Seamie Heffernan

 

Share/Bookmark