© Photo Healy RacingJohn Gosden is looking forward to the rest of the campaign with Enable despite the mare suffering the third defeat of her career on her seasonal bow in Sunday’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
A third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe win remains her ultimate target in the autumn and she satisfied her trainer when second to Charlie Appleby’s Ghaiyyath over a trip short of her optimum.
However, Gosden believes Enable could face a tricky task at ParisLongchamp in October should 1000 Guineas and Oaks winner Love be in opposition, with the six-year-old having to concede 7lb to her younger rival.
“She took it well, she had a good blow after the race,” said Gosden.
“It’s always a worry when you haven’t run since October and she was coming back as a six-year-old mare, but I thought her demeanour was wonderful.
“You are never going to catch Ghaiyyath round Sandown over a mile and a quarter when he gets a nice easy lead. He’s a magnificent horse and a great galloper. To that extent we were delighted to finish second.
“If you are a stock man and work with animals, you get used to them and I could feel and see that her metabolism had changed as she’s got older. She’s finding it hard to get tight, the race will have helped, but you can’t keep trying to do it at home.”
Looking towards the rest of the season, Gosden told At The Races: “The King George would be the plan. We were lucky the Eclipse was only one day late because of everything, so we’ll look towards the King George, then York (Yorkshire Oaks) and Paris. I don’t want to over-race her.
“A third Arc would be an extraordinary achievement. Last year went wrong because we chased Ghaiyyath in the very heavy ground. He kicked in the false straight which is a tactical no-no, we then all kicked at the cutaway and then we walked the last furlong — the sectional times tell you that. We don’t want to make that mistake.
“This year you’ve got to look at the three-year-olds. For me there was one outstanding three-year-old performance in Europe and that was by a certain filly in the Oaks (Love).
“You start taking on a filly like that giving them weight, you’ve got a whole new problem on your hands. I think the Oaks winner would have won the Derby — the only thing that would get in her way was if it turned soft or heavy. She’s the standout three-year-old.”
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Enable’s owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, also expressed his satisfaction with the mare’s performance.
He said: “The expectation on her is enormous — we understand that. We’re really pleased with her and she’s come out of the race well.
“I think we made it pretty clear she would improve for the run. You’re rather damned if you do and damned if you don’t, as if she’d won easily everyone would have said we’d put people away and then if she’s beaten, people say we’re starting to make excuses already!
“I’m sure if Prince Khalid is happy that (King George) is where she’ll be going next, all being well.”
Gosden enjoyed Classic success at the weekend as Mishriff put up an excellent display to claim the Prix du Jockey Club.
“He was impressive and quickened up very nicely,” said Gosden.
“I think we’ll look to keep him against three-year-olds as 10 furlongs looks his trip for now and there appears to be some decent older ones around, as we saw at Sandown yesterday.
“The Prix Guillaume d’Ornano which is a Group Two for which Group One winners don’t carry a penalty looks suitable.”