Superstar filly Enable has lived up to expectations with a stylish front-running victory in the Group Three September Stakes at Kempton Park.
The John Gosden-trained four-year-old had not been seen since winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, and all eyes were on Frankie Dettori’s mount in her clash with the Sir Michael Stoute-trained King George runner-up Crystal Ocean.
Dettori sent her straight to the front and increased the tempo turning for home. Crystal Ocean ranged up menacingly at one stage, but ultimately had no answer to the 8-15 favourite who won by 3-1/2 lengths.
She will now head to Paris to try to defend her Arc crown.
“It was a nice race for both of them if you are having a prep for the Arc,” Gosden said.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with her.
“It was good to see her back, as it’s been a long wait. She came here 80 per cent and the race will put her right. She is at a good place mentally and the race will put her right.”
Enable’s return was delayed by a setback in May.
“She has found it (being out of action) more frustrating than us,” Gosden said.
“It really annoys her when the other horses go out on the (Newmarket) Heath to canter and gallop and she has to stay behind. She doesn’t like that at all.
“She did put a massive amount of weight on. She got very big, as she couldn’t do anything for six weeks but she is bit like a Federer or Nadal – she is very strong in the mind and was determined to come back.
“To get the best mile-and-a-half filly you are ever likely to train again back means an awful lot. There have been some long days. We’ve got her back, but the Arc is the big one.”
Dettori said Enable felt “as good as ever”.
“It gives her more credibility with Crystal Ocean being in the race,” he said.
“Her home work had been good, but we hadn’t gone beyond a mile at home and there was always that little bit of doubt in my mind if she was 100 per cent fit, but she is trained by a master. You can always rely on him.
“I’m delighted, she was as good as ever. You’d expect to her improve and it’s all systems go to Longchamp.”