Enable’s battle campaign will be built around trying to join the great two-time Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winners, so a slight hold-up owing to the recent cold weather was not an issue, insisted Teddy Grimthorpe on Monday.
The Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May or the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June have been identified as potential starting points for the four-year-old, who was on Monday a top-priced 3-1 to repeat last October’s Arc success.
Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “Realistically, in Prince Khalid’s mind the Arc looms high as Enable’s number-one target and the main aim is to get her to Longchamp in great shape in October.
“It’s obviously going to be a very important season for her, and prior to the Arc the Juddmonte, and before that the King George, would be the likely races. Those are the three main aims, and how she gets there is not so vital, although it’s going to be interesting.”
Speaking at the official launch of the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million at Newmarket’s Jockey Club Rooms, where he nominated the John Gosden-trained Weekender and Pascal Bary’s Ice Breeze as two possible contenders, Grimthorpe added: “John is very pleased with Enable, although I think the cold weather probably set her back a little bit.
“Fillies prefer a bit of sun on their backs and so the Prix Ganay will probably come a little bit too soon, but that said she’s cantering and she’s happy, so I think she’d have the option of something like the Tattersalls Gold Cup or the Coronation Cup.”
Grimthorpe, who described it as “a huge privilege to be involved with horses of Enable’s calibre” also had news of Abdullah’s two possible 2,000 Guineas candidates, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dewhurst disappointment Expert Eye, who had looked so good at Goodwood the time before, and Roger Charlton’s Frankel colt Herculean.
He said: “Expert Eye had one or two issues, including the stalls issue, and Michael and his team have worked hard on that. He’s in good shape, and whether he would have a prep before at either Newmarket or Newbury will be looked at, but ultimately Michael has trained horses to win the Guineas first time out, so that’s not ruled out.
“Herculean has a bit more to do. When he won at Ascot he certainly looked like a nice horse, and he’s a big scopey horse now. The Guineas is still very much in our minds, but whether it will come a bit too soon is hard to tell.”
Reminded that we had hardly heard of Enable at this time last year and asked if there might be another undiscovered star lurking in the wings again, Grimthorpe prefaced his words with a wealth warning by declaring himself “the world’s worst tipster” but nevertheless provided the name of a filly who excites him.
He said: “If you had asked me this time last year I’d have nominated Shutter Speed, not Enable, but I’m excited about Contingent, a Frankel filly with Dermot Weld.
“She won her maiden at Leopardstown from stall 18 of 18 and really had it won turning into the straight. It was a pretty smart performance and I think she’ll be effective at a mile and a quarter and possibly up to a mile and a half.”