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Trial results should Enable Gosden big say at Epsom -OAKS TRIALS

18/05/2017
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Impressive was the obvious reaction after the John Gosden-trained Enable ran out the comfortable winner of the Cheshire Oaks with Frankie Dettori able to ease down in the contest over an extended 1m3f. Homebred by Khalid Abdullah, the filly represents the first crop of Nathaniel and showed a smart turn of foot to shoot clear of the favourite, Alluringly, a rare reverse for Aidan O’Brien and Ballydoyle. As was Nathaniel, the filly is trained by John Gosden who also has the same owner’s Shutter Speed, who beat Enable at Newbury last month, and goes on trial in this week’s Musidora Stakes at York.

“For a stayer she showed a good turn of foot,” said Dettori. “I thought I was on a good stayer so had better kick first, and she quickened well.” Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe added: “She handled the track well. She is quite a lengthy filly but that’s the beauty of coming to these sort of races, they are educational both for the horse and for the connections!” A Classic bid is certainly on the cards, and he said: “The way she travels you’d be pretty confident she’d find a mile and a half to her liking.” He continued: “Distance is going to be an issue with Shutter Speed.

I’m pretty confident Enable will stay a mile and a half but there is a question mark about Shutter Speed on her pedigree, which is why she is going to York, so she will have the option of the Prix de Diane as well. “How lucky are we to have these sort of choices? It’s a happy position to be in.” Enable could face a rematch with runner-up Alluringly. Coolmore’s UK representative Kevin Buckley said: “We’re happy enough. It’s a tight track, she settled well and two good fillies put nine lengths between themselves and third. “She will improve an awful lot. An Oaks, whether that is Epsom or The Curragh, is well within her compass.”

It was a case of Dettori and Gosden again at Lingfield three days later as they gained another Oaks trial victory courtesy of Hertford Dancer. She mowed down the much fancied Aidan O’Brien-trained Pocketfullofdreams well inside the final furlong to record a ready success in the Listed event over an extended 1m3f. Only fourth favourite, in a field of six, Hertford Dancer settled on the rails in behind Camerone, who was bidding to give Ralph Beckett a fourth Lingfield Oaks Trial, and Pocketfullofdreams, who was notably tricky to get into the stalls. The race wasn’t run at a breakneck tempo but Camerone gave way in the straight and it looked as if the prize would go to Ballydoyle as Pocketfullofdreams loomed up travelling ominously well under Ryan Moore.

She didn’t stick on as well as many might have expected however, and once Hertford Dancer engaged top gear it always looked as if she would win. The final margin was a comfortable one and a half lengths. John Gosden said: “I thought she would be in the three. I didn’t think she would win as I thought two of the other fillies would be too good but she tries her heart out. “When they are tough and they try and they don’t give up that’s half of the battle. This was an Oaks day for her. We’ll box clever and think of something else for her, but not the Oaks. “I think that would be a bit unwise as the owners would have to give back all their money won here today and some more to run as she would need to be supplemented.”

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