Weekend Racing: Enable Could Make History6 min read
History beckons at Churchill Downs this evening for the brilliant dual Arc winner Enable (8.56) who is 4/7 to become the first horse in history to win the Longchamp feature and then follow up in the Breeders’ Cup. Note there was heavy rain in Kentucky on Thursday, but conditions should be perfect for the European turf horses this evening and there should be no excuses.
Eight previous Arc winners have come on from Paris and failed including John Gosden’s Golden Horn who was surely only beaten by the ground when second to subsequent Arc winner Found back in 2015. We know in Europe how good a horse Enable is – I hope she proves it Stateside.
In the Fillies’ and Mares’ turf I feel the draw has again been kinder to Wild Illusion (6.04) than her main rival Magic Wand and the Godolphin runner can confirm Prix de l’Opera form with the Ballydoyle runner. Charlie Appleby’s filly is 2/1 and this 1m 3f trip should be ideal.
Bordeaux Bill is interesting making his seasonal reappearance for Brian Ellison at Wetherby, but I am going to give another chance to Copper West (1.30) who was too keen coming back from a four-month break at Huntingdon last time. A return to a left-hand track will also suit.
Lady Buttons finished runner up in the listed Mares’ Hurdle 12 months ago but that was on soft ground and UI am a big fan of Irish Roe (2.05) who would be giving weight away all-round if this were a hurdle. Peter Atkinson does well with the horses at his disposal and I hope his 7-year-old is spot on for her reappearance.
The Charlie Hall Chase could not be described as a vintage renewal and marginal preference is for Bryony Frost and Black Corton (2.40) who I hope can jump his rivals ragged. The selection is 2/1 and would be receiving weight from Double Shuffle if this were a handicap, but I feel conditions are ideal for the Paul Nicholls-trained runner.
Wenyerreadyfreddie (1.50) was beaten less than 2l at level weights by Lil Rockerfella at Uttoxeter on his second start over fences – bled from the nose on his first start – and the winner is now rated 153 over fences. With that in mind the selection could be well handicapped off a mark of 130 this afternoon.
The Nicky Henderson-trained selection won’t get things his own way up front with the free-going Sternrubin in the field but I feel he can take advantage of the 7lbs he receives from the Philip Hobbs runner.
Divin Bere was taken out of a Kempton flat race earlier in the week with a vet’s certificate but makes a quick reappearance in the valuable 2m handicap hurdle. A market move would be worth noting.
The vote, however, goes to Magic Dancer (3.00) who ran a career best when runner up in a conditional jockey’s event at Cheltenham last weekend. The winner Storm Rising – due to run at Uttoxeter yesterday – has been raised a stone for that success but Kerry Lee’s six-year-old can race off the same mark this afternoon.
Carlisle | Sunday
I am looking forward to the chase debut of Al Shahir (1.30) who is fitted with a tongue-tie for the first time for Dan and Harry Skelton. The selection failed to get home when a well backed favourite on his first start at 2m 4f but that was obviously not his running given he went out like a light having travelled well to the home turn. He is certainly bred to get this trip.