Superstar Enable to return at Royal Ascot after Coronation Cup plan is shelved

Dual Arc winner Enable has been taken out of the Investec Coronation Cup, with connections instead opting to start her season at Royal Ascot.

Enable, photo Liesl King

The 2017 Oaks winner had been a general 4-5 favourite to start her season with a victory in Epsom's Group 1 on May 31 but trainer John Gosden has instead decided to postpone her comeback until the royal meeting, which starts 18 days later.

He said about the five-year-old: "She is in good order. We're pointing right now to Royal Ascot for either the Prince of Wales's Stakes or the Hardwicke.

"We're aiming towards the first weekend of October [the Arc], so we certainly didn't want to be bringing her out very early in the year. We're looking at Ascot and then the King George."

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Enable's owner Khalid Abdullah, suggested the Group 1 Prince of Wales's, over a mile and a quarter, was the more likely of the two Royal Ascot options. 

He said: "In principle she will run in the Prince of Wales's but we will also be looking at the Hardwicke, so we are definitely not committing yet to one race over the other."

The Group 1 Prince Of Wales's is run over 1m 2f on the second day of the meeting while the Group 2 Hardwicke on the final day is over two furlongs more.

Enable has raced at Ascot just once, when winning the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes two seasons ago.

A tilt at the Prince of Wales's could set up a rematch with Sea Of Class, who finished a close second to Enable in a memorable Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October.

Bookmakers narrowly favour Sea Of Class to take her revenge at Ascot, with 7-2 the best price about the William Haggas-trained four-year-old, with Enable available at 4-1.

Enable's stablemate Stradivarius, favourite for Friday's Yorkshire Cup, is among the entries for the Arc. Last year's champion stayer has not raced over a mile and a half since he was beaten at Chester in May 2017 and on Wednesday was a top-priced 25-1 for Longchamp's autumn showpiece.

Expert view

Newmarket correspondent David Milnes reacts to the news about Enable missing Epsom

There's no rush with Enable. She's wintered well and is cantering away with the rest of the Clarehaven team.

The Coronation Cup comes a bit earlier than usual this year – it is the first time this century that the Epsom Group 1 will be run in May. So it is no surprise she has been put by until Royal Ascot, which starts on June 18, for either the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on June 19 or the Hardwicke three days later.

The five-year-old has only been kept in training for one purpose, which is to win a third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October. A late start (admittedly through injury) did her no harm last year.

Enable has yet to gallop this year but when she does, Racing Post readers will be the first to know about it.