Enable and Wings Of Eagles Land English Classics
What a great weekend of racing in the UK where we witnessed Enable land the English Oaks, before Wings Of Eagles took the English Derby just a day later. Both races were dramatic for various reasons and both showed why this weekend is one that racing fans from all over the world look forward to.
The two races were dominated by Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden, with both taking centre stage in one race each. On Friday, John Gosden sprung a surprise when his horse Enable beat the Aidan O’Brien favourite Rhododendron. Then on Saturday the roles were reversed as Aidan O’Brien’s outsider Wings Of Eagles overturned the John Gosden favourite Cracksman.
The English Oaks saw a dramatic thunder and lightning storm arrive just as the race began, the first piece of drama on what was a great days racing.
Frankie Dettori rode a cool race on Enable before he brought her through for what would be a winning run. She was joined by Rhododendron momentarily but the Gosden filly kept finding more and eventually drew clear to win the race by five lengths. Her breeding hinted that she would love the step up in distance for the Oaks and that showed as she powered to the line with no signs of slowing down.
The win was another for stallion Nathaniel and with his crop improving with age, there could be even more to come from the exciting filly Enable. Plans have not been revealed yet but Enable looks the type to improve throughout the year and is certainly one to watch going forward.
A day later and the English Derby was on everybody’s mind as we had what looked to be a fascinating, wide open race this year. Aidan O’Brien saddles six in the race and it was one of his outsiders Wings Of Eagles that eventually came from near last to first on the outside to take the race in dramatic fashion.
Jockey Padraig Beggy gave the horse a brilliant ride and deserves all the credit in the world for timing his run perfectly to outstay his rivals up the home straight. Wings Of Eagles has followed in the footsteps of his father Pour Moi and ironically, Pour Moi also won the Derby in similar style, coming late to lead close home. After staying on strongly it is likely that Wings Of Eagles will head to the Irish Derby before stepping up in trip for a shot at the English St Leger, the final Classic of the season.
We had one win for John Gosden and one for Aidan O’Brien in the English Classics, although not the horses many would have guessed. Despite that we had a great weekend of racing and proof just why these races are so popular. Out of the two winners, I am very excited to follow Enable, a filly who could turn out to be very special before eventually heading to the breeding barn to hopefully further her career there.
Craig Jones writes about global horse racing for Knightsbridge Bloodstock
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