DON’T doubt Enable.
I’ve got the feeling a few of you out there reckon she’s not the horse she was.
Well, that’s not what I think — and I’m confident she will prove it at Ascot today by winning a third King George.
No horse has ever done it before but if any horse can — Enable can.
People point to the fact she was ‘only’ second in the Arc and also on her return in the Coral-Eclipse.
Yet she ran a super race on bad ground at Longchamp at the end of last season and was anything but fully fit when she was beaten by Ghaiyyath at Sandown.
The boss made it clear to everyone before her comeback the race would bring her on — and it has.
She is a six-year-old now and as anyone knows the older you get the tougher it is to get fit. The boss didn’t push her hard for the Eclipse as the King George and the Arc were always her main targets.
I put her through her paces on the Al Bahathri gallops earlier this week and she really pleased me. She is ready.
There may only be three other runners today but there is an Epsom Derby winner in there, a Grand Prix de Paris winner and an Irish Derby winner.
Tactically the race will be an interesting one but I don’t see a problem. She can make it or sit just off the pace or even at the back. I will trust my instinct.
I am on the best horse in the race and I’ll just do whatever I feel is right at the time. I’ll ride my race and let the others worry about theirs.
Yes there will be some important decisions to make in the race but that’s my job. I’ve been doing it for 30 years and that’s what I get paid to do.
The boss and I will have a chat before the race but it won’t be about tactics. John never has instructions, he trusts me to do what I do. And down through the years it has worked well.
The boss does the training and I do the riding. If it were the other way round we might have a problem with the jockey doing the weight!
I doubt Aidan O’Brien will be giving Ryan Moore, William Buck or Oisin Murphy any riding instructions either. They will all ride it as they see it too so we are all in the same boat.
I’ll try and share a joke with them before the race before we all put our game faces on.
My first King George came on Lammtarra in 1995. I then rode Swain, Daylami and Doyen to win it but then had to wait 13 years for my next one when Enable won it for the first time.
Last year was amazing. That duel with Crystal Ocean was an epic. It was the race of the season, some say of the century. We won by a neck but she was cosy in the end.
I probably didn’t even give her the greatest ride that day as we found ourselves a bit wide and James Doyle and Crystal Ocean really put it up to us.
I said at the time it was probably the hardest race of my career and I still believe that. I was exhausted and very emotional afterwards.
That is the thing about these truly great horses though, they get you out of trouble.
At that time it was her ninth Group 1 win on the trot. She then went on to make it ten in the Yorkshire Oaks when she beat Magical by two and a half lengths.
Magical is not against us today as she goes for tomorrow’s Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh. I wish her well as she is a fantastic mare too.
But today is all about Enable. She loves Ascot, I love Ascot. Now let’s get the job done.
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