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Tuesday 25 July 2017

Enable proves class

Frankie Dettori celebrates with his horse Enable
Frankie Dettori celebrates with his horse Enable

This year's Darley Irish Oaks may not have proved to be the strongest ever renewal of the race but we did have the Epsom heroine and Enable duly obliged for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori to give us another possible angle for the three-year-olds of 2017.

Are the fillies better than the colts? John Gosden didn't say as much on Saturday but he may have said enough to suggest he thinks it might be the case, suggesting that Enable was "the best we've got" and wondering if he should have ran her in the Irish Derby a couple of weeks ago. This is the man that trains Epsom and Irish Derby placed, Cracksman.

It is hard now to make a case for the strength of the colts. The Epsom Derby winner, Wings Of Eagles, has been retired, the three-year-old form was turned on its head in the Coral-Eclipse, albeit a race that would undoubtedly have a different result if run again, and Permian, an also ran at Epsom but Group Two winner at Royal Ascot, could only finish second in an average looking Group One in Paris on Friday evening.

Compare that to dual Guineas and Royal Ascot winner Winter, and dual Oaks winner Enable, beaten just once in her five-start career, and you look to have two racehorses who have the ability to hold their form.

Of course, their biggest test will come when stepping up against the colts and on Saturday Gosden confirmed that the King George and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe are two races that would be on Enable's shortlist, although another straightforward assignment in the Yorkshire Oaks is also on the same list.

And now to wonder could Caravaggio have been the flag bearer for the colts? It looked a wise move at Royal Ascot to keep him to six, but in the July Cup he was never happy amongst the speed merchants and is future targets will be an interesting watch.

Meanwhile, racing takes place at Killarney this evening with a mixed card at the picturesque Kerry track. The listed Cairn Rouge Stakes is the feature race and this would look a good opportunity for Asking to get back in front. Aidan O'Brien's charge was probably a shade unlucky in a similar contest at Fairyhouse when third in the Brownstown Stakes and although this 12-runner field is a competitive one, leading apprentice Ana O'Brien can bag another winner here.

Leopardstown maiden winner Lethal Steps has since been bought by Qatar Racing and they can look forward to a quick return on him as the step up to a mile should bring about enough improvement for him to defy the weight he has to concede, while champion jockey Ruby Walsh can win the maiden hurdle on Sharps Choice, while his sister, Katie, looks on the right one, Laoch Liam, in the finale.

Killarney: 6.0 Lethal Steps 6.30 Mr Ormsby 7.0 Asking 7.30 Weightfordave 8.00 Sharps Choice 8.30 Lizzies Champ 9.0 Laoch Liam

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