International Guide: Enable seeks to reclaim September Stakes title

International Guide: Enable seeks to reclaim September Stakes title
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz the Law might be a superstar in the making, but there’s already an established superstar slated to take the stage this week. The fantastic mare Enable — with 11 Group 1 wins to her credit — is the main attraction on a quality Saturday of racing in Europe this weekend.

If you want to extend the fun of Derby Day to include a morning of top-class international racing, here are three events you won’t want to miss:

Saturday, Sept. 5

Haydock, England, Race 2: Superior Mile (G3, 8:45 a.m. ET)

Eight horses will travel a mile in this G3 test, with the lightly raced 3-year-olds My Oberon and Khaloosy battling for favoritism after finishing second and third in the 1-mile Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (G3) at Goodwood. But the 7-year-old veteran Stormy Antarctic can give them a stiff fight.

Third in the 2018 Woodbine Mile (G1), the globetrotting Stormy Antarctic has been a capable Group 1 performer since 2015 and enters the Superior Mile fresh off a runner-up effort in the 1 1/8-mile Prix d’Ispahan (G1) in France. This effort produced a 116 Racing Post Rating equal to Stormy Antarctic’s career best, so all signs suggest this aging campaigner is still in strong form.

Dropping down into Group 3 company could carry Stormy Antarctic to victory in the Superior Mile, and who knows? Perhaps we’ll see him return to North America for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.

Kempton, England, Race 3: September Stakes (G3, 9:35 a.m. ET)

A Group 3 event over the synthetic course at Kempton isn’t typically where handicappers expect to see superstars in action, but there will be a big exception when two-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) winner Enable vies for victory in the September Stakes (G3).

Fresh off a resounding 5 1/2-length win in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1), Enable is using the 1 1/2-mile September as a final sharpener for her fourth consecutive appearance in the Arc de Triomphe. Trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori are employing a proven strategy to bring Enable to the Arc in peak form. Whereas the daughter of Nathaniel finished second in the 2019 Arc after prepping with a victory in the Yorkshire Oaks (G1), she prevailed in the 2018 Arc after scoring an easy win in the September.

Adding another September Stakes to her glowing resume should be a straightforward task for Enable. The field is unremarkable, with the tried-and-true stayer Prince of Arran looming as her only serious challenger. Certainly Enable figures to face an easier task than in 2018, when she beat the classy Crystal Ocean by 3 1/2 lengths, so another confident victory should be in the offing as Enable gears up for another tilt at the Arc.

Haydock, England, Race 5: Haydock Sprint Cup (G1, 10:25 a.m. ET)

The highlight of the international weekend based on race grades is the 6-furlong Haydock Sprint Cup, which will pit 13 capable but occasionally inconsistent British sprinters against each other in a battle for Group 1 honors.

Defending Sprint Cup winner Hello Youmzain is back to defend his title, and the 4-year-old son of Kodiac rates a strong chance to score the repeat. Winner of the Diamond Jubilee (G1) at Royal Ascot, Hello Youmzain enters off a game runner-up effort in the 6 1/2-furlong Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) at Deauville, in which he battled for the early lead before losing command in the final yards.

But the favorite to claim top honors at Haydock is Dream of Dreams, beaten a head by Hello Youmzain in the Diamond Jubilee. In his lone run since then, the 6-year-old gelding trounced eight rivals in the 7-furlong Hungerford Stakes (G2) at Newbury, powering clear to win by seven lengths with a career-best 123 Racing Post Rating. A repeat will make him tough to beat in the Sprint Cup.

However, the depth of the Sprint Cup field extends well beyond the two favorites. The 3-year-old Commonwealth Cup (G1) winner Golden Horde is another logical contender, along with the three-time Group 1-placed Lope Y Fernandez and 2018 Sprint Cup 1-2 finishers The Tin Man and Brando. Almost anything could happen in this exciting dash, which is shaping up to be among the most competitive races anywhere in the world this weekend.

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