July 8 (UPI) -- Stars continued to shine on the international racing front during the weekend as Enable won her long-delayed return to the races in England and Do It Again did it again in South Africa, winning the Vodacom Durban July for the second straight year.
There's lots more, too, so let's get right to it:
Enable and Magical met again in Saturday's Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and -- again -- it was the mighty mare coming out on top despite a layoff that stretched back to her defeat of Magical in the Breeders' Cup Turf last fall at Churchill Downs.
The heavy favorites had the race to themselves in the final 100 meters, with Enable shooting to the lead under Frankie Dettori and Magical tracking her with Ryan Moore up. But there was no denying the dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, who never seemed threatened despite winning by only 3/4 length -- the same margin as in the Breeders' Cup.
Regal Reality was third, another 2 3/4 lengths in arrears.
Enable, a 5-year-old Juddmonte Farms homebred daughter of Nathaniel, now has won 10 straight races in a campaign that has had its stops and starts due to minor injuries. Magical, a 4-year-old Galileo filly, has seven wins and multiple placings while racing at the highest level for Coolmore and trainer Aidan O'Brien.
"It's been a long preparation and she's only started coming to herself the last two weeks," Gosden said of Enable. "Quite frankly, she's come here at 85 per cent, maybe 90 ... To come from an eight-month layoff to win an Eclipse isn't an easy thing. She's done it all herself and the plan is the King George."
O'Brien said Magical will get a break and return for a fall campaign. The two easily could meet again the Arc.
Do It Again did it again, winning the Vodacom Durban July for the second straight year Saturday at Greyville Racecourse in South Africa. The 4-year-old son of Twice Over rallied from a rail-skimming ride by Richard Fourie, ran down the middle of the stretch and defeated old rival Rainbow Bridge by just under 1/2 length. He became the first back-to-back winner of Africa's iconic race since El Picha in 1999-2000.
Asked what he was feeling as his charge hit the front, trainer Justin Snaith said, "Relief. I'm so happy for him."
The win was the seventh for Do It Again, with most of those coming in graded stakes against the toughest South Africa has to offer. With the prospect that onerous quarantine requirements affecting South African horses might be eased soon, Do It Again might get a chance to see more of the world.
"If it opens up, anything is an option," Snaith said, cautioning that the gelding's owners enjoy racing in South Africa. Snaith's brother and partner in the family racing dynasty, Jonathan, said if international travel is an option, the 2020 Breeders' Cup at Keeneland might be a target.
"He's the best weight-for-age horse (in South Africa) and now he's proved he's the best by far in South Africa," said Jonathan Snaith. "He will go down as one of the greatest."
The complexion of the race changed at the gate as the favorite, Hawwaam, acted up, injured his hip and was scratched. Trainer Mike de Kock said it "would have been interesting" to see a showdown between his colt and Do It Again, adding later, "After all the drama, I'm happy to report Hawwaam is fine. He'll live to fight another day."
On the same card, Celtic Sea defeated Snaith's star Street Cry mare Oh Susanna by 1 length in the Group 1 Garden Province Stakes for fillies and mares, possibly Oh Susanna's last race, and Eden Roc, a Var colt trained by Sean Tarry, ran his record to 3-for-3, winning the Group 2 Durbin Golden Horseshoe for 2-year-olds with a late effort.
Too Darn Hot found the redemption he needed after three straight losses to start the season as he surged away in the final furlong to win Sunday's Group 1 Qatar Jean Prat at Deauville. Scaled back to 1,400 meters by trainer John Gosden, the Dubawi colt raced in contact with the pace and took over when asked by jockey Frankie Dettori, who had a rather super cross-Channel weekend. At the wire, Too Darn Hot was 3 lengths too hot for runner-up Space Blues. Fox Champion was third.
Too Darn Hot was undefeated in four starts last year. He started 2019 with seconds in the Group 2 Dante at York and the Irish 2,000 Guineas, bypassed the Derby and finished third in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot going 1 mile.
Gosden said the outcome was as much a relief as anything, telling Racing Post, "His proper distance is 1,400 up to an easy mile and we'll play to his strengths rather than stupidly playing to his weaknesses. He's not a stamina horse. He's built like a sprinter. I probably should have been running him in the July Cup next week. I've probably got it wrong again."
Laccario, the strong favorite, found running room inside as the field turned for home in Sunday's Group 1 IDEE 150th Deutsches Derby at Hamburg, hit is best stride and came home first, 1 1/4 lengths in front of Django Freeman. It was another 1 1/4 lengths to Accon in third. Laccario, a Scalo colt trained by Andres Wohler, remains undefeated after three starts. The Gestut Hof Ittlingen homebred did not race at 2.
Zac Purton booted home six winners Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse, bringing him into sight of the single-season record of 170 set by Joao Moreira in 2016-17. Purton now is six short of that total with 20 races left in the campaign -- nine on Wednesday at Happy Valley and 11 at the Sha Tin finale on Sunday.
"Six winners is a huge effort, Purton said as he did it for the fourth time this season. "Of course it is. But I still need six more just to match Joao and I don't know if I've got the horses to do that."
Sunday's blitz included victory on the John Moore steed Magic Success -- a win that brought Moore to within one win of long-time leader and defending champion trainer John Size for the season trainers' premiership. "It's going right to the wire," Moore said, noting he has a strong hand in both remaining dates on the calendar.