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Battaash wins third King George, Dettori continues to roll, Enable plans outlined

By
Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
Battaash wins the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Friday for the third straight year. Photo courtesy of Goodwood Racecourse
Battaash wins the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Friday for the third straight year. Photo courtesy of Goodwood Racecourse

Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Battaash added another chapter to a remarkable renewal of Glorious Goodwood, highlighting weekend racing on the world scene.

Frankie Dettori notched his 12th Group 1 win of the summer, this time in France, and trainer John Gosden outlined plans for Enable's final races.

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Read all about it here:

England

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Glorious Goodwood continued Friday with Battaash winning the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes at 5 furlongs for the third straight year. With Jim Crowley up for trainer Charlie Hills, the 5-year-old Dark Angel gelding took command of the race in the final 2 furlongs and won by 3/4 length from Houtzen -- a margin more comfortable on the course than in the bare figure. Ornate was third, another 2 1/2 lengths back.

Battaash entered this year's contest after finishing second to Blue Point in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. He also was second to Blue Point in the 2018 King's Stand but has a clear field now with the Godolphin runner retired.

Course Track reported Battaash touched 48.63 mph during the second furlong of the King George, according to Racing Post.

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"There are (at least) three more races for him this year and then hopefully the Breeders' Cup, although we will have to talk to Sheikh Hamdan about that," Hills said. "It's 5 furlongs again and it's a lot of prize money. We don't want to be too greedy but last year he had very little racing."

Also on Friday: Homespun, a Kentucky-bred Speightstown colt, led a trio of upsetters across the line in the Unibet Nursery Handicap for 2-year-olds. The favorite, Praxeology, finished fourth under Ryan Moore; and Desert Encounter sailed by heavily favored Mirage Dancer in the final furlong to win the Group 3 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Glorious Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths.

On Saturday, Enbihaar rang down the curtain on Goodwood's annual bash with an impressive, 5-lengths victory in the Group 2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 3/4 miles. Manuela De Vega was second with South Sea Pearl third. Enbihaar, a 4-year-old Redoute's Choice filly, improved her 2019 record to three wins and a second from four starts.

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"I just wanted an even pace for Enbihaar on Saturday, which we got, and Jim Crowley rode her perfectly," said trainer John Gosden. "Having been immature at 3, she is now an improving 4-year-old and coming into full bloom and development."

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And then there's Enable.

Looking forward, her connections told Racing Post during the weekend that the Yorkshire Oaks on Aug. 22 will be Enable's final preparation for a shot at a third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe win -- and that the Arc likely will be the end of the line for the spectacular mare even though she holds a "Win and You're In" spot for the Breeders' Cup Turf a month later.

Gosden said Enable has "been very full of herself" since winning the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Ascot July 27. "It wouldn't be in our interests to try to keep a lid on her for 71 days (from the King George to the Arc), while nor has she had a stiff spring and early summer campaign. She enjoys training and racing, so it is wise to put a nicely spaced race in the middle."

As to the future: "No decision on what happens after the Arc has or will be made for some time but I think you would have to say the likeliest scenario is that the Arc will be her last race."

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Here's good news for the rest of the racing world, if not for the other top riders: Jockey William Buick rode a winner Friday at Newmarket in his first start since May. Appropriately, it came aboard Lazuli, owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby. Buick, Godolphin's go-to jockey, had been sidelined with the aftereffects of a head injury sustained in a fall at Ascot.

France

Speaking of go-to jockeys, Frankie Dettori scored his 12th Group 1 win of the summer Sunday, booting home Advertise by a neck over Brando in the LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. Buick was third aboard Space Blues. Advertise, a 3-year-old Showcasing colt owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, posted his second Group 1 win on the season following the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Trainer Martyn Meade said he and Phoenix are carefully considering how many -- and which -- more runs Advertise will have before heading off to the breeding shed in 2020.

Germany

Sunday's Group 1 161st Henkel-Preis der Diana, or German Oaks, at Dusseldorf produced an upset as Diamanta and Naida both got by the favorite, Durance, in the final 100 yards to finish 1-2. Durance held third in the 1 3/8-miles event on good turf. Diamanta, a Maxios filly trained by Markus Klug, came into the race winless in three previous starts. She was third, beaten only a neck by Durance, two starts back at Dusseldorf.

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