Who will come out on top between Enable and Crystal Ocean at Kempton?
Nick Murphy | 7 September 2018
Preview for September Stakes on Saturday
Enable will make her long-awaited return from a near year-long layoff at Kempton this weekend. John Gosden’s fancy is pencilled in to tackle the September Stakes on Saturday.
It had looked a relatively straightforward assignment for the filly until Tuesday. But Crystal Ocean’s inclusion has opened the race right up for fans and punters alike.
The Coral News Team has taken a look at the two main contenders below.
It’s been a long road back for Enable. Gosden’s stable star hasn’t been since on a racetrack since recording an impressive triumph in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last October. That was the Nathaniel filly’s fourth successive win at elite level after victories in the Irish Oaks, Yorkshire Oaks and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
There’s no doubting her quality. And the all-weather surface won’t provide a problem. But it’s whether the five-time Group 1 winner can hit the ground running against such an elite challenger after such a lengthy layoff.
Nobody quite knows how well tuned Enable will be at Kempton without the benefit of a racecourse gallop, even if her trainer remains confident. Her performance as the odds-on favourite could go a long way to dictating her odds for this year’s Arc at ParisLongchamp in October.
Crystal Ocean’s challenge
Crystal Ocean probably doesn’t match Enable on peak form. Sir Michael Stoute’s charge has yet to even triumph at Group 1 level. But he’s in with a chance by virtue of the fact his main rival is effectively handicapped by her lack of action.
The Sea The Stars colt has run to a decent level this term, too. Success in the Hardwicke Stakes and a battling runners-up berth in the King George at Ascot are testament to that. The four-year-old is certain to put in another hard-fought performance at Kempton, although it could all depend on which Enable turns up.
A 5lb penalty won’t help his cause but if the favourite looks sluggish on reappearance, Stoute’s charge could well clean up at enticing odds.
Who else is in it?
Weekender is the only other contender given a chance by the Coral traders. Gosden’s second runner in the race has yet to triumph at Group level but did go close in the Listed Grand Stakes at York in June. He’s 12/1 to succeed on Saturday.
Cribbs Causeway for Roger Charlton and Peak Princess for Richard Hannon are priced at 100/1 apiece.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing