Juddmonte Farms' superstar filly Enable shot straight to the lead in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) Aug. 24, made all the going, and romped home first by five lengths to cement her status as the favorite for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1).
Coronet was along in the final yards to take second from 2016 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) winner Queen's Trust in the 1 1/2-mile race for fillies and mares, 3 and older, giving trainer John Gosden a 1-2 finish.
The victory earns Enable a guaranteed, fees-paid spot in this year's Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar through the Breeders' Cup Challenge program. Her immediate target, however, is the Arc at Chantilly Oct. 1. She was the hot favorite for that classic even before the Yorkshire triumph and if she runs at Del Mar, the 1 1/2-mile Longines Turf (G1T) also would be an option.
There was some question who would make the pace in the Yorkshire Oaks but jockey Frankie Dettori quickly answered that as he sent Enable out to a daylight lead in the early going. The Nathaniel filly led Queen's Trust well into the straight and was never in danger at any point of the 1 1/2 miles, run over turf rated good to soft.
The score was Enable's fifth straight victory. In her previous three runs she took the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) over older males at Ascot by 4 1/2 lengths, the Investec Oaks (G1) at Epsom by five lengths, and the Darley Irish Oaks (G1) at the Curragh by 5 1/2 lengths. On Thursday she defeated older females.
Ulysses, runner-up in the King George, returned to win the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) on the first day of the Ebor Meeting at York by a convincing two lengths, defeating two of Europe's best 3-year-old males, Churchill and Barney Roy.
On the strength of the King George performance, Enable soared to the top of the list in futures wagering for the Arc. That status was confirmed as some of her potential French rivals turned in disappointing performances in recent weeks. The Yorkshire Oaks only reinforced earlier impressions.
"She will go to the Arc," said Gosden, who described Enable as the best filly he's trained at the 1 1/2-mile distance.
In the co-featured Sky Bet Lowther Stakes (G2) for 2-year-old fillies, Threading threaded her way past the early speed in the final furlong to score by 1 3/4 lengths over Madeline. Mamba Noire was third. Wesley Ward trainee Happy Like a Fool made most of the going, but the Distorted Humor filly ran out of gas and finished a fading sixth.
Threading, a Darley-bred daughter of Exceed And Excel, was making her second run following a six-length victory in her maiden effort at Goodwood Aug. 2. Mark Johnston trains the filly for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and James Doyle was aboard.
The disappointment of the Lowther was the favorite, Actress, a Declaration of War filly racing in the Coolmore colors who chased Happy Like a Fool through the first few furlongs, then stopped, finishing last of nine, beaten nearly 20 lengths as jockey Ryan Moore did not persevere with her late. In her previous start, Actress was third in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (G1) at the Curragh.