Racing

Dettori's dieting to ride Enable pays off

Italian star wins fifth King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Jockey Frankie Dettori punched the air in triumph after he rode hot favourite 5-4 ENABLE to victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in England on Saturday.

The John Gosden-trained three-year-old filly skipped over the soft ground with a stone (6.3kg) weight concession in the 2,400m race, having won the Irish Oaks by six lengths two weeks ago.

It was a career fifth win in the race - his last on Doyen 13 years ago - for Dettori, who was proven right in his prediction that the dual Oaks winner in Epsom and Ireland had "all the weapons you need".

Dettori, who was dieting all week as he returns from a broken shoulder, made his trademark leap from Enable and was smiling broadly as he and Gosden went to collect their trophy in pouring rain.

"She was very, very good," he said.

"It was the best feel I've had since Golden Horn,"

Dettori said in reference to his 2015 Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe winner.

The superstar horse was given a rapturous ovation from the stands after storming down the rail-side in driving rain, rampaging down the home straight, having led from the half-way mark and winning by a good three lengths.

In-form Irish horse Ulysses came second, carrying much more weight and the much-fancied Highland Reel, last year's winner, was narrowly pipped for third after suffering with the conditions.

She was the reason I came back from injury so early. She really is special. I pushed myself so I could ride her in Ireland and it was worth it. Jockey Frankie Dettori on riding Enable in the Irish Oaks

Just two three-year-olds have won this race in its 77 editions.

Dettori had been dieting to ensure Enable could fully exploit her attractive weight allowance against her male counterparts and elders in this all-aged £1 million (S$1.78 million) Grade 1 mid-summer highlight.

On his fasting, he said: "I've got to do 8st 7lb (53.97kg) in the King George, which is my bare minimum, so I need to keep my weight down.

"My diet is all boring stuff at the moment - white fish, vegetables and water. It's grim!"

And he reported his conveyance in buoyant health after she unceremoniously threw him to the floor on the gallops in Newmarket during the week.

"I rode Enable (on Tuesday) and, believe it or not, she dumped me on the floor," Dettpri recounted pre-race in his blog for British bookmaker Ladbrokes.

"I was like, 'thanks very much!' Luckily, I fell standing up but she still dumped me. She is just full of herself right now and raring to go."

The 46-year-old jockey, immortalised in Ascot folklore after his "magnificent seven" when he went through the card on Sept 28, 1996, had to cry off Royal Ascot last month with a shoulder injury.

He rushed his return to team up with Enable at the Curragh in the Irish Oaks a fortnight ago.

"She was the reason I came back from injury so early. She really is special. I pushed myself so I could ride her in Ireland and it was worth it." - AFP

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