Old rivals Enable and Magical meet once again in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday (15:35) – the feature race of day two at York’s Ebor Festival.
One of two trained by John Gosden in the race, the five-year-old Nathaniel mare won this in 2017 when making all.
Enable scored by five lengths from very useful stable companion Coronet in facile fashion.
Her victory on the Knavesmire two years ago came after landing the Epsom and Irish Oaks double and the King George at Ascot.
As Enable has since regained her crown in the latter, won France’s most famous horse race – the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – in consecutive seasons and the Coral-Eclipse, she sets a clear standard.
Victories in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in America after defending the Arc and then again on reappearance at Sandown saw her best Magical on both occasions.
Enable gave her 4lb across the Atlantic and won by three-quarters of a length, then confirmed the form by a similar margin off level weights up the Esher hill.
There’s no reason why Magical should come out on top off the same terms despite connections supplementing her. This is reflected in an official BHA ratings difference of 4lb between them.
With Enable fully expected to regain her Yorkshire Oaks crown, but an odds-on 30/100 favourite at Unibet to do so, a forecast bet is advised.
Magical brings the second best form into the race having notched a hat-trick in Ireland earlier this season for trainer Aidan O’Brien. That culminated in a second Group 1 success in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
She’s also 9lb and upwards clear of the other two in this race. That leaves Magical the clear forecast choice at 7/2 to chase Enable home.
Lah Ti Dar on comeback trail in Yorkshire Oaks
Newmarket handler Gosden also saddles Lah Ti Dar who could not have been more impressive than when destroying the field in a Listed affair at this meeting last year.
The Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber owned four-year-old bolted up by 10 lengths and confirmed why she had been a leading 2018 Epsom Oaks contender before injury ruled her out of the Classic.
Lah Ti Dar has won just once in her next five starts, however. That came on the Knavesmire over an extended 1m 2f in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes during the Dante Festival on reappearance.
Prior to that, she chased home Kew Gardens in the St Leger at Doncaster and was a 1 3/4 lengths third on British Champions Day behind Magical. There’s no reason to think on Lah Ti Dar’s last two starts she can reverse this form.
After finishing a disappointing sixth and beaten 14 lengths by Defoe in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom when sent off favourite, the daughter of Dubawi was a close-up third to Coronet in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
Both Enable and Magical had the beating of Coronet when they’ve met before. While the return to a happy hunting ground is a plus, Lah Ti Dar has 9lb to find with the latter and almost a stone on her stable companion here.
It’s a tall order and she looks booked for third place. Lah Ti Dar is 14/1 with Bethard, but only appeals as a tricast pick behind Enable and Magical.
The Yorkshire Oaks field of four is completed by South Sea Pearl. This looks beyond her on all known form and turning up just four days after finishing eighth in a Deauville Group 2 suggests pacemaking duty for this other Ballydoyle runner.